There’s a reason that dinner has long been the tried and true go-to date - it works. But, when you want to mix things up it can be tough to come up with fun, fresh ideas.
Take a cue from the budding Buffalo brunch scene and set up a morning rendezvous with your significant other or newfound romantic interest. It might not seem like it’s that exciting, but a change from the norm, even if it’s just the time of day, can be enough to spark any relationship.
If you’re trying to impress your date with your knowledge of what’s “in,” then a good place to start might be the recently added brunch menu at Buffalo Proper (333 Franklin St.). The brunch menu packs the same flavor as the rest of the restaurant’s food and drink, which landed it on just about every best new restaurant list in 2014.
The T-Meadow Pork Tostada ($14) and Proper Empanada ($10) provide brunchgoers with Mexican-inspired breakfast fare that goes beyond the usual breakfast burrito or taco. Wash it all down with a gin, carrot-orange shrub, ginger-jalapeño cordial, sparkling wine, egg white and cayenne cocktail, aptly named Hair of The Dog ($8). Buffalo Proper’s brunch runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday.
If Sundays aren’t your thing then you can always check out Bagels and Brooze at Hydraulic Hearth (716 Swan St.) on Saturdays.
The collaboration between Hydraulic Hearth and BreadHive serves up a variety of bagel sandwiches, à la carte dishes and house-made drinks that are sure to be a hit with your brunch companion.
Favorites include the Uncle Brooklyn ($9) which features the popular cream cheese and lox combination on a plain or everything bagel, and the Bloody Wilbur ($8), a Bloody Mary-inspired drink with house mix, bacon bourbon, fresh lime juice, stout and house chipotle sauce. Both are sure to put your mind at ease about any of those questionable decisions you made the night before.
Bagels and Brooze, which is back after a short holiday break, takes over Hydraulic Hearth from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday and features live music from a variety of local acts ranging from blues to folk. Brunch and a concert, score.
In addition to these great options, Buffalo has a number of other solid brunch spots to keep you and your date full. One of the more popular spots - you’ll agree if you’ve ever tried to stop in and be seated immediately - Betty’s (370 Virginia St.) offers a Sunday brunch weekly from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The portobella benedict ($11.50) is a great vegetarian option and there is a wide list of cocktails, beer, and wine to choose from.
Elm Street Bakery (72 Elm St., East Aurora) nails the casual brunch vibe and is definitely worth checking out for its pastry offering from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a mid-afternoon offering from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekly on Sundays.
Finally, when the weather starts to turn and patio season in Buffalo hits, it’s best to snag a seat on the patio at Cecelia’s Ristorante (716 Elmwood Ave.). Pro tip: wait until after noon on Sundays and opt for the bottomless mimosas ($8) with the purchase of a brunch specialty item or sandwich.
Buffalo nightlife provides plenty of opportunities for date ideas, but don’t be afraid to be a creature of the morning and flex your brunch muscles (just don’t forget to ditch the pajama pants- trust me, you’re better than that).
Your date will appreciate the creativity, plus if all goes well, you’ve got the rest of the day to spend together. Happy dating.