Where to take an out-of-towner for dinner during his first visit to the city of Buffalo? The answer came to me quickly – The Left Bank, a mid-sized bistro with excellent food tucked away on Rhode Island Street, was an obvious choice. Not only does this restaurant hold a well-deserved reputation for having some of the best food in the city, but it also radiates a rustic old-world charm that is sure to impress even a big-city visitor.
The moment you walk into the bar-area of the restaurant you feel a sense of comforting warmth. Exposed red brick walls, rich mahogany tones, and twinkling candles invite you to make yourself at home in this historic building; the steady murmur of conversation and laughter makes you want to stay awhile. The dining room packs plenty of tables into a small space, and while it feels more cozy than crowded, it does tend to get a bit loud.
While the muted lights and white table linens certainly give off a sense of Parisian elegance, the menu offers widely American and Italian options. The fried calamari was lightly breaded and non-greasy and is served with a unique horseradish-flavored dipping sauce. The twin angus beef tournadoes were served with a rich mushroom sauce and had the distinct woodsy flavor of applewood bacon. The oven-roasted salmon was fresh and light, while the penne with grilled steak was a rich dish. All three plates were cleaned, and no one left room for dessert. The Left Bank also offers quite a nice wine selection to complement their cuisine.
The prices range on the higher-end of mid-priced but for the quality of food, the knowledgable staff, and the elegant atmosphere, it is well worth the splurge. The Left Bank is located at 511 Rhode Island Street. It is advised to call ahead for reservations.
Read more about the author’s trip to The Left Bank at her blog.