Over the past few weeks I’ve taken the time to discover some places that are not necessarily in the city of Buffalo, but add to the quality of life due to their close proximity to Downtown.
Incredibly, in all my life I have never before ventured to Root Five Waterfront. The quick and painless 15-minute excursion came about when a few friends decided that it was time to find a great waterfront restaurant destination nearby. Before we knew it we were heading across the Skyway and onto Route 5. In a flash (or so it seemed), we were pulling up to Root Five – a restaurant that doesn’t look that hot from the front, but is packed with plenty of surprises on the inside.
First of all, the restaurant sits on a cliff, overlooking the water, which gives the appearance as if you are actually dining on the water (you see no land unless you look over the edge). Upon walking through the entranceway, and after inspecting the interior bar area, we were greeted by a server who led us to a table in the shade. It didn’t take long for us to pull up stakes and regroup on the sun-soaked patio. From there we tended to move about every 20 minutes or so as we explored our unfamiliar surroundings. It appeared as if we had found our version of paradise, and we intended to take full advantage of the place.
Eventually we settled down and began to formulate a plan for food. We hoped that the food would measure up to the restaurant’s ambiance, and it turned out that we were in luck. The pub grub menu offered us all something that appealed to our varying tastes. While we pondered the different offerings we asked our server if Root Five had always looked so nice. We were told that the owner had made significant upgrades as of late, right up to the funky bistro fire pits that graced the patio. The only thing that I felt was a bit off was the hanging baskets filled with fake flowers – they added a tacky look to the patio dining area. Besides the faux flowers, the rest of the joint had an authentic charming seaside appeal.
Ultimately the food did measure up to the experience (a big surprise considering that a lot of places pay attention to one or the other). The banana pepper dip was delicious, the fish and chips hit the spot, and the sesame tuna with wasabi was killer. Unfortunately they had 86’d the tots from the menu, and the whisp-like fries were not nearly as enticing. We were told that the entire menu was in the process of being revamped.
If you’re looking for a place by the water, with solid food offerings, live music, plenty of sun, a seafarer’s bar, room to spread out, filled with salty dog charm, cold drinks and an unbeatable view of the lake, get yourself to Root Five ASAP. All things considered, it’s close by and worth every minute that it takes to get there. Plus, for those of us who have a hard time being away from Buffalo for too long, you can keep an eye on the city skyline from the lakeside deck.
Root Five | 4914 Lakeshore Road just past Lackawanna | (716) 627-5551