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The Drill – Table for Eight in a Rooftop Snow Globe

The standard menu for igloo dining – click to enlarge

This past December, I posted on “snow globe” dining on the rooftop of Tappo. It wasn’t long after that that a bunch of my friends decided that they wanted to try it out for a birthday bash. So we called up Tappo and made a reservation to dine inside one of the clear, heated bubble igloos (snow globes). The reservation was made for eight lucky people (the number required), although there were a lot more takers who wanted to join in on the fun. Altogether, reserving an igloo is $400 (once again, eight people). The meal is served “family style”, with big bowls of salads, pastas, etc. to pass around the table. The family style service made it super easy and fun – almost like being at a rooftop picnic, in the middle of winter, in a snow globe.

Our reservation was for this past Tuesday at 6pm. When we arrived, the other five bubbles were already fully occupied, and we were told that the second shift at 8pm was also completely booked.

Tappo co-owner Rocco Termini stopped by to say hello, which was nice because we had a bunch of questions to ask him about the experience. Rocco started by saying that the reception has been tremendous – they are seating 500 people a week on the roof in the middle of winter. There are two seatings during the week, and three seatings on the weekends. He told us that this was his attempt to make winter more fun in Buffalo. “The more snow, the more fun,” he said. “We want people to think about winter in Buffalo as a great time of year. When I first heard about the snow globe dining concept, I knew right away that Buffalonians would love it. I had no idea how much they would love it. We’re constantly booked.”

Rocco also told us that snow globe dining is something that you can’t fully appreciate until you try it. And now we understand why. There was not one person in our group that didn’t love the experience. Everyone came away with a new appreciation for outdoor dining in the middle of winter – it’s actually more fun that outdoor dining in the middle of summer.

It is interesting to note that, according to Rocco, setting up these igloos on the roof for wintertime dining was not exactly easy. Rather, it was a bit of nightmare. They had to build special platforms, and figure out a bunch of solutions to prevent the snow and slush from creeping in. And then there was the problem of condensation, which was resolved by adding dehumidifiers… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it came down to optimizing the igloos for total comfort.

A nice thing about igloo dining is that you don’t have to worry about anything. We called ahead to let the staff know that we have a couple of vegetarians with us, so they were taken care of. No problem!

When we first sat down, we were thrilled to find large drink canisters on the table, filled with mulled red wine, caramel spiked cider, and whiskey hot toddies. To me, that was just about the greatest thing ever. Not only was the igloo nice and warm, with sparkling lights to see what was going on, the food and the drinks were perfectly paired for the experience (see menu above).

A few people ordered additional beers and cocktails from our server, which was not problem – they were simply added to our bill at the end of the meal. But honestly, between the thermo-canisters at the table (included in the $400 price), there was plenty to drink without ordering anything additional. 

Our neighboring igloo

If you’ve thought that igloo dining at Tappo might be fun, I can officially say it’s more fun than you can imagine. There’s something about eating and drinking in such an unusual and cozy setting that is almost indescribable. It’s an occurrence that Buffalo should be very proud to have because there’s nothing else remotely like it. Igloo dining should be a way of life in WNY – there’s something very magical about the experience. And when it comes right down to it… you really can’t beat the price. The only thing that would make for a more perfect dining experience is if there was a guarantee for snow to fall… and even Rocco hasn’t figured out a way to control that.

Tappo | 338 Ellicott Street | Buffalo, New York 14203 | (716) 259-8130 |(716) 259-8130 | Facebook | Make an igloo reservation

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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