Local Restaurant Review: "Canvas@1206"

     One thing I always wanted living in this city was a little Jazz bar.  A place to go and get a cocktail while listening to live Jazz.  Its not a common thing here in Buffalo like it is in other cities.  I remember visiting Chicago one year and spending an evening at “Andy’s Jazz Club and Restaurant” eating dinner, listening to the finest local Jazz musicians, and wishing we had a place like this in Buffalo.  Although “Canvas@1206” is far from the famous “Andy’s”, it is still a breath of fresh air and another nice option for nightlife here in this city.
    We had gone on a Friday night, about two weeks back (I’m late posting this) around 7pm and it was pretty easy to get a table.  The bar and restaurant atmosphere is retro/old-school, but not in a way that gives off any impression that it’s trying too hard.  Everything is just right.  From the gold speckled bar, to the capiz chandelier lights, and jazz artist wall of fame, its an atmosphere I found myself comfortable in.

    After a Manhattan, we sat down for some dinner with our friends, Molly and Patrick.  The menu was interesting but I immediately noticed more of a “Lunch” menu than dinner.  There were not many standard entrees but more a plethora of sandwiches.  One thing that looked awesome though, was the giant crab cake.  Molly and Patrick ordered that for an appetizer, and Nicole and I ordered the Bacon Swiss dip with chips.

The Bacon Swiss dip was one of the more delicious things I’ve eaten in a while.  The chips were not standard tortilla chips, but a type of chip that I’ve never had before,  more of an air-crisp.

The giant crab cake was pretty tasty as well, but I was glad we got the dip.

    For the main course, Pat and I ordered the Fish fry.  I rarely get out to a place on Friday nights to take advantage of any fish fry options so now I had the importunity to.  We had the option to add goat cheese mashed potatoes as a side, so i jumped on that also.  Nicole ordered the pork chop with the goat mash and a vegetable.  Molly had ordered the broiled fish with Cajun seasoning.  My fish fry was pretty good.  I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.  It was cooked perfectly, the breading looked as if it were fried in clean/fresh oil, and it was decent sized.  It could have used some more seasonings though.  That was the opinion of everyone at the table.  Nicole’s pork chop and vegetables tasted like a “pork chop and vegetables”.  There wasn’t much flavor.  The goat cheese mash just tasted like plain mash potatoes.  Everything was cooked to perfection, it was just bland.

    Would I go back to Canvas@1206? Most definitely.  The quality of the food was very good and everything was cooked nicely.  The bar was fun to sit at and a great place to stop in and grab a drink.  The crowd consisted of people from all age groups. I’d love to go back when there is music playing on the stage.  This is a great addition to the city.

Canvas@1206 on Urbanspoon

Fish Friday And an Event or Two.

    This weekend was packed full of good things.  I wasn’t able to get much house work done, but then again, that was the goal this weekend.  We have been doing a ton of work around here, so this weekend we wanted to take a break, or at least cut down ( I caved in and did a little work).
    Friday I met some old friends out for a fish fry.  There are a lot of places that make fish frys in Buffalo, but none of them can even come close to making a fish fry better than Papa Jake’s on Elmwood.  They make a fish fry that is so far better than any other place I’ve been to, that it would be a waste of time and money to consider any other option.  It’s that good.  I hadn’t been there in over 3 years, so I was eager to see if theirs was still the best.  We arrived at around 6:30pm and were fortunate enough to be able to sit down immediately as a table was open in the back.  We could have waited to sit in their outside seating area if we really wanted to, but we were pretty hungry and decided against it.  One thing I noticed when we walked in  was that they increased the quality and the amount of beers they have on tap.  I think I counted over 25.  I was distracted when trying to count the taps when becoming overwhelmed by excitement from the sight of Ithaca’s “Hop Stash” IPA.   The “Hop Stash” is easily my favorite beer of the summer if I don’t consider any of the beer I had in San Francisco.  Ithaca brewed this beer in limited distribution to pay tribute to this year’s Phish tour.  This is the perfect summer IPA, hands down.  I ordered a pint and a fish fry.  They did an upgrade on the fish fry since I had last been there.  This time, the fish fry came with a crab mac salad that was out of this world.  It was the perfect companion.  As a whole the fish fry comes with a piece of rye bread, crab mac salad (I think you have a choice of another salad, but I was so excited when they mention the crab mac, that I didn’t hear the other option), cole slaw, and Papa Jakes fresh cut french fries.

Three pints of Hop Stash later, and a full stomach, I was more than satisfied and I can’t wait to get another fish fry on an future Friday.  If you like a good fish fry, and you haven’t been to Papa Jake’s, you are missing out.
    Saturday we went to the Echo Art Fair at the Central Terminal, one of the most beautiful old buildings in Buffalo.  They hold events there to help fund its ongoing restoration.  There was a decent turn out and the artists where very diverse from photography and paintings, to sculptures and modern art.  There were some artists doing live paintings which is always interesting.  And at every art show, there was always one artist that stands out either it be good or bad.  In this case it was the bad.  There was an artist that did paintings of computer desktops.  Oh no I’m serious.  A beautiful painting of an excel sheet here, a deep and thoughtful painting of solitaire there, this stuff was ridiculous but really funny to look at.  I was actually approached by the artist while looking at them, and thankfully he didn’t seem to take himself all that seriously.  At least I don’t think….

We were able to catch a quick lunch inside the art fair courtesy of Potts Deli.  They are a Polish deli on South Ogden St. in Buffalo.  They were cooking up some fresh pierogi that we smelled as soon as we walked in.  Nicole and I are like basset hounds when it comes to sniffing out pierogi.  Delicious.

    This weekend we also went to the Taste of Buffalo and the da Vinci exhibit at the science museum.  I have pictures and some thoughts on those two things that you can read here throughout the week!  Thanks for reading and thanks for making Super Sweet Shirts #7 on the top 35 Urban Spoon Buffalo Blogs!

Papa Jake's Saloon on Urbanspoon

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