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Quality drinks with a view from Panorama on Seven

Oh, we have always wanted to look down on the little people, and now we can at the Panorama On Seven in the spiffy Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter.

The view encompasses the beauty that is Canalside, Lake Erie and unfortunately that ugly Skyway. Alas, one cannot have it all.

Reaching Panorama on Seven from the street is tricky. Located in the Marriott lobby, the elevator is marked “L” which is really the seventh floor. Then we got confused leaving. How to get back down? Do some elevators only go up? (Maybe you can you check out anytime you like, but never leave?) We momentarily felt like Rapunzel locked in a tower.

The smallish bar is part of the overall dining space that is mostly all windows. The decor is gorgeous with soothing monochromatic tones. Dark wood tables and chairs warm up the space, as do puffy couches and lounge chairs.

Televisions are embedded in the bar’s pillars, but don’t lean back in your barstool to catch that play on Sports Center. The low backs had us envisioning someone (really us) flipping out!

But to the drinks. It’s a hotel. They aren’t inexpensive (nor discounted for any happy hour). Don’t let that deter you. The space is really excellent. Think Quality with a capital “Q,” not quantity.

The cocktail menu is fun with its Prohibition pictures. Prices range from $12 to $14. A French press Hot Toddy for Two clocks in at $18.

It seems only right to sip something dignified here, like a bourbon Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Classic cocktails include the New Orlean’s favorite – the Sazerac made with Peychaud’s Bitters. The French Connection pays homage to the famed hockey trio and mixes Pisco (a South American brandy) with lime and a kick from the French espelette pepper.

Can we take a poll – when was the last time anyone saw Crème De Violette in a drink? The Aviation uses it, along with gin, lemon and maraschino. (All cocktails use fresh-squeezed juices.)

Wines by the glass are called Grape Pours (sniff), and come in 3-, 6- or 9-ounce sizes, ranging from $4 to a whopping $30 per glass.

Four tapped beers include Big Ditch IPA as the local choice. Better bottled beers “Capped” include the likes of Ommegang, Rochefort Ten, etc.; “The Regulars” include the Buds of the world and One Buffalo. Beers run $5 to $10.

The menu features a little of everything especially conducive for eating at the bar. Here you can nibble on a dish the same price as your cocktail. Guests get the full linen napkin, silverware treatment.

From “Snack/Nosh” find things like Ahi Tuna in a coffee crust with blackberry cabernet sorbet and lemon crème fraiche ($13) or Mediterranean Trio ($9) with lemon garlic hummus, marinated olives and olive tapenade.

More substantial are the “Handhelds,” like a Turkey Avocado BLT ($12), but we recommend the Steam Buns ($11) from the “Sharable” section. Smoked chicken with Buffalo sauce, blue cheese and celery slaw or pork belly with pickled cucumbers and Sriracha aioli are just darling when they arrive in a bamboo steamer.

And while we noted you cannot have it all, you can at least come close with a doughnut in the sky. Technically listed in the cocktail menu, the scrumptious bourbon fried doughnuts come with a salt caramel dipping sauce. The perfect ending to a fairy tale visit.

Panorama On Seven

Where: Buffalo Marriott HarborCenter, 95 Main St. (852-0049)

Hours: Breakfast served 6 to 11 a.m.; lunch and dinner is 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with the bar open later.

Scene: A room with a gorgeous view.

Showtime: What do Canalside concerts look and sound like up here?

Dress: We wouldn’t dare go any lower than business casual.

Wheelchair-accessible: Yes