The newly opened Patina 250 Courtyard inside the Westin Hotel at the Delaware North headquarters is a must-see downtown destination for locals and travelers alike.
The chicly fashioned semi-covered outdoor space boasts an extensive features list coupled with a cocktail program and eclectic small plates menu that’s sure to satisfy anyone with a flair for adventure in their bar experience.
The courtyard is a mostly whitewashed atmosphere pecked with surprising pops of color that provide an eye-catching backdrop from nearly any vantage point. Blue-flamed fireplaces and spherical, glowing, matte-finish outdoor lanterns are nestled in the gaps of the plush patio furniture scattered throughout the landscape.
It’s a futuristic feel that’s capped by the casual offset of turf and brick flooring, invoking a comfortable yet sophisticated middle ground between backyard and bourgeoisie. Truthfully, the giant color-changing waterfall probably pushes it a bit further from backyard (at least mine, anyway).
[Related: Dining review of Patina 250 in the Westin]
If Instagram selfies in giant wicker cabanas aren’t your thing, there are a slew of other draws for those looking for more than just a pretty place to drink.
Lawn games like cornhole and giant Jenga are a great way to blow off some steam at happy hour, and the massive projection screen TV is in rarefied air as far as sheer sporting immersion is concerned in Buffalo. Or "Dancing With the Stars" … as was the case on my Thursday afternoon.
For those who consider themselves cocktail connoisseurs, the Patina 250 Courtyard libations rival, and in some areas surpasses, many of Buffalo’s existing options. Whimsical and artful composition, like the pairing of basil oil and Aperol in the Lady Bug, is the hallmark of a quality bar program.
In a group of three, we collectively tackled all six cocktails and I was consistently impressed with the caliber of the flavor and presentation in each, plus the value at the increasingly rare $10 price point applied across the board.
Favorites included the Lady Bug and Auld Hornie (pronounced just as it looks) that pairs the subtle smoke of Dewar’s Scotch with the bite of ginger beer and tartness of crème de cassis.
The Patina 250 Courtyard also serves a small selection of domestic and craft draft beer, a sizable list of wines by the glass, and two frozen drinks if you’re feeling beachy in the heat wave. Regardless of preference, they all feel pretty while you are elbowed up to the bar or laying in a cabana chair under the stars.
In the way of munchies, the Patina 250 courtyard serves a select menu all its own tailored to their particular motif. Shareable starters like flatbread pizza ($12), portobello fries ($12), and smoked wings ($13) are crafted with high-end flavors and designed to grab-and-go for the happy hour heroes up next on the cornhole board.
A separate and impressive segment of the spread, the rotating “Delaware North all-stars” menu puts eclectic options from Delaware North-managed properties and events around the globe on your plate.
From the fried cheese curds ($10) served at the Green Bay Packers’ Lambeau Field to the tuna poke ($15) served at the Emmy Awards Dinner, much like the space itself, it’s a truly unique and exciting experience that’s sure to entice all pallets and interests.
Address: 250 Delaware Ave. inside the Westin. (290-0600)
Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. weekdays, 2 to 11 p.m. weekends.
Scene: Fashionable and fun outdoor space with premium offerings in a business casual atmosphere.
Specials and entertainment: Options run regularly through the week from half-priced food items on Monday, half-priced wines on Wednesday, Happy Hour Specials from 4 to 7 p.m weekdays. Garden Parties featuring games, local musicians and more are from 2 to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Parking: Street, paid lot, and valet.
Don’t forget to: Take a load off in the cabana or play some cornhole if you’re the athletic type.