Late last summer, Mangia opened a rooftop terrace overlooking North Buffalo Street in Orchard Park. Much to our chagrin, summer was too far-gone to write a Bar Tab, so it went on this year’s list.
After many rain-kiboshed attempts, we finally picked an evening and went.
Entering from the back lot, stairs to the terrace are directly to the left.
Leaving our cares behind, we climbed to an oasis of calm, class and everything we wished our own penthouse deck (if we had one) was like.
Dark gray composite decking sets the tone and looks chic right off the bat. The sides of the gorgeous brick building create a somewhat “Secret Garden” wall feel. Built-in black propane heaters provide an industrial looking edge.
Sable brown outdoor lounge furniture (à la the Frontgate catalog we drool over) fills the space. Oh, we could envision many tête-à-têtes here!
A profusion of planters with hot pink petunias add a pop of color. Not a fan of the flower, I found myself wondering: Why not? They oozed class in this setting.
A few black wire tables and chairs are scattered, while chromelike stools line the handy shelf along the railing that runs along the front and looks down on the street.
Settling into soft lounge chairs near a slick, low silver table, we noted its middle was filled with funky glass stones. Very cosmopolitan (but little did we know the real purpose).
When in Orchard Park, have a martini. Or rather a “Flirtini.” (It’s not New York and “Sex in the City,” but a gal can pretend.)
Right off the bat, Mangia gets it right with service. Our man Jim was on the ball. He brought my Flirtini, promptly poured it and left the adorable shaker for me to pour as needed. Very sophisticated.
It was hot and humid, so we asked for water, too. Rather than scowling like many bartenders might, Jim brought us water and refilled it all night.
As a matter of fact, we never left the seats once for anything, other than a trip to the lovely tiled bathroom. We learned there are no bar stools at the bar because Mangia wants its guests to be waited on. Who isn’t totally down with that?
Drinks were refilled and food promptly served, complete with chic, rectangular white plates, real silverware and black linen napkins.
Mangia keeps the terrace bar simple and sophisticated. “Small bites” (tenderloin sliders, chicken sliders, toasted ravioli, calamaretti, hot peppers, shrimp cocktail, etc.) are $10. Specialty pizzas are $9. Desserts (profiteroles, tiramisu and a limoncello Flute) are $9.
Guests can piece together a very tasty evening without moving a muscle. Many did, including us. Napkins, share plates and silverware are supplied so you’re not left wondering what to do with your messy hands.
The crowd was mature, with low jazz in the background, lots of conversation and not a flat-screen in sight. And yet something was missing.
Where were the fire pits we heard about? Apparently, right under our noses, as the glass stones of our table hid the burners of the very modern fire pit.
Our fella Jim was kind enough to demonstrate how slick they look when lit. Alas, it was too warm to keep them running, but with the propane and fire pits, Mangia can keep serving well into the fall, as weather permits.
And if it starts to rain, Mangia’s indoor bar below is just as swanky and ready to serve.
We filed this tidbit away in case we need another dose of pampering and bliss in the ’burbs before summer is officially over.
Mangia Ristorante & Caffe
Where: 4264 N. Buffalo Road, Orchard Park (662-9467, www.mangiaristorante.com)
The Scene: Oasis of Orchard Park.
Attire: Spiffy summer.
Prices: Bottle and tap beer, $4-$6; drinks start at $4.75. Feature house wines and reserve wine list available. Ask about weekly drink specials.
Terrace hours: Opens at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; will be open through the fall. Regular restaurant hours are Monday through Saturday, open at 11 a.m., closed Sundays).
Extra: An ideal date location. Dinner below, drinks under the stars on the terrace if things go your way!