When one visits the Enchanted Mountains, located in the Cattaraugus County of Western New York, you wouldn’t think there’d be such amazing dining options in this Western New York County. SURPRISE. There’s some top notch dining in the area, and I’ve found the best dining options close to the Enchanted Mountains!. They’re located in Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, and you don’t have to be a guest to eat at any of these locations!
Best dining options in Allegany New York
Seneca Cafe in Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
As soon as you walk up to the hostess at Seneca Cafe, you definitely feel welcome. Seated immediately, which meant a good chance to read through the menu to see what was available. Our server came by to get our drink order, and gave us a bit of time to choose our food. She passed by again, and let us know she’d be right over to take our order, and tended to a few other tables of guests in need of paying their bills.
Once she got our order, we got our food quickly. I’m a simple girl, and this all made me happy to experience. Definitely put me in a good mindset for the start of a busy, but fun, week in Western New York.
After a long, crazy GPS malfunction led drive from Long Island to the Enchanted Mountains area of New York, hunger’s a top priority! Luckily, most places at the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, are open until a decent hour. Seneca Cafe happens to offer a wide variety of food options! It works out well for those later evening cravings. It’s awesome when you’re aching for something snack-like, but not an actual “meal” while your travel mate wants an actual meal, and you’re dining together.
It’s akin to what I’d consider a diner: lots of options available from open to close. Sondra had a soup and sandwich, or a half sandwich, kind of thing, to satisfy her hunger. Me? As soon as I saw nachos, I was all in.
One thing that stands out about the nachos? HUGE portion. It’s considered an appetizer, so one table of people share the dish. Being famished, I ate the entire thing on my own.
What also sticks in my mind is how fresh it all tasted. Chips were perfectly crunchy, not soggy or stale.
- Meat: seasoned with all the right nacho flavors I’d expect from a top notch restaurant in New York City, but this was up in Western New York!
- Sour cream: chilled to my liking. Creamy.
- Peppers: fresh, and definitely added the kick I love when eating nachos.
Even the cheese, which I figured would be something from a can, didn’t taste like it came from a can. I have no idea if it’s made from scratch, but it tastes like it’s made from scratch. All the elements tasted fresh, and looked gorgeous. Big fan, and honestly, any chance I get to visit Seneca Cafe again, I’ll be ordering the nachos.
Patria in Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino
Two nights. Two different tables. Three different servers. ALL FANTASTIC. Our first night with Jerri Ann was a dream. She’s a top notch server, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Then, we had Chelsea, along with a server she was training, on the second night at Patria. Chelsea was fantastic, and you’d never know the server she was training was IN TRAINING. Just, spot on with service.
Each server knows the menu, and is well-versed in the wine lists, as well. The fine dining room manager, Joseph, can match anything on the menu with the perfect wine selection. Definitely ask to meet him if you’re dining at Patria, and ask him his top choices for your meal, and wine choices. He won’t lead you astray, I promise.
Fried Calamari is on the appetizer menu. I’ll give you one guess what I ordered? I always test out the fried calamari when it’s on the menu. It’s the best way to see if the chef knows how to season things properly, as well as balance the fine art of frying. When things are fried right, there’s no dripping of oil down my chin. It should also be light, and not heavy. Basically, you shouldn’t end up with a layer of oily, fat inside your mouth. Let’s say the chefs at Patria know how to fry, and season perfectly.
Sondra, from Happy Healthy Hip, ordered the special offered on the first night: Scallops with Risotto. All I can comment on is how pretty the dish looked, and she gave the dish a two thumbs up. She also went on and on about the risotto, and how well the scallops were cooked.
Since we spent two nights at the restaurant, the following night we changed our appetizers up. I went for the Stuffed Peppers. If you’re a fan of a little spice in your food, these are perfect. I devoured both peppers, and loved every bite. Each pepper is stuffed with cheese, and plated with a house made sausage. If you can’t handle a little heat in your food, stay away from this appetizer. I, however, thought it was the perfect start to my evening.
Sondra went for a Beet Salad. It looked pretty, and since she’s a big fan of beets, she loved it. I can tell you, the dish was empty when it was taken away to make room for our entrees! It was light, bright, and she happily devoured it.
I’m not a huge sea food lover, but in honor of my mother, I had to try the Shrimp Scampi. Our server told me the portions are rather large, and pointed to another table to show me the size of the regular portion. I went for the half dish sized entree, and it was huge. Four gigantic shrimp. A huge mound of pasta. Garlicky, awesome broth. I ate the entire thing. I’m not sure I spoke to my table mate the entire time. My gosh, the shrimp. I still think about them.
When you dine at Patria, it’s a ala carte menu. You pick your entree, and sides, from separate lists. Our first night, I ordered a side of Asparagus. It can be four people’s side dish, the portion’s so big. After a huge portion of pasta, I ate a few of the side dish. Fresh, perfect little snap to the veggies, and the cheese on top gives it a bit of salt to balance out the perfect bite.
Oddly enough, on our second night, meat cravings kicked in for me. I had to try out the Filet Mignon. It could have been cut with my fork, no knife needed. I love having it as red as legally possible, and the chef delivered. Nestled on a fried polenta sticks, it definitely filled my meat craving in the most decadent of ways.
Of course, one cannot go to Patria and not order an Italian staple: risotto. Plenty of options to choose from on the side dish menu listing, and I was torn, but finally I went for the Mushroom Risotto. It’s easy to mess up risotto, but I can assure you, Patria does risotto perfectly. Just the right amount of creamy, balanced with hearty mushrooms. As stuffed as we were from our entrees, we kept dipping into the risotto, but on our second night we HAD to get a dessert. But I want to eat a huge plate of that risotto when I return, for sure.
All time favorite Italian dessert? Yup, I’m a boring one. I can’t get enough of Tiramisu. I convinced Sondra we had to try it out, because, well, Patria being an Italian place, the Tiramisu is a must try. Good thing we shared it, because the portion was huge. Oh my gosh, such a rich dessert, and worth every penny spent on it. We went back and forth about how stupid we were not to order it the first night, just to have as a late night snack when our bellies were ready for a little sweetness! DANG IT. Lost opportunity on the first night, we made up for on the second night!
The Park Restaurant at Red House Lake in Allegany State Park
When you’re heading out to experience the third largest National Park in the country, make sure you plan to have lunch at The Park Restaurant at Red House Lake in Allegany State Park. Not only can guests eat inside, but also outside on a patio overlooking Red House Lake. It’s a beautiful setting, and we were treated well by the staff. It was a bit drizzly upon our arrival, so we chose to eat inside, overlooking the gorgeous lake from a large window by our table.
The Park Restaurant is located at the administrative building, so you must enter the park in order to eat at here. The downside? If you want to head there just to eat, you’ll have to pay an entrance/parking fee of $7 to be able to head up to the administrative building. Which isn’t a crazy fee, but just something to be aware of. I’d definitely make a night of it if heading there for dinner, or a day of it, if you’re hoping to have lunch up there.
The park is INSANELY beautiful, and there’s tons to do there, like renting paddle boards, and more.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m sure there’s plenty on the menu, but as soon as I saw the burgers, I knew that’s all I wanted. My lunch mates felt the same way, so all three of us ordered up burgers, and lemonade. All I will say is: get a burger when you’re at The Park Restaurant. Huge burger, with fresh ground beef, and fresh ingredients. If you’re a bacon lover, get the one with bacon on it. OH MY GOSH, one is just not enough.
What I was a little disappointed in? Fries. They weren’t great. I’d ask for a sub for those. Definitely try the lemonade, too. I loved it. We got ones to-go. Good lemonade isn’t as easy to find as one would think, so I take advantage when I find it. The Park Restaurant does many things well, burgers and lemonade are two of those things!
Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC)
A popular town about 20 minutes from Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, my host hotel, is a quaint town, Ellicottville. It’s a great spot to find shops, locals, and quite a few restaurants. Ellicottville Brewing Company, also known as EBC, is a great spot to grab drinks, and food. My favorite part of the place is the option to eat outside, or inside. A great bar sits in the middle of the location, half of it is inside, and half sits outside.
If you want to sit at the bar, or at a table, the service is fantastic, either way. While there, a downpour occurred, and one server popped one of the huge table umbrellas out of the table, and walked guests from the gorgeous outdoor patio, inside to the main restaurant. Service like that is unheard of, but it happened right before my eyes. It says a lot about an establishment when servers go out of their way for patrons.
I’m told the food is fantastic, but I can only speak on their cocktails. After an afternoon of climbing through trees at Sky High Adventure Park, a cocktail hit the spot. Pirate’s Cove cocktail, to be specific. Rum cocktails are my favorite, and the bartender picked the perfect one to quench my thirst!
Thunder Mountain Buffet
Though I didn’t have a chance to sample the food at Thunder Mountain Buffet at Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, I was able to visit it to check out the many options available to guests. If you’re looking to feed people with DRAMATICALLY different tastes, the Thunder Mountain Buffet is perfect to make everyone happy. It offers American, Asian, Seafood, and more. If a guest in your dinner party can’t find something to eat at Thunder Mountain Buffet, they’re just out to be difficult.
Heck, there’s even an entire area with just desserts!
The food at Thunder Mountain Buffet visually appealed to my stomach, and after eating at Patria, and Seneca Cafe, I can say without any doubt, Thunder Mountain Buffet is a great option filled with great food at a great price. Go for it. The desserts alone are worth it. And, hello? Look at this mound of shrimp!