I admit I had my doubts. For the last 20 years, I had driven past the old Buffalo Asylum property at least twice a day. While I had seen construction work being done, I simply couldn’t imagine how anyone could renovate that building to make it into anything other than what it used to be.
Welcome to the Hotel Henry, newly renovated on the Richardson Olmsted Complex in Buffalo, New York. Our firm was going to have their holiday dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, 100 Acres.
While I had driven past the property many times, I had never actually gone into the complex. Thus, a few days before our scheduled event, I drove in on my way to work one morning. I was seriously unimpressed. Yes, that’s the old Psych Center (see top photo) – and what is that empty auxiliary building?
It was dark and drizzly that morning, but I found the darkness appropriate for the photos. What a creepy place for a Christmas event!
At least parking seemed adequate, which made me feel better. What the heck – I had eaten in a converted jail cell at a restaurant in Owego, let’s see what they’ve done with the loony bin (pardon my political incorrectness).
The event landed on my normal day off, so hubby and I drove in after dark. The “adequate” parking was no longer adequate – half of it had been cordoned off for valet parking, and the other half was full. We wound up parking on the street a distance away and hoofing it.
Guess what – a gap in the sidewalk from the street to the hotel. We had to walk in the street in front of vehicles which were pulling up for the valet parking.
One of which was my boss – good thing he didn’t run me over.
The above photo was taken from inside – I only include it because this is the third time recently that I’ve taken a picture and discovered when tweaking it that there is a face! Just to add to the creepiness, I guess.
The online reviews had indicated the restaurant is upstairs, without an elevator. Sigh. At least the stairs are a mild slope, and there is a landing halfway up.
Once upstairs, the awe began. The idea of dining in hallways seemed strange, but 100 Acres does it right.
(No photos of our own group as I didn’t want to ask permission to post them and no way in hell am I posting a current photo of me. Just sayin’).
When the rest of the group arrived, I learned that there is, in fact, an elevator. Sigh. But the additional exercise had probably done me good.
Many of the online reviews said the food is good but service is slow. We were in no hurry, and the food is cooked fresh so takes a little longer.
It took awhile to get the drinks and appetizers, but worth the wait. The online reviews all said “You must get the crispy potatoes!” We did, and the reviews were right. I thought they’d be like French fries, but they were beautiful little baby potatoes tossed in a light oil and then baked. Yum! The potatoes, scallops and other appetizers were so good that I forgot to take photos.
I did photograph hubby’s Organ Chicken Breast dinner, however:
I had the risotto. The photograph isn’t great, but the food was:
While I had been looking forward to discovering their desserts, I was unable to order any. One was a bourbon milkshake, and my digestion can’t handle hard liquor. The other three options all contained nuts. Damn my colitis!
During dinner, we watched various people going up the wooden staircase to the second floor (the elevator says the restaurant is the 1st floor, despite the stairs, go figure).
After dinner, a few of us decided to see what was up there. I forgot to take a photo of the stairs themselves, which had been beautifully restored, but I did photograph this hallway and its window:
Wandering around, I saw a sign that indicated an “art gallery.” How could I resist? The “gallery” itself was nice but hard to photograph. I did my best:
I know nothing about art so can’t attest to the works shown, but I assume they’re way beyond anything I could afford to buy.
Then, we all stepped beyond that room and around a corner, and my jaw dropped. My photographer’s heart began jumping up and down shouting, “This is it! This is THE shot! Take it now. Take it NOW!” So I did:
Isn’t that awesome? Can’t you just imagine two little twin girls standing at the end (ala Steven King’s Overlook Hotel in The Shining), perhaps dressed in ultra-modern clothing this time?
If I ever have an opportunity, I would love to go back to the Hotel Henry, have dinner and take more photos. The elevator was stunning, and there is an incredible private lounge which I couldn’t photograph because it was occupied – and while I don’t know if I would ever stay there due to its history, I would love to see the inside of some of the guest rooms.
Thank you for taking this little tour with me. If ever in Buffalo, NY, let me know. There are so many places I could show you.
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Images by Cordelia’s Mom