We all know that when February rolls around, we're in the thick of the cold winter. In fact, just two years ago the Rochester area set an all-time record low for the coldest month there has ever been since records have been kept. Apparently the records books go all the way back to 1884, so if you do the math, you can understand that that's a lot of months to have to beat in order to set an all-time record.
Well enough preaching to the choir, we all know it's cold outside. "How do we warm up?" is the question. It's even more important to know where to go, so A. you don't freeze your behinie off, and B. so you can stay motivated to move around and enjoy your city for what it's worth.
Food, entertainment, and drink. That's usually what we're looking for, and not necessarily in that order. So here goes, a recent date night out in the East End for the Rochesteriat.
1. FOOD: Havana Cabana
Do you think of the Caribbean when you think of warmth? Well even if you're not one of the lucky ones that are jetting off south in the next few weeks, you can certainly get a taste of the tropics at Havana Cabana, right here in the East End. Caribbean, Latin American, and Cuban influence - with a whole lot of rum...there's over 140 rums to chose from to thaw out that frozen body of yours. Turns out there's "Pirate's Happy Hour" 4-6pm M-F and all day Sunday with BOGO drinks specials.
But enough of the drink talk, we came for the food. The portion sizes are huge, and we had leftovers to take home. Make sure to call ahead and make reservations, we learned that the post-holiday time here has been busy...like we were turned away the previous night for not having a reservation busy. Luckily we had a coupon in hand to redeem, because drinks, appetizers, and the main course would've sent us home sooner than we'd liked.
Total Cost: $45 for two w/ redeemed coupon; price includes tax and tip
Good to Know: If you're going to a show, Havana Cabana offers 10% off your total bill if you show them your tickets to Geva, the RPO, or the Auditorium Theatre.
2. ENTERTAINMENT: Eastman School of Music
After dinner, we usually want to go and relax somewhere we can enjoy what Rochester has to offer. Now, admittedly, we don't take advantage of this nearly enough in our city, but the Eastman School of Music offers access to some of the world's best musical talent, usually at a FREE pricetag, for the Rochester public.
During the school year, check out the Eastman Events Calendar for the latest information, and make sure you see the "All concerts are free unless otherwise noted." statement at the bottom. We definitely recommend trying a concert or recital at Hatch Hall, a less than 10 years-old stage that inspires concert-goers not only with its state-of-the-art acoustics and technology, but also its impressive modern design of the highest order.
Total Cost: FREE
Good to Know: Hatch Hall is a lesser known facility to the Rochester public than Kodak and Kilbourn Hall, but just as impressive. Enter on Main Street, directly across from the Metro YMCA.
3. DRINK: Java's Cafe (Gibbs Street)
Knowing that we couldn't bring any drinks into Hatch Hall for the recital, we saved grabbing a tea/coffee for last. And where else would you think to go after a beautiful evening out at Eastman? Java's Cafe, of course!
Come and sit amongst the musical talents that are honing their craft in our city and the professors and professionals that teach them. Oh, and also the artwork...you can't miss all of it hanging throughout the place.
If you really want to spice it up and warm your soul, you need to try the Aztec Mocha - get it hot, blended with espresso, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and chilies.
Total Cost: $10 for two drinks (w/ $1 tip)
Double Dog Dare Ya': Try eating the chilies if you're feeling saucy (not recommended).
Sign up here for our WEEKLY email to get the BEST/QUIRKY/FUNNY/COOLEST (etc.) things to do in our city!
Jason is co-founder of the Rochesteriat. Yup, I've done the chili thing...not my best day. Well, it kinda was, because I was on my first date - ever - with Stefanie. Yeah, I played it cool...Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.