My husband and I were stopping in Erie and didn't want to frequent the normal bayside restaurants on the lakeshore. We found Pufferbelly in our AAA guide and were very glad we chose to eat there!
The restaurant is in the city's 1907 firehouse, and most of the memorabilia (including water carts, station bell, life net [with red target], hooks, hoses, etc) has been loaned from the Erie Fire Department's historical archives, so it is completely legit. Diners eat in what were the original bays for the fire trucks, and the pole is still present leading up to the firemen's quarters. The ambience is simply wonderful; the building and all its accoutrements have been lovingly restored and cared for, and show obvious pride in the vocations of both firefighter and restauranteur.
Our meals were delicious! We had the haddock and the crab cakes, and they were incredibly fresh and prepared with a culinary spin (a mustard sauce on the haddock and aioli chutney on the crab) that was quite tasty. Our waitress, Melissa, was friendly and solicitous. One of the regular patrons at the bar regaled us with stories of the firehouse, past and present.
The cost is a little on the high side of moderate, but you definitely get what you pay for. This is not food and preparation that you would find at your average restaurant. Thought has definitely gone into the menu, and it results in a delightful dining experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.