Come and Get It: 6.16.14

Buffalo Food

  • The web and social media blew up with the news that some of our favorite cocktail makers are making their own place in the North Buffalo location at 1455 Hertel Ave. Here’s the full story from Spree’s Christa Glennie Seychew.
  • Farmers’ markets are up and running, with more produce each week. They’re fully stocked with greens, and now herbs and strawberries and more join the tables, adding color, texture and flavor. What are the market options in your area? Check out Spree’s comprehensive list.
  • I have not always been a fan of fish fry. As a kid, it was an occasional treat in which my family indulged, but I went straight for the battered fried scallops. Humorously, I had no idea what I was eating for several years (starting from the time I could barely see the fish case where my dad brought me each Friday), but I loved those sweet scallops. Eventually, I developed a taste for a traditional British fish ‘n’ chips platter, but there are few options that fit that bill to my liking in Buffalo. I enjoyed one after the Manchester United game in London this spring, and counted down the days until I could get one from British Chippy, from the owners of The English Pork Pie Company, on opening day. I loved it. Check out Donnie Burtless’ “first bite” for British Chippy. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Places to Drink in Buffalo

What is the best bar in Buffalo? There are countless options for places to enjoy a cocktail or nice glass of wine in WNY. With the warm weather here, it’s the perfect time to explore the local bar scene, from happy hour favorites to late night hot spots.

Vera Pizzeria

220 Lexington Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222

The true delight of Vera is not its pizza, but rather, pre-prohibition era cocktails. For $10 apiece, you get what you pay for. Try going on a weeknight for happy hour if it’s your first time visiting, and then go back on a Saturday night around 11:00 p.m. Go early for your best chance at a seat. Finish the evening with some fare from the Black Market Food Truck, which visits most Saturday nights. Read the rest of this entry »

Salted Caramel Blackberry Brownies

Last weekend, I set out to make a new chocolate dessert for my family to share at our Memorial Day picnic gathering. An unusual one came to mind after a display of gorgeous blackberries caught my eye at the Lexington Co-Op: salted caramel + blackberries in brownies? Wow. I remembered pinning this recipe on Pinterest and thought the combination sounded delightful. It was not the salted caramel, but rather, the blackberries that caused me to earmark it for baking in the first place.

I’ve never put blackberries in brownies, but why not? I’ve made plenty of raspberry desserts with chocolate (one of my teenage dessert regulars: raspberry cheesecake with a chocolate crust) and even strawberries and chocolate, but blackberries don’t get the same cred. In this case, the results were worth sharing. While this dessert may not make the prettiest picture, it’s delicious. Sweet and salty, but not sugar sweet. An enviable texture that’s gooey and rich. Here’s the recipe as I made it: Read the rest of this entry »

Where to Eat: best restaurants in Buffalo

Buffalo has so many great restaurants for a variety of tastes and price points, it can be tough to choose. Here’s a quick rundown of the best spots to dine in and around Buffalo, New York:

Northtowns

Carmelo’s Restaurant

425 Center St., Lewiston

Seasonal, locally sourced ingredients are crucial to Italian cuisine, and Chef Carmelo Raimondi takes that principle to heart at his restaurant. Antipasti and beyond change daily on this restaurant’s menu, so go in with an open mind, and check their cocktail list for any seasonal specials. The risotto with butternut squash, sage and chestnuts is worth talking about long after the plate is gone. The sweet and savory flavors in the dish featuring day boat scallops are incredibly satisfying, or try the T-Meadow pork loin with maitake mushrooms.

Tabree

4610 Main St., Snyder, NY 14226

The talented Chef Bruce Wieszala joined Tabree last year and brought his inspired approach to prepare fresh, seasonal food made from locally sourced ingredients. Tabree calls upon Oles Farm, Painted Meadow, Benbrook, T-Meadow, Dan Tower, Winter and Flat #12 for wares. Some foodies know Wieszala for his COPPA Artisan Cured Meat line, so it is natural that the charcuterie plate boasts his house cured meat and accompaniments, and it’s an ideal way to start your meal. There are a variety of French dishes to please, but the bánh mì is consistently exceptional and hard to resist. Featuring glazed pork belly, pork pâté, pickled vegetables, cilantro and spicy mayonnaise, this sandwich packs a ton of flavor into each bite.

 

City

Five Points Bakery

426 Rhode Island St., Buffalo

The bread at Five Points Bakery is 100% whole grain, made from organic Isadora hard red wheat grown on Zittel’s Farm in Hamburg. It is stone ground into flour daily and nothing is extracted from the flour. Go for breakfast and enjoy the most delicious cinnamon rolls around, as well as amazing toast, paired with lovely accouterments, such as a free range hard-boiled egg and gruyere or Nutella and marmalade.

Hutch’s

1375 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209

Hutch’s is arguably “old Buffalo” dining at its best. Since 1985, the restaurant has been a fixture of the city, with a comfortable blend of classic steakhouse dishes and other approachable fare. While the ambiance differs slightly from the main dining areas to the bar, there’s an unmistakably high energy running throughout the place. It’s noisy in a fun and forgiving way. The menu offers many small plate options worth trying—consider getting a few and making a meal out of them. Try the simple and refreshing house smoked salmon appetizer, which is paired with apple, frisée salad and horseradish cream. A myriad of entrée offerings range from delicious sandwiches (the Pittsburgh steak sandwich or lobster club) to veal chops (herb marinated and grilled with baby Brussels sprouts, bacon and pear mustarda). Read the rest of this entry »

Come and Get It: 5.12.14

Buffalo Food

  • When you hear small batch artisan, take note. It might mean something special. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of trying Blue Table Chocolates‘ handmade truffles, get on it. I thoroughly enjoyed the little box of “Japanese Collection” truffles made in partnership with the staff from Sato. Black sesame, red miso and mint-green tea: all so different, yet collectively delicious. The black sesame was deep and nutty, while the red miso was smooth, milky and a touch umami. The mint-green was unlike the rest because it was white chocolate; I loved the filling, but the white chocolate was a bit sweet for my taste. I thoroughly enjoyed the array of flavors presented. I hope you’ll pop by Sato for a meal soon. Grab a box of chocolates to bring home before they’re gone.

Travel

Come and Get It

I’ve always enjoyed 101 Cookbooks’ periodic “Favorites” lists, and I’ve entertained including a similar feature on my blog. I’m taking the plunge and giving it a go to share tidbits of news about restaurants, recipes, media and more.

Buffalo Food

Travel

  • Sign me up, Tokyo.
  • I’m curious to try Cafe China in New York City: Apparently,they’re known for their duck tongues and Dan Dan Noodles (pickled mustard greens, minced pork, chili vinaigrette and more spicy goodness).

Recipes

Media

English Tea Time

I’m a tea snob. I don’t drink coffee, but I adore a good cup of tea. Unfortunately, a decent cup of tea seems even harder to find than a good cup of coffee. I enjoy loose tea leaves, but don’t discriminate against great tea in bags. I like a wide range of types, including green tea, chai and herbal varieties, and while many grocery stores now boast a large assortment to choose from, restaurants’ tea selections often still fall short. It’s fair to say I dislike the tea served at roughly 90% of the restaurants in Buffalo. Bigelow? Lipton? McCullagh? No, thanks. My biggest pet peeve is not that casual restaurants serve poor quality tea, but that fine dining restaurants serve some of the worst tea. What is that all about?

Recently I traveled to the land where tea time persists and tea options abound: London. I wondered before we left what I would find. Did their restaurants serve quality tea? Indeed, most everywhere we encountered did, and I was assured by as many spots to get a good cuppa as coffee shops. I’ve always been fascinated by English tea time. Growing up, if espresso and coffee weren’t served, we drank English tea with milk and a bit of sugar, yet as I got older, I gravitated toward tea that did not have milk, cream or sugar. Nevertheless, I stayed interested in traditional English tea, as I became intrigued by the trappings that go along with it — and not the cream and sugar. The mini sandwiches, the scones, pastries and dry cookies that come to life when dunked in tea, and all the lovely sweet and savory finger foods stacked artfully on a beautiful tiered serving dish. Clotted cream. Assorted jams. Dozens of teas from which to choose. Gorgeous china. It’s a production, elegantly presented and artfully prepared for the pleasure of the tradition. I was thrilled by what I experienced when I had afternoon tea in London.

Read the rest of this entry »