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LAST IMPRESSIONS: STEVE CALVANESO

Recipe for Calvaneso Capers

4 successful restaurants

1 ultimate shop providing clothes and spa services to men

Add dash of vision and large dollops of civic duty

Wrap in hip wardrobe

For 30 years, Steve Calvaneso has been treating the palates of Buffalo to good food, fine wine and inviting atmospheres. Guests lunch downtown at City Grill, visit the suburbs for the Cosmopolitan Grille, savor wine at Bacchus and dig into Creole cooking at the Ya Ya Bayou Brewhouse.

The man who started as a dishwasher and built these businesses is known to be as cool as a cucumber raita. This calm demeanor sets him apart from most restaurateurs (think Rocco DiSpirito and "The Restaurant").

Dealing with hot tempers in the kitchen may not be enough to prepare him for what awaits if he makes his expected announcement that he's running for mayor next year. He would be a reluctant Republican candidate, one who would rather focus on food than fund raising. But Calvaneso believes things have gotten so bad that it's going to take someone with no interest in a political career to dig the city out of its financial hole.

Lisa Haarlander

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