What restaurants would News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau recommend? Here’s 20. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

In three years and change, I’ve reviewed 173 restaurants in Western New York. (There are excellent places I haven’t reviewed yet, for which you have my apologies.) Of those, here are 20 places I recommend first.

I rate restaurants on a scale of plates, with 10 being my top rating. Plates are an indicator of overall happiness, with quality of food, service, room and price taken into account.

10 PLATES

Tabree (4610 Main St., Amherst, 844-8477) offers sophisticated treatments of quality ingredients from near and far, with polished service. Two chef changes since my 2013 review have not dimmed its luster.

[Get more info on Tabree from Galarneau's review, the menu and a gallery of the restaurant, its people and its dishes]

*****

Rue Franklin (341 Franklin St., 852-4416) had the finest dishes I’ve experienced, pleasing taste buds and eyes with precise technique and French-inspired plates.

[More of The News' coverage of Rue Franklin]

*****

Ristorante Lombardo also earned 10 plates from Andrew Galarneau. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Ristorante Lombardo also earned 10 plates from Andrew Galarneau. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Ristorante Lombardo (1198 Hertel Ave., 873-4291) subverts Italian-American clichés by hunting down local ingredients, making its own pasta and cured meats, and serving them with grace.

[More of The News' coverage of Ristorante Lombardo]

*****

Hutch's received 10 plates from its review in 2015. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Hutch's received 10 plates from its review in 2015. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Hutch’s (1375 Delaware Ave., 885-0074) has spoiled other places for many Buffalo steak and seafood seekers by delivering exactly what they want – from starters to dessert – again and again.

[More of The News' coverage of Hutch's]

*****

9 PLATES

Oliver's Restaurant has one of the best reputations -- both for its food and its training of future culinary stars -- among fine-dining eateries in Western New York. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Oliver's Restaurant has one of the best reputations -- both for its food and its training of future culinary stars -- among fine-dining eateries in Western New York. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Oliver’s (2095 Delaware Ave., 877-9662) offers excellent cuisine with creative touches, served with quiet efficiency in a metropolitan setting, from parking valet to cocktail piano to chocolates that arrive with the bill.

[More of The News' coverage of Oliver's]

*****

Downtown restaurant Bacchus received nine plates from Andrew Galarneau. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Downtown restaurant Bacchus received nine plates from Andrew Galarneau. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Bacchus (56 W. Chippewa St., 854-9463) works the border of upscale casual and fine dining with a knack for expected choices in unexpected settings. Here, a deep wine list coexists with a summer movie series.

[More of The News' coverage of Bacchus]

*****

One of the dining areas at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

One of the dining areas at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Salvatore’s Italian Gardens (6461 Transit Road, Depew, 683-7990) replaced dreary banquet fare with tuned-up Italian that transcends spaghetti, served with professional dispatch. The eye-popping décor still thrills glitz fans.

[More of The News' coverage of Salvatore's Italian Gardens]

*****

Bourbon and Butter is one of Mike Andrzejewski's restaurant located in Hotel @ the Lafayette. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Bourbon and Butter is one of Mike Andrzejewski's restaurant located in Hotel @ the Lafayette. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Bourbon & Butter (391 Washington St., 253-6453) serves an eclectic lineup – from fries to foie gras – that swings for the fences, seasonal inspirations, and the best craft cocktails in town, in a restored classic hotel bar setting.

[More of The News' coverage of Bourbon & Butter]

*****

Polish Villa II is the first Polish restaurant to appear in Galarneau's Top 20. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Polish Villa II is the first Polish restaurant to appear in Galarneau's Top 20. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Polish Villa II (1085 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, 800-2088) is a family restaurant serving spot-on Polish classics with housemade foundations in a classic room patrolled by efficient servers, at budget-friendly prices.

[More of The News' coverage of Polish Villa II]

*****

Mike Andrzejewski's Italian restaurant Tappo finds its way onto the top 20 list. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Mike Andrzejewski's Italian restaurant Tappo finds its way onto the top 20 list. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Tappo (338 Ellicott St., 259-8130) takes casual red-sauce Italian downtown with attention to detail, a relatively compact menu of upgraded classics, and a lineup of $15 bottles to keep the bill down.

[More of The News' coverage of Tappo]

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Here are 10 other reviewed restaurants I recommend often. Most received 8 plates. Some I rated 7, and later found them improved. All are worth a visit.

Elm Street Bakery gets the nod for inclusion in Galarneau's top 20. (John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

Elm Street Bakery gets the nod for inclusion in Galarneau's top 20. (John Hickey/Buffalo News file photo)

Elm Street Bakery (72 Elm St., East Aurora, 652-4720) doesn’t just make outstanding bread, it makes its own butter, championing truly artisanal local food with thoughtful, delicious choices from pizza through dessert.

[More of The News' coverage of Elm Street Bakery]

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The Black Sheep is Steve Gedra's restaurant in the West Side. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Black Sheep is Steve Gedra's restaurant in the West Side. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

The Black Sheep (367 Connecticut St., 884-1100) combines a committed carnivore’s skilled exploitation of local animals with an outstanding baker’s bread and desserts for a menu that draws inspirations from around the globe.

[More of The News' coverage of The Black Sheep]

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Martin Cooks is a restaurant on the first floor of the Horsefeathers building. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo)

Martin Cooks is a restaurant on the first floor of the Horsefeathers building. (Derek Gee/Buffalo News file photo)

Martin Cooks (346 Connecticut St., 259-9306) serves a fine-dining-level lunch with an ever-changing menu, the hottest Saturday brunch in town and a creative prix-fixe dinner whose theme changes weekly, all from an open kitchen.

[More of The News' coverage of Martin Cooks]

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Even though it hasn't been open long, Buffalo Proper has already broke into the top 20. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Even though it hasn't been open long, Buffalo Proper has already broke into the top 20. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Buffalo Proper (333 Franklin St., 783-8699) starts with creative cocktails then delivers the most relentlessly creative menu in town, offering a rare fine touch with vegetables and delicious experiments, along with great hunks of meat.

[More of The News' coverage of Buffalo Proper]

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Sun Restaurant specializes in Burmese and Thai cuisine, as well as sushi. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Sun Restaurant specializes in Burmese and Thai cuisine, as well as sushi. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Sun Restaurant (1989 Niagara St., 447-0202) has broken through the ethnic barrier to offer capable service and a menu of Burmese, Thai and Asian fusion dishes that are exotic enough to thrill but mild enough to satisfy timid palates.

[More of The News' coverage of Sun Restaurant]

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Craving was opened on Hertel by the former owners of Sample restaurant. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Craving was opened on Hertel by the former owners of Sample restaurant. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Craving (1472 Hertel Ave., 883-1675) leaves lunch, brunch and dinner crowds wishing they could order more from a menu based on housemade fundamentals like bread, pastas, cheese and charcuterie, with an emphasis on local meat and produce.

[More of The News' coverage of Craving]

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Rick's on Main in East Aurora boasts a building from the early 1800s. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Rick's on Main in East Aurora boasts a building from the early 1800s. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Rick’s On Main (687 Main St., East Aurora, 652-1253) is a place for splurges, not everyday dining. But this fine-dining veteran makes the calories count, balancing richness with precise cooking and lively flavors.

[More of The News' coverage of Rick's On Main]

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Daniels restaurant in Hamburg cracks Galarneau's list, too. (Buffalo News file photo)

Daniels restaurant in Hamburg cracks Galarneau's list, too. (Buffalo News file photo)

Daniels (174 Buffalo St., Hamburg, 648-6554) changed hands and started offering a slightly more adventurous fine-dining menu, but managed to retain its personable service and sumptuous cuisine.

[More of The News' coverage of Daniels]

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Oshun opened in downtown Buffalo in late summer 2014. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Oshun opened in downtown Buffalo in late summer 2014. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

Oshun (5 E. Huron St., 848-4500) offers an I-can’t-believe-it’s-Buffalo room with a creative seafood-centric menu that pushes the envelope, usually to good effect, and plenty of meat dishes for the sea-shy.

[More of The News' coverage of Oshun]

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Jaguar at the Bistro resides in Youngstown. (Buffalo News file photo)

Jaguar at the Bistro resides in Youngstown. (Buffalo News file photo)

Jaguar at the Bistro (110 Main St., Youngstown, 745-7141) has been luring city folk north with stylish, modern fine-dining dishes inspired by Mexican cuisine and drinks that defy tequila stereotypes.

[More of The News' coverage of Jaguar at the Bistro]

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

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