Share this article

print logo

Starters: Korean fried chicken, Concord tart at The Dapper Goose

After a soft-opening weekend, The Dapper Goose reopens with its full menu tonight, Sept. 7.

Here’s a few clues about what to expect when it reopens at 5 p.m., based on my Saturday night visit. The restaurant, at 491 Amherst St., was formerly Black Rock Kitchen & Bar.

Olean native and owner Keith Raimondi caused a stir in Philadelphia with his beverage program. I sampled three drinks made by bar manager Tim Leary, and enjoyed balanced, updated versions of classic cocktail forms.

Broken Garden Tools ($9) brought celery and green parsley notes to a gin-based garden party livened with a sprinkle of aromatic Moroccan spice. Manzanilla sherry added soothing richness to the house Gibson ($9), with a crispy pearl onion that had me wishing for a relish tray done with the same touch. The Hecklinger ($11) used amaro and Thai spice bitters to coax smooth worldliness from rye whiskey.

(From left) Keith Raimondi, Peggy Wong and John Beane lead the new restaurant. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Six wines by the glass ($7-9) included two Finger Lakes cabernet franc offerings, a red and a rose.

Dishes that caught my attention included blackened green beans with burnt onion aioli and pepitas ($7). It was a raucous vegetable number, smoky, still-crispy beans in black pepper dust atop spicy aioli sweetened with charred onion.

Blackened green beans in burnt onion aioli with pepitas, at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Cauliflower with Green Goddess dressing ($6) satisfied with deep-fried florets that had taken on a golden french-fry aspect. Dragged through dilly herbal dressing, this was compulsively munchable cauliflower.

Cauliflower with Green Goddess dressing at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Snapper ceviche ($11) with coconut and chiles was surprisingly tame, though undeniably fresh.

Red snapper ceviche with chiles at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Chicken liver mousse with cherry mostarda ($8) was rich and smooth, the cherry compote offering jammy fruit counterpoint.

Another charcuterie offering, country pork pate ($8), was studded with dried cherries and almonds, in a soft bacon wrapper. Sturdy housemade crackers, toasty like pita chips, coarse mustard and pickled onions completed the ensemble.

Country pork pate with dried cherries and almonds, at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Esquites ($8), a corn and mushroom saute, served with herb aioli, satisfied with crunchy corn kernels set against tender caramelized mushrooms, livened up with chile powder. Like a few other dishes, it was oversalted, possibly attributable to opening adrenaline.

There are five large plates ($13-$22). My favorite of the ones I tried was the Korean fried chicken ($15, pictured as lead photo).

A big bone-in chicken thigh was crusted more like Southern fried chicken than classic Korean, and doused in a sweet-spicy gochujang sauce with a whisper of sesame oil. It was juicy inside, yet crunchy-edged and piquant. Underneath was kimchi fried rice, not too greasy, and sharp-tongued pickled cucumbers to lighten through the heaviness.

This dish will not be $15 for long, I suspect.

Porchetta ($21), pork belly wrapped around loin and roasted, was well-cooked pork, crispy on the belly without drying out the loin. I wished it had more aromatic stuffing between the layers, and that the sauteed peaches served alongside were fully ripe.

Housemade fettucine with crab, corn and jalapeno ($19) was a luxurious heap of pasta with plentiful chunks of crab and cream, cut by scallions, fresh corn and a lively lick of jalapeno heat. A touch more al dente and it would’ve been perfect.

Housemade fettuccine with crab, corn and jalapeno at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Desserts included a housemade Rocky Road ice cream with marshmallow and almonds and chocolate. A Concord grape tart ($5) filled a crust shell with jammy deep-purple fruit, made of a seedless Concord variety that tasted like a Concord-blueberry hybrid, with edible skins that added welcome texture.

Buttermilk whipped cream with lime did a better job than regular whipped cream would have of keeping the sweetness from running amok.

Concord tart with lime buttermilk whipped cream, at The Dapper Goose. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

It was a promising start for a restaurant with potential. I look forward to returning to see what else The Dapper Goose offers as it locks in its Black Rock groove.

Info: The Dapper Goose, 491 Amherst St., 551-0716. Kitchen hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Bar hours are 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Email Andrew Galarneau at

There are no comments - be the first to comment