OpenTable, a popular website and app that facilitates restaurant reservations, included a familiar name to Buffalo eaters on its "Top 100 Hot Spots in America for 2017."
Toutant, the Southern-inspired eatery owned and operated by James Roberts at 437 Ellicott St., was Buffalo's lone representative in a list compiled using data from over 10 million OpenTable reviews. Nine of the 100 restaurants come from New York, but the eight other than Toutant hail from the New York City area.
On OpenTable, Toutant boasts a whopping 677 reviews and a 4.6 rating (out of five) from recent diners, and 96 percent of its OpenTable customers would recommend it to a friend.
Roberts' restaurant is best known for its fried chicken, housemade cornbread, and whiskey and bourbon selections, but the restaurant's creativity - see its menus and food photos on Instagram for a taste - keeps customers booking tables. The Sunday brunch isn't bad, either, wrote restaurant critic Andrew Galarneau.
"Because of Louisiana-born chef James Roberts’ decision to plant his flag in Buffalo, on Mother’s Day I got to feed mom blue-collar classics she loves, made with fine-dining focus. You can get your mom roses. I took mine downtown for the best chicken and waffle brunch ever," Galarneau wrote last September.
Not every reservation-requiring restaurant in Buffalo uses OpenTable - for instance, a Buffalo-area search pointed to 64 restaurants with tables open on Friday - as there's a monthly fee for restaurateurs, and the site takes a small cut of each reservation.
Info: Toutant, 437 Ellicott St. Phone: 342-2901. Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday, Sunday brunch.