Dos Amigos will start serving its extensive Mexican menu of food and drink to the public in a soft opening that begins June 6.
The lakeside restaurant at 3800 Hoover Road, Blasdell, was formerly The Dock Waterfront Bar & Grill, and for decades before that, Dock at the Bay. Angelo Canna and Jay Pasquarella, owners of Lucia's on the Lake in Hamburg, bought the business this spring.
The redone verandas offer room for more than 100 customers to enjoy unbeatable waterfront views with couches, fire pits and Adirondack chairs, Canna said. The Dos Amigos menu, from Lucia's chef Alex Diaczenko, goes far beyond bean-and-rice plates to offer upscale tacos and specialties from several regions of Mexico.
Entrees include cochinita pibil ($22), roast pork in Yucatecan spices braised in banana leaves and roasted whole red snapper Veracruz style in tomato chile sauce ($22). Roasted poblano enchiladas ($15) include adobo chicken covered in poblano cream and Oaxacan black beans with avocado leaf.
Tacos include standards such as pork carnitas, steak and braised beef ($12 for 3), and more exotic versions such as roast-pork-centered banh mi tacos ($14) and fried shrimp in bangarang sauce, a spicy mayonnaise ($14).
Small plates include chiles en nogadas, roasted poblano pepper stuffed with pork and fruit filling and covered in walnut cream ($11). There's also elote, spiced grilled corn with cheese and mayonnaise ($6) and shrimp cocktail in tomatillo-chile sauce or roasted tomato sauce with radish and avocado ($12).
Drinks include flights of margaritas (original, blueberry, strawberry, pomegranate) and custom cocktails.
Canna warned that since the restaurant is in soft-opening mode, the operation will not be up to full speed. But he expressed confidence in the Dos Amigos staff, built from Lucia's veterans leading a core of new workers.
"This is going to be a great place," Canna said. "We know how important it is to come out swinging."
Kitchen hours: 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Phone: 823-8247.
The structure at 9105 Sheridan Drive, which was last Emily's, was "a disaster inside, and wouldn’t fit our needs, with limited seating," said Richer. "We just want to do new, and do it right."
Demolition took place last month. Richer and partner Bernie Kolber are working with their architect to fine-tune plans for the new place.
"It's going to be a rustic pole barn type of place, all post-and-beam interior, like the places I love down south," Richer said. "It's going to be a barn, basically."
Inside, it'll seat about 90 people, cafeteria style, at picnic tables and community tables. A bar will seat about 10.
Richer said he'd like to have bands play there, but won’t be open late. "This is really just going to be a down-home joint, nothing fancy."
In the meantime, the barbecue sandwiches that started it all are still available at Richer's roadside stand, 9840 County Road, Clarence. "I'm hoping this will be my last year out here at this location," he said.
If all goes well, he said, the new place should be open in April 2018.
But it's going to be another two months or so before customers can eat inside the restaurant at 395 Delaware Ave., said owner Chris Vendetti.
An electrical fire in a storage room produced foul-smelling smoke that permeated furniture, walls and floors inside the space, he said. "So pretty much everything has to be gutted."
That work will probably take two months, he said. If all goes well, he hopes the dining room can reopen in late July or early August.
In the meantime, the restaurant's full menu of sandwiches, salads and sweets has been available, by takeout and delivery, since May 30. If customers like, they can eat at patio tables outside the restaurant, Vendetti said.
"Today the patio was full," he said Wednesday. "It was great to see people coming back."
Vendetti also wanted to thank his neighbors for helping him and his business weather the fire. Neighbors offered facilities and support that made a difference, he said.
"It was nice to see all the assistance, any help I might need," he said. "It was most appreciated, customers showing not only love of my food, but love for me as well."
Balkan Dining hiatus: Balkan Dining, the Bosnian sausage specialist of Tonawanda, is taking two months off.
Senad Soteli said his restaurant, 687 Kenmore Ave., will reopen Aug. 4.
A new baby in the family and upcoming kitchen renovations made this a good time to close his doors and recharge, Soteli said. "We needed a break anyway."
Send restaurant tips to email@example.com and follow @BuffaloFood on Instagram and Twitter