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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 pric…

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Daniels is a chef-owned restaurant once more. Executive Chef Scott Donhauser became sole proprietor in May, after buying out his other partners. “Business has been great and people are trusting us (to) do the things that Chef Daniel perfected over 23 years,” Donhauser said via email. The Hamburg restaurant, placed on Western New York’s fine-dining map by founding chef-ow…

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Daniels is holding a wine dinner on Oct. 19 and Oct. 26 of five courses and dessert for $95 plus tax and tip. Courses include smoked trout (potato latke, quail egg, dill, caviar crème fraiche) paired with Torres Sangre De Toro Garnacha, and roasted pheasant breast (mushroom pave, pomegranate glaze) paired with Row Eleven Vinas 3 Pinot Noir. (Chef Scott Donhauser's luxe b…

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One of my favorite dishes at Daniels, which I reviewed in today's Buffalo News, was the foie gras appetizer, above. When I read Chef Scott Donhauser's description, complete with Chanterelle mushroom bread "French toast," maple froth, a quail egg and drunken sour cherries, I thought it sounded complicated. Maybe too complicated. It worked together well on the plate, though…