Pretty in pink. That's Suzanne's Fine Dining, a large and busy food complex on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Wheatfield. There are banquet facilities and a busy bar that just sort of ramble on, but the dining room is unique for its blushing walls and white tablecloths. A friendly staff is well-trained and efficient.
Much work has gone into the menu here. You find the standard popular entrees all right, but they all have their party clothes on. Interesting sauces and accompaniments help to take them out of the ordinary.
Some cases in point: Grilled Swordfish with a warm Tequila Lime Sauce ($17.50) and Pork Chops with a Maple Pecan Glaze ($15.95). This menu makes for really good reading.
Not only that, Suzanne's has entered a fair number of competitions as the years have gone by and done pretty nicely, too. This winner gets top billing: the Bacon Wrapped Shrimp, for instance -- large crustaceans stuffed with deviled crab and wrapped in you-know-what won both the People's Choice Award and the Best Food Award at the 1998 Taste of Buffalo. We ordered them as part of the Suzanne's Sampler Appetizer Platter for Two at $10.95.
The shrimp were very good, certainly, but we liked other components of the platter just as well: exceptionally tasty Stuffed Mushroom Caps (much more enjoyable than boring numbers that you usually encounter in other restaurants), good Clams Casino and calorific Artichoke Hearts with a creamy Cheddar Cheese Sauce. That platter can also be ordered for four diners at $16.95 and is an economical way to taste what the house offers.
Moving on to the entrees now, another competition winner is a Taste of Buffalo champ in the Best Meat category. Grilled Sirloin with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce was a little better done than ordered, but certainly tender enough. And full-flavored, too. The rich sauce was served on the side at my request, and I found I needed very little of it. The French fries, by the way, were terrific.
The Companion ordered the Veal Chop ($23.95) and got a thickly cut rib chop that had been sauteed with a bit of smoked ham and mushroom. A rich sauce accompanied. Very tasty, although the meat had a moister, softer texture than it might have if the chop had been grilled. Still, good eating.
One off-putting dish was the a la carte Asparagus with Hollandaise suggested by our server, a good salesman indeed. The vegetable was fresh but totally limp. Steam tables don't work well for vegetables.
Desserts are presented on a tray. Both the Bread Pudding and the Cappuccino Chocolate Torte were very sweet, we noted.
Other entree choices include Crab-Stuffed Haddock topped with Orange Hollandaise ($15.50) and a $17.95 Greek Steak, a New York Strip topped with spinach, fresh tomato, feta cheese and black olives.
SUZANNE'S FINE DINING
WHERE: 2843 Niagara Falls Blvd., Wheatfield. (694-6562) Busy, comfortable restaurant with a varied and interesting menu. Credit cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa.
FAVORITE DISH: Sampler Appetizer Plate.
NEEDS WORK: Asparagus.
PRICE RANGE: Dinner entrees from $14.95 include salad and vegetable.
SERVICE: Very good.
HOURS: Lunch, every Thursday. Dinner, Tuesday through Saturday, 3 to 9 p.m.
HEALTHY CHOICES: Grilled Swordfish, Chicken and Artichokes.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes.
PARKING: In the lot.
KID APPEAL: Children's menu.