The location of this restaurant can be confusing, so here it goes. The Frog Grill, a standalone restaurant, is kind of tucked into a corner of Warren's Banquet Facility; the whole kit and caboodle has recently been purchased by Say Cheesecake, the well-nown bakery on Sheridan Drive.
And the restaurant has lost none of its coziness in the process.
It's comfortable and basically comprised of two rooms, one containing a bar. The rooms are adorned here and there with images of likable frogs in honor of the the name, of course. And -- before you ask -- yes, frog legs are on the menu, too. As far as I know, this is the only place hereabouts to offer these dainties on a regular basis, and they are prepared scampi style as an appetizer for $8.95.
Other appetizers include Hungarian Peppers Giambotti, sauteed with hot peppers, tomatoes, onions, green olives and cheese ($8.95). And do make note of some memorable Lobster Ravioli, served generously with a basil-accented cream sauce for $9.50.
Entrees tend toward the homey. Just snuggle right in. There's the Companion's choice, beef brisket ($13.95), for instance, which turned out to be a total surprise. The meat -- slightly dry -- was served in so much gravy it was almost a soup. Even the hearty mashed potatoes couldn't soak up all the liquid.
I much preferred my own meal. Pierogi well filled with portobello mushrooms, an evening special. The filling was a zesty one, although the enclosing pastry tended toward the heavy.
Other entrees include a highly recommended-by-friends Chicken Pot Pie ($12.85) and Meatloaf with a "better than your Mom's Gravy" for $10.95. There's also rack of St. Louis Ribs for $16.95 (half rack for $12.95). There's also a good selection of prime rib, steaks and pastas.
A little more contemporary perhaps are two other printed menu entrees: Potato Crusted Salmon Fillet, served with red potatoes and deli mustard sauce, and the Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna with ginger-infused rice (both $18.95).
Salad comes with most dinner entrees here -- the house salad, that is. I'm not quite sure why they charge an additional $1.95 for what is described as a "Small Caesar." And a similar charge of $1 for blue cheese on the house dinner salad (sold un-cheesed for $3.50) seems to have become an epidemic among many restaurants of late. It's usually not the expensive stuff, and I happen to think the charge is chintzy.
Did somebody say something about dessert? Well we're going to have cheesecake, needless to say. In this case Butter Pecan Cheesecake. Not bad, but it lacked that decadent mouth feel. Wanna bet it came straight from the freezer?
Better, much better, was something called a S'More Pie. Very sweet in the best Boy Scouts tradition, and composed of lots of graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Was it good? Well of course.
To say we didn't love it would be un-American.
WHERE: 561 Main St., Tonawanda (694-3700). It has recently changed ownership, but this restaurant is still cozily tucked into the Warren's Banquet Facility. Credit Cards: American Express, MasterCard, Visa.
FAVORITE DISH: Portobello Pierogi NEEDS WORK: Beef Brisket
PRICE RANGE: Dinner entrees from about $11 include salad. SERVICE: Very good NOISE LEVEL: Moderate HOURS: Lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday
HEALTHY CHOICES: Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna, Grilled Chicken Breast
WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes
PARKING: There's a lot across the street. KID APPEAL: Older children will like it.