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Second Helpings

Buffalo Chophouse (Jan. 16) 282 Franklin St. (842-6900, Steaks are terrific, service is warm, but pricey menu gets ordinary fast. 8 plates

Mericana (Jan. 9) 80 Main St., Lockport (201-1859, Frog legs are just the first surprise on menu of upgraded American classics. 7 plates

Allen Street Hardware (Jan. 2) 245 Allen St. (882-8843, Nearly 10 years along, bar-cafe remains a neighborhood favorite. 6 plates

Brioso by Butterwood (Dec. 26) 5195 Main St., Amherst (828-8370, Flavors of Central, South America raise the bar on hotel dining. 7 plates

Teton Kitchen (Dec. 19) 415 Dick Road, Depew (393-3720, From tofu to grilled bacon jalapeños, menu offers myriad routes to happiness. 7 plates

Riverstone Grill (Dec. 12) 971 E. River Road, Grand Island (, 775-9079). Controlled richness, fine touches in dishes give diners reasons to head to Grand Island. 8 plates

Sun Restaurant Buffalo (Dec. 5) 1989 Niagara St. (, 447-0202). Transformed grocery offers window into glories of Burmese cuisine, Thai classics. 8 plates

J&L’s Boulevard Barbecue (Nov. 27) 697 Erie Ave., North Tonawanda (695-8888, Humble barbecue joint serves real barbecue and fire-blessed pizzas. 7 plates

Providence Social (Nov. 21) 490 Rhode Island St. (464-3786). Longtime West Side restaurant spot renewed with stylish renovation, ambitious menu. 7 plates

The Griffon Pub (Nov. 14) 2470 Military Road, Town of Niagara (236-7474, The gastropub has arrived in Niagara Falls with a huge beer list and upscale tavern menu. 8 plates

El Ranchito (Nov. 7) 9780 Main St., Clarence (320-5830). Unexpected dishes, big plates of hearty Mexican favorites at Clarence family spot. 7 plates

Mansard Inn (Oct. 31) 3365 Abbott Road, Orchard Park (828-1115, Old-school favorites, classic seafood dishes bring regulars back for reliable meals. 7 plates

Tappo (Oct. 24) 338 Ellicott St. (259-8130, Menu of updated red sauce classics raise the bar on family Italian dining. 9 plates

Spice Kitchen (Oct. 17) 438 Evans St., Willamsville (633-4800, Explore diversity of Indian regional cuisines for $13 at outstanding buffet/grocery. 8 plates

Tabree (Oct. 10) 4610 Main St., Williamsville (844-8477, Fine local ingredients, attention to details helps make restaurant one of WNY’s best. 10 plates

American Grille (Oct. 3) 7901 Seneca St., East Aurora (655-9757, Neighborhood hot spot packs customers in for menu of upgraded family favorites. 7 plates

Martin Cooks (Sept. 26) 346 Connecticut St. (259-9306, Interesting dishes, new-to-city concept of chef’s counter dining gives foodies plenty to talk about. 7 plates

Coco Bar & Bistro (Sept. 19) 888 Main St. (332-1885, Menu of bistro classics satisfies with fresh twists on old favorites. 7 plates

Miss Hot Cafe (Sept. 12) 3311 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (832-3188, Vast authentic

Chinese menu delivers delights of Shanghaiese, Sichuan cuisines. 8 plates

Gatur’s Ethiopian Cuisine (Sept. 5) 69 Allen St.(881-1832, Ethiopian family restaurant offers delights for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. 7 plates

Osteria 166 (Aug. 29) 166 Franklin St. (858-3118, New casual Italian place has potential to become a downtown fixture. 7 plates.

The Woodshed (Aug. 22) 5445 Transit Road, Amherst (276-8360, New Amherst barbecue outpost satisfies the family, not just the smokehound. 6 plates.

– Ratings based on 10 plates. Reviews by Andrew Z. Galarneau