Share this article

print logo

Trattoria Aroma owner opening Amherst restaurant on North French Road

The Aroma group of Italian restaurants plans to open its third location in March, on North French Road in Amherst.

To be called Aroma on North French, the new restaurant, seating about 120, will be located at 4840 North French Road, said owner Dave Cosentino.

Work is still underway, and there is no firm opening date yet, Cosentino said. “We’ve got a wine dinner planned on March 9, a reservations only dinner. We’re still laying kitchen tile, though.”

After that dinner, “We’re going to evaluate and determine what we have to do, what we have to fix, and when to open,” he said.

The menu will be similar to Trattoria Aroma locations on Bryant Street in Buffalo and Main Street in Williamsville, he said.

So housemade pasta and brick oven pizza will be mainstays, plus dishes that are unique to the location, he said. “It’s going to be the same category and style of food, with some staple items in common among the three, but each chef will be able to come up with their own dishes.”

Santora’s Pizza Pub & Grill has leased the former Frog Hair Grille building on Transit Road in preparation for a June opening.

The company will close its present location at 7566 Transit Road, Amherst, and move half a mile north to 7800 Transit Road, said Scott Wexler, an owner.

It’ll have about 200 seats plus a banquet room that can hold about 120, he said. The present Transit Road location seats about 150.

Why move? The new location has better parking and easier access than the present spot, across from the Eastern Hills Mall, Wexler said. Frog Hair Grille closed in October. (Hat tip to William Scheu.)

Open: The former Fiamma luxe steakhouse on Hertel Avenue has been replated as BOSS, Buffalo’s Original Steak and Seafood.

It opened Feb. 13. Changes run deeper than the name and new gas torches outside, said Michael Vaccaro, now sole owner of BOSS (1735 Hertel Ave., 551-6499) and Bambino, 297 Franklin St.

The restaurant has been gutted and updated, Vaccaro said, the upstairs space has been renovated to make it cozier. The steak- and seafood-dominated menu has been brought down a notch in price, and now the $20-$45 entrees come with a side dish.

“Fiamma did very well back in its day,” Vaccaro said. “But it kind of lost its touch when it opened and closed, opened and closed. So I just felt like it needed a face-lift.”

Last chance to make it big on television: If you’ve never worked on a food truck, but would like to win a year’s lease on one anyway, here’s your one-in-a-million chance. A Toronto casting company is looking for pairs of contestants for a Food Network cook-off show and is taking applications through Thursday at - break a leg.

“We’re looking for two-person teams who have never owned or worked on a food truck before, who dream of having one,” said Sergio Alvarado of The Brunch Store, a casting company. “The prize in each episode is a one-year lease.”

So far applicants have ranged from trained chefs to home cooks, lawyers, teachers and accountants, he said.

It’s not clear when it will air, or who the host will be. It would likely run on Food Network Canada as well.

“We’re doing five cities, and we’ve already started filming in Miami. Then we’re doing L.A., Austin and Toronto as well as one Niagara Falls episode,” Alvarado said. It will include contestants from both sides of the border, as teams, vie in a Toronto studio and amid the tourist crowds in Niagara Falls, Ont.

The road to the Food Network starts with filling out an application, at, and sending a photo. Then there’s a phone screening. If they still like you, they’ll invite you to appear in person, on March 1. “We’ll bring a select few in for auditions in Niagara Falls,” Alvarado said. If you don’t have a passport or an enhanced license, don’t bother.

The deadline is Thursday, but the earlier you apply the better. “We schedule as applications come in. People who apply last minute might not get a chance if all the spots are filled.”

Vote for your favorite chicken wing: To mark the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo-style chicken wing’s genesis at the Anchor Bar, we’re looking for the rightful heirs to the chicken wing mantle. Choose your favorite at

Send your restaurant news to

There are no comments - be the first to comment