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Explore the world of sake at Sato

Sato

Where: 739 Elmwood Ave. (931-9146, satobuffalo.com)

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, then dinner until 10 p.m.; also 5 to 10 p.m. Monday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday.

Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with $2 off draft beers (9-ounce pours excluded), $2 off glasses or carafes of sake, $2 off well drinks, $1 off glasses of wine, $1 off each sushi roll. Small plate specials $4 (five options).

Extra: BOGO Mondays includes glasses of wine, glasses and carafes of sake, draft beers and well drinks. Patio out front and in back.

By Emeri KrawcZyk

Special To the News

This ultra-modern Japanese restaurant was an exciting addition to the Elmwood Village in 2014. Owned by executive chef Satomi Sakai Smith and her husband, Joshua Smith, the sleek surroundings and the show that is Elmwood Avenue provide a delightful option for happy hour.

The bar is small, however don’t let that deter you. The payoff is big in drink and food choices.

While his wife is the master of the kitchen, Smith adds the title certified sake sommelier to his creds. It’s here you can explore the world of sake, including sake flights from its extensive list. Who knew sparkling sake or even “cloudy” sake existed?

Not into sake? No problem. Indulge in one of Sato’s Japanese-inspired concoctions, like a Nara Old Fashioned that combines whiskey, sake and spicy miso bitters. Or something lighter, like a Hibiki Tini, which features Hibiki Japanese whiskey with cherry brandy.

There are seven specialty drinks on the menu plus three options that rotate seasonally. And there is craft beer, too, including local breweries (five bottles and four on tap) as well as wine. Sato keeps things even with four reds and four whites. For those who like to get fancy, there’s a sparkling choice and one sherry.

Sato’s menu is perfectly aligned with happy hour indulgences, with choices from sushi and small bites (think delectable dumplings and spring rolls) to bowls of the chef’s famed housemade ramen noodles. The Shio Butter Ramen is refreshing and delicious.

We must confess, our fave is the addicting Kaki Pea mixture – teeny rice crackers with peanuts that have an unmistakable kick. The menu says, “perfect with beer or sake,” and we wholeheartedly agree.

Happy Hour: 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday

Types of sake: 41

Craft beers: 19

Specialty cocktails: 10

Patio

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