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Genuine Spanish tapas scheduled for Amherst

Aro Bar de Tapas aims to bring the flavors - and a taste of the continental dining style - of Barcelona to Buffalo.

Amherst, more precisely, 5415 Sheridan Drive, in the Williamsville Place plaza with Black & Blue, Wok & Roll, and Mighty Taco.

Jeremy Horwitz has announced restaurant plans before, airing a Mercado upscale food court concept in 2014 based in part on community funding. Horwitz shelved the idea and returned donations in August.

This time, Horwitz has funding, and a signed lease. With construction yet to begin, Horwitz said, the plan is to open by the end of 2015.

He and others have been working on plans for Aro for most of a year, Horwitz said. "All of that work has not been to offer another Americanized version of something. It has been to give people who have had great food in Spain, and had great food in general, something that they haven’t already had around here a million times."

Horwitz and chef Scott Kollig toured Spain last year doing research, which informed the tapas and other dishes Aro will offer. He noted that there are no Spanish restaurants in Western New York.

"There are a huge number of people here who have never had a chance to try the true cuisine of Spain, things they have never known before," he said. "So there are two constituencies: people looking for something they’ve known before, and people looking for something different and fun."

Classic tapas on the menu will include gambas al ajillo (shrimp with garlic oil), croquetas de pollo (golden breaded chicken, mashed potatoes and cream), patatas bravas (fried potatoes with spicy and garlicky sauces), and montaditos (open-faced mini sandwiches). The planned menu includes other dishes including house-made desserts, and a full bar with a gin and tonic section.

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