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At Salvatore’s, the Chandelier Bar is a destination

Like many fine-dining establishments, the iconic Salvatore’s Italian Gardens Restaurant has recognized the value of catering to folks who want to stay at the bar. Unlike the past, bars are no longer a place to wait for a table, but a destination. Salvatore’s newly renovated Chandelier Bar is such a place.

With lots of swanky updates, it has a modern, classy Vegas-like atmosphere including its own menu, tables and full service.

Once horseshoe-shaped, the new bar has angles that create more seating with lots of comfy bar chairs. One of the slickest features is its custom-built, translucent-lit onyx top. Below, a tufted covering changes color to enhance the mood. The centerpiece — the chandelier — is a modern crystal interpretation. Porcelain tile floors and table seating complete a contemporary yet cozy atmosphere.

As expected, drinks here are good, whether the bartender whips up a classic Old Fashioned or one of Chandelier’s specialty martinis, which are half-off on Mondays. Pretend you are in a James Bond movie and order the Traditional Gin Martini (although Salvatore’s comes stirred, not shaken). And is the Italian Wedding Cake martini a salute to the wedding reception mecca? Perhaps.

We suggest warming up with a Fireside Cocktail. With yum factors like Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Courvoisier VSOP, you can’t go wrong. Craft beers and a very good wine list are part of the complete experience, too.

Friday’s happy hour is a good one and features buy-one, get-one drinks and $10 flatbreads. Crumbled Meatball and Caramelized Blue (caramelized onions, crumbled blue and mascarpone cheese) are two of the choices.

Tuesdays are another good day to visit. Drinks aren’t discounted, but a special $12 dinner at the bar includes five choices, like Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce or Chicken Parmesan Arrabbiata.

We know Western New York is full of fantastic bars, but sometimes it’s the old standbys that come through, especially during the holidays when meeting up with friends and family requires a place with a little something extra special.

The Chandelier Bar at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens Restaurant

Where: 6461 Transit Road, Depew (683-7990, salvatores.net)

Chandelier Bar hours: 5-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Happy Hour: Friday is buy one-get one drinks and $10 flatbreads.

Scene: Old-school, classy Vegas.

Daily specials: Half-price martinis on Monday; half-priced wine bottles under $100 on Wednesday.

Food note: The Chandelier Bar has its own menu that includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, burgers, a few entrees and “minis” like Italian Truffle Fries or Stuffed Olives.

Décor note: Sleek but with the addition of holiday décor.

Fashion note: Spiff it up. Getting dressed up can work wonders for the soul.

Yum: Chandelier Bar Burger made from tenderloin and short rib meat from Pat LaFrieda, a famous meat purveyor.

Extra: Live music Fridays and Saturday (see listing online). Televisions tuned to sports.

Accessible: Yes.

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