Silly us, we mistook Fíero to mean “fire.” Our high school Spanish teacher is no doubt turning in his grave.
Loosely translated as “fierce or wild,” we offer a compromise. When the “fierce and wild” winds begin to blow, we recommend heading to Fíero to pretend that Buffalo is a balmy Mediterranean country like Morocco.
Key to the Fíero experience is the fabulous stone fireplace and tiled brick oven. While adding to the chic atmosphere, both will undoubtedly provide welcome warmth for those seated along the sleek granite bar.
The front window is filled with hot weather plants like jade, cactus and succulents and exotic guitar music plays in the background. If only Antonio Banderas with his “Puss In Boots” voice tended bar.
As one would imagine, a Mediterranean restaurant like Fíero offers a large selection of wines by the glass and bottle. But there are also specialty drinks; plenty of them range between $8 and $9. Sip a Salvador Dali made with Tanqueray gin, honey, simple syrup and lemon, or a Moroccan Ruby made with Absolut Ruby Red, grapefruit and cranberry.
Bottled beers include the usual suspects along with a Flower Power IPA from the Ithaca Beer Company. Taps are limited to five, with seasonal choices from Sam Adams and Great Lakes Brewing, along with Flying Bison Rusty Chain, Big Ditch IPA and Stella Artois.
Food is where the bar excels, as the Mediterranean slant makes it extra special. Brick-oven pizzas provide excellent combinations like the Napoli ($12) made with red wine-braised pork, Calabrian chiles and olive oil. Or the wild mushroom ($12) topped with Fontina cheese, arugula and truffle oil. About 10 inches, one pizza works nicely for two.
Appetizers are perfect for picking, like an olive platter ($10), assorted croquettes ($12), crab orange chive beignet with a sherry pea sauce ($13) or artichoke Francese ($9).
One item we recommend is the Bastilla ($10), a take on Morocco’s famous chicken pie. Named best appetizer at the Taste of Williamsville in 2015, the crispy phyllo triangles feature spiced chicken, onions, raisins and pine nuts, served with green tomato cumin sauce. The perfect combination of sweet and savory with the slightly tart, spiced sauce.
With no immediate plans to jet off to Spain or Greece, we’ll settle for a lovely night out at Fíero, sipping wine as we practice rolling our “r’s.”
Where: 408 Evans St. (Evanstown Plaza), Williamsville (631-4090)
Hours: Open daily at 11 a.m. Closed Mondays.
Happy Hour: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Half-off house wine, well cocktails, select martinis and draft beer.
Scene: Chic setting despite plaza location.
Extra: Backgammon in front of the fireplace.