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Restaurant Notes: Housemade ingredients are focus of new spot in Black Rock

The Dapper Goose aims to unveil its menu of ambitious cuisine and handmade cocktails in Black Rock by mid-August.

The restaurant will open in the extensively renovated former Black Rock Kitchen & Bar space, 491 Amherst St. The owners are two Olean natives, fitness trainer John Beane and Keith Raimondi, who made his name in the Philadelphia cocktail scene. At Townsend, Raimondi’s work earned him second place in Philly Eater’s bartender of the year honors.

Dapper Goose will emphasize housemade, Raimondi said. “We believe in that old-fashioned hard work kind of thing.” Bread and buns will be baked in house. Cocktails will rely on housemade ingredients, too. “We won’t carry cranberry juice, because we can’t squeeze it.”

Peggy Wong, a former assistant manager at Townsend, designed the restaurant and will be general manager. Chef Jesse Ross will return to the kitchen after front-of-the-house roles in Philadelphia for Jose Garces and Vetri group restaurants. Laura Sutter will join him from Murray’s Cheese Bar in Greenwich Village, and Philadelphia’s Vedge, a much-lauded vegan restaurants.

Charcuterie includes duck rillettes with pickled blueberries, and chicken liver mousse with cherry mostarda. Small plates include cauliflower with green goddess dressing, and beans and greens with housemade sausage and black beans. Entrees include porchetta with grilled peaches, and Korean fried chicken with kimchi fried rice.

On the cocktail side, components like juices, syrups and most bitters will be housemade, he said. There will be eight to 10 house cocktails, including a couple of large format drinks, destined for pitchers, and housemade sodas, all dispensed under the leadership of bar manager Tim Leary.

“We believe in terroir being the most important thing across the board, so we want to focus on local beer and wine, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Niagara a little bit,” said Raimondi, plus wine and beer the staff enjoys from elsewhere.

The room has been lightened with a silver-colored ceiling and new banquettes should help soften noise. A partition wall now separates the bar from the dining room. “The bar should be the place to be – that’s coming from a bartender, of course,” Raimondi said. “(But) when your butt is on someone’s table, that’s awkward for both parties.”

The restaurant will seat 55 to 60 inside, including 16 at the bar. The rear patio can seat another 30. Raimondi hopes to open by Aug. 15.

Rock Bottom rises: Restaurateur Steve Calvaneso is “very cautiously optimistic” that his reboot of Rock Bottom, 6261 Transit Road, will be ready to open Aug. 18.

The liquor license has not been approved yet, but the restaurant, with a new kitchen and wall-to-wall renovations, will be ready to go otherwise, he said. Phone: 688-7625 (ROCK).

Clarence gastropub coming: The Oak Stave, a Clarence gastropub with a strong seafood streak, expects to open on Transit Road in early September.

The restaurant is located at 5989 Transit Road, a newly constructed building.

It’ll have 120 seats inside, and 30 in a patio, said Nick Rada, who will be the chef. Russ Gugino and Anthony Insinna are the owners.

“I’d call it a gastropub, higher-end tavern food, with a little twist,” said Rada. Steaks, chops and fish we get flown in from Hawaii are featured.

The opening menu includes line-caught ahi tuna from the Honolulu Fish Co. in appetizers (tuna tartare tacos), salads (ahi salad with cucumber and sweet soy dressing) and entrees (seared ahi with potato puree, tomato verjus).

There’s also hamburgers made from a custom beef blend, steaks from 9 to 18 ounces, and a bone-in pork chop with kale, bacon, potatoes and peach molasses. Seared-not-fried calamari a la plancha, with charred lemon, and falafel tacos are two unusual items. The menu can be viewed at

Drinks will include four wine taps and eight beer taps.

Rada is a Corfu native and Pembroke High School graduate who has returned to Western New York to raise a family, he said. His kitchen experience includes Las Vegas hotels, the Starr group of high-end restaurants, and most recently, two years as a consultant to a Michelin-starred restaurant in Indonesia.

The Oak Stave expects to officially open in the first days of September, Rada said.

Under way in Allentown: A restaurant named after Lewis Falley Allen, Allentown’s namesake, is under construction on Allen Street.

Falley Allen’s address is 204 Allen St., formerly La Tee Da and Rust Belt Books. Its owners are Christopher Daigler, partner and chef, and Joseph Gugino, Encore owner.

Construction began in late July. Expect 50 seats, Daigler said, and 20 more in the large patio out back, a “hidden gem of Allentown.”

The interior will be rustic, with touches of barn siding and corrugated metal, and wooden tables, Daigler said.

A draft menu includes dishes like Rhode Island clam cakes, Andy DiVincenzo-style stuffed peppers, farro risotto and lobster en croute. “I just want to serve things that I’ve gathered during my 20-odd years of experience, whether it’s a French dish, or something I grew up on,” he said.

Daigler, 38, is a member of the Williamsville North High School Class of 1995. He started his culinary career at 15, in a restaurant called Port of Entry, in Getzville. He cooked at Danny Ocean’s, then worked his way up to executive chef at Oliver’s. His most recent kitchen was Bourbon & Butter, the late restaurant in Hotel @ the Lafayette.

Falley Allen is his first restaurant. When will it open? Daigler: “We’re saying late fall.”

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