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Restaurant notes: 100 Acres, Griffon House, Fera's

The restaurant in Hotel Henry, inside the renovated former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, has quietly opened for business.

Years in the making, the urban resort and conference center anchors a 42-acre campus famously designed by H.H. Richardson and Frederick Law Olmsted. The restaurant, called 100 Acres, is currently serving breakfast and dinner in soft-opening mode while its crew gets up to speed.

Its provisional dinner menu's appetizers include Buffalo-style ribs ($11), pork belly pierogi ($14), and plates of asparagus strawberry salad ($12), beets with lemon curd ($12) and quinoa with pickled raisins and brown butter vinaigrette ($8). Large plates include pork loin with pickled seeds and grains ($24) and halibut with white beans and asparagus ($28).

No lunch has been set, but Sunday brunch begins June 4, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a press release.

The bar at 100 Acres is currently open during dinner hours, until 10 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on weekends.

Off the hotel lobby is a second drinks spot, The Lounge at Hotel Henry, which opens May 26, to be open Fridays and Saturdays through June. It will offer cocktails made with locally-sourced ingredients, a wine list including biodynamic, sustainably farmed wines and craft brews.

There's no official grand opening set, the release said, but hours should be expanded in June.

Access to Hotel Henry is from Rockwell Road, which defines the southern border of the State College at Buffalo campus.

Hours: Breakfast from 7 to 10:30 a.m. daily, dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Phone: 955-1511.

The Burgundy Room in 100 Acres is one of several dining settings in the new Hotel Henry. (100 Acres)

Lewiston Griffon coming: The restaurateurs behind three Griffon Gastropubs around Buffalo are returning to their hometown to open a fourth restaurant.

Edward Webster and Ken Scibetta are taking over 810 Center St., the former Macri's space on Lewiston's main drag.

This one will be called Griffon House. The menu will include influences from Asia and elsewhere in the world, but the dishes will be different, Scibetta said.

[Read: 100 taps and interesting food at Clarence Griffon, 2015 review] 

"It'll be a smaller, more focused menu, with as much locally-sourced ingredients as possible, smaller plates for sharing and a couple of entrees," he said. "Sexy modern in an old world charm setting." Instead of scores of choices, 15-20 items all told, "lots of apps, shareable food, a couple of entrees."

Since it is still a Griffon, there will be 50 taps of draft beer, as well as custom cocktails with housemade ingredients.

Griffon Gastropub owner Ken Scibetta presents sweet corn fritters. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News file photo)

The Griffon partners started with the Lewiston Village Pub, opening the first Griffon, 2470 Military Road, in 2013. Clarence's 100-tap outpost at 5445 Transit Road followed in 2015, and the 70-tap East Aurora location, 634 Main St., followed in 2017.

The Lewiston building should hold about 60 diners, including about 10 at the bar, and its parking lot will hold 25 to 30 cars. What was the Clarkson House restaurant for decades, should open as Griffon House by August, Scibetta said.

"We always felt when we closed the Pub to focus on Griffon Gastropub that a piece of our hearts was left in Lewiston," said Scibetta. "We can't wait to show Lewiston how we have grown over the years."

Fera's temporarily closed: Fera's Lunch Hour, the lunch-only restaurant that has been serving up turkey subs and more for 42 years, is shuttering temporarily for renovations.

A new floor, ceiling and bathrooms will be part of the first interior updates since the shop opened at 93 Pearl St. in 1984, said owner John Fera. He originally opened his place across the street, in 1975.

The restaurant will be closed for about two weeks, Fera said. When it reopens, customers will also notice a smaller seating area, down to about 30 seats, he said.

Mushroom burgers abound: At least 15 Buffalo-area restaurants will offer special-edition mushroom-beef burgers starting Memorial Day.

It's part of a nationwide contest coordinated by the James Beard Foundation aimed at popularizing part-mushroom patties in America. The hybrid hamburger offers the potential of delivering all the satisfaction with umami-rich mushrooms replacing part of the beef.

The Blended Burger Project encourages eaters to enjoy the burger specials, then vote for their favorites and post their portraits to social media. Participants can win a trip for two to Manhattan's James Beard House for a 2018 burger showcase.

Participating places will have the fungi features through July 31. They include Allen Burger Venture, Bacchus, Billy Club, Black Iron Bystro, Casa Azul, Craving, Juicy Burger Bar, Lait Cru Brasserie, Lloyd Taco Factory, Marble + Rye, Oliver's, Seabar, The Black Sheep, The Grange Community Kitchen and Winfield's Pub.

Check out the Buffalo burgers' portraits and details here.

Go to for contest details.

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