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Restaurant Notes: Chautauqua festival, Bar Bill Takeout, Nye

Iconic French chef Jacques Pepin will headline the Chautauqua Food Festival in August, as the Chautauqua Institution's focus turns to food.

Chefs, authors and others will be cooking and talking about food, with one-of-a-kind dinners and tasting events from Aug. 20-25.

On Aug. 20, Ross Warhol, the former Athenaeum Hotel chef who became executive chef at Buffalo fine dining standard Oliver's, offers a five-course menu. Earlier, barbecue, wine and beer will be the focus in the campus' Bestor Plaza.

On Aug. 21, world-famous chef and television star Jacques Pepin speaks. Restaurants from Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Cleveland will offer food, demonstrations and engage in cooking competitions. Chef Ben Shropshire of Soul Gastrolounge in Charlotte, N.C., offers a five-course menu.

On Aug. 22, Chautauqua County restaurants, breweries and wineries will be featured. Author Michael Ruhlman will speak.

Former Athenaeum Hotel Chef Ross Warhol will revisit Chautauqua again for the week of food events. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

On Aug. 23, food trucks from Buffalo, Rochester and elsewhere will bring their flavors to the institution. Anna Blythe Lappe of the Small Planet Institute speaks.

On Aug. 24, wine takes center stage, with tastings and demonstrations from regional producers. Food educator Marion Nestle of New York University speaks. Chefs at Athenaeum Hotel's Heirloom restaurant offer dinner.

On Aug. 25, do-it-yourself food is the focus, with chefs and others workshops and demonstrations on canning, cider-making, pickling and other preservation skills. The evening brings a beachside clambake and beer garden.

Visit for more details and tickets.


Due to popular demand, Bar Bill Takeout is now open in East Aurora.

To find it, go behind Aurora Brew Works, 191 Main St., and look for the big new Bar Bill Takeout mural.

The new spot offers Bar Bill's famed wings and beef on weck, plus family-size pizzas, an option not available from the tavern's kitchen.

The takeout site offers one more option the original doesn't: a credit card reader. Bar Bill Tavern is a cash-only operation.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 652-7959.


Nye Park Tavern, under new ownership since January, is changing its menu and adding televisions for more of a sports bar atmosphere.

The tavern, 1672 Elmwood Ave., was Papa Jake's before being extensively renovated by restaurateur Mark Hutchinson and reopened in March 2016. Joseph Panaro and partner Patrick Ogiony bought the place in January and took over in March, Panaro said.

With the food menu, "we kept a lot the same, but added chicken piccata, chicken marsala," he said. There's a weekly specials menu where Tuesday is shrimp scampi and Sunday is ravioli Bolognese.

Updated dinner menu from Nye Park Tavern. (Via Nye Park Tavern's website)

The restaurant currently has three televisions, but Panaro will be adding five more to the room to make it more suitable for game-watching. Live music two or three nights a month is also on the schedule.

Panaro managed restaurants in Las Vegas before moving to Buffalo in 2010. He was formerly the bar manager at Rocco's Wood Fired Pizza on Transit Road.

Now he's the familiar face at Nye Park, he said, an anchor for regular customers. "It's my first restaurant that I've owned," he said, "and it's something that I'm proud of."

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