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Restaurant notes: Sato Brewpub, Forty Thieves, Cask + Cow, Wild Ginger

Sato Brewpub, a new restaurant in the basement of the historic Dun Building, is about to begin offering its menu of Japanese tavern cooking and beers brewed to match.

The restaurant, 110 Pearl St., should officially open Sept. 12, said Joshua Smith, who will operate it with his wife and chef, Satomi. After extensive renovations, the below-ground-level space that was formerly SoundLab will hold 60 to 80 seats.

The Smiths already run Sato, a full-service Japanese restaurant at 739 Elmwood Ave., and Sato Ramen, a smaller ramen-focused place at 3268 Main St., University Heights.

At Sato Brewpub, Satomi Smith's provisional menu lists an extensive array of Japanese cooking styles that go beyond the teriyaki, sushi and udon dishes commonly seen on area menus.

Housemade tofu from Ithaca soybeans ($6) is one of the vegetarian appetizers, along with daikon carrot pickles ($4) and cold marinated eggplant ($5).

Fried snacks will include house-cut okonomiyaki fries ($6), a Sato Ramen favorite, with Kewpie mayonnaise, pickled ginger, scallions, barbecue sauce and bonito flakes.

Curry pan is a griddled cake stuffed with potato curry ($6); red snapper fingers come with fries ($8).

Yakitori skewers, priced by the pair, will be prepared on an imported Japanese grill. Chicken choices include thigh ($5), heart ($3), and skin ($4). Vegetables include shiitake mushroom ($4), corn with soy sauce ($3), and cherry tomatoes ($3). Seafood includes shrimp ($8), yellowtail ($7), and squid tentacles ($4).

Okonomiyaki fries at Sato Ramen. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Plates include gyoza dumplings stuffed with chicken and salted plum ($8), edamame sautéed in spicy garlic soy ($6), and a steamed bun stuffed with barbecued pork ($6).

Ramen, using Sato's housemade noodles, includes two kinds of chicken ramen ($10.99), seafood ramen made with beer ($14.99), vegan ramen ($9.99) and even a green Thai curry version ($12.99).

Sato's beer, largely Belgian styles with Japanese influences, will be available when the restaurant opens, Joshua Smith said. "We should probably have six of our own beers on, and two collaborations," he said.

After the restaurant staff gets their bearings, brunch will be added, said Smith.

Use your noodle at Sato Ramen

Forty Thieves open: The patio is furnished, the shelves behind the bar are full of liquor, and beer is flowing at 727 Elmwood Ave. once again.

Forty Thieves Kitchen & Bar, its newest incarnation, has started its soft opening. Food will have to wait until next week, though.

The restaurant is named after New York's first gang, made up of Irish immigrants, said owner Tommy Cowan, who grew up with partner Brian Scanlon in South Buffalo. The place is decorated with black and white photographs from Buffalo and New York City history.

"We wanted to do something Irish pub style but not in-your-face Irish," said Cowan. "I was watching the movie "Gangs of New York," and the name kind of stuck."

Cowan is a partner in Doc Sullivan's, Midtown Kitchen and MTK Prime. It's the first restaurant for Scanlon, a former manager at Colter Bay, Charlie's Boat Yard and other places.

An image of South Buffalo boxing champion Jimmy Slattery adorns the wall at Forty Thieves. (Forty Thieves)

The space, once Blue Monk, now has a custom-made steel back bar. It will offer 22 taps of draft beer, along with some of the only cocktails on tap in the area. At least to start, Forty Thieves will be pouring a house Manhattan, bourbon sangria and an Old Fashioned flavored with cinnamon and bacon. "We've been playing around with it, and it works," Cowan said. "It's a little different, but it's delicious."

Once the kitchen is online, a tavern-style menu will include sandwiches, fish fries and wings. Beef on weck wings, Smitty style wings and spicy garlic wings are among the unusual flavors.

The menu will also include giant stuffed potatoes, in flavors like shepherd's pie, and creamed corn with bacon. Salads, soups and more will round out the menu.

"We want it to be a pub-style place, where people can come in three or four days a week and have a sandwich and a beer," said Cowan, "a place people can call a second home."

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Cask + Cow has started selling burgers, beer and more on Lewiston's main drag.

The restaurant, 840 Center St., is in the building that last housed Bailey O'Riley's Village Pub, and before that Lewiston Village Pub. It started serving customers last month, said Jack Hornung, an owner.

Cask + Cow will offer a lineup of hamburgers ranging from a classic burger topped with cheddar ($13) to a patty flavored with black truffle and topped with garlic brie ($18).

Creative offerings from the burger list include the Hot Tempered Elvis ($15), with bananas, bacon and peanut butter, and the Afternoon Graze ($14), a vegetarian option with a black bean patty, grilled cucumber and asparagus, and sun-dried tomato aioli.

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Other food offerings include Buffalo chicken rinds ($8), a selection of Ru's pierogi ($10), meatballs with San Marzano tomato sauce ($10), and Caesar, kale and wedge salads ($8-$9).

"Right now our food has been a hit. We're about 80-20 (percent) food and liquor," said Hornung. He has owned Third Street Tap Room in Niagara Falls for 13 years, and formerly owned Cactus Jack's in Niagara Falls.

The restaurant seats about 90 people, and has been redone inside with expanses of wood and large black and white photographs of Lewiston from past decades.

"I hope it finds a niche for itself," Hornung said. "With our craft beer and gourmet hamburgers, I hope we can become a piece of the puzzle that is the great food in Lewiston."

East Aurora Asian: East Aurora got a new outlet for Chinese, Thai and Japanese favorites with the opening of Wild Ginger on Aug. 23.

The restaurant, at 16 Buffalo Road, is near Circle Coin Laundry.

Its offerings include Chinese-American dishes like General Tso's chicken ($9.50), pork fried rice ($6.75) and sweet and sour chicken ($8.75).

Japanese dishes include sushi pieces ($1-$2.50) and rolls ($2.75-$13.99), hibachi beef ($9.25) and miso soup ($3.75).

Thai offerings at Wild Ginger include chicken masaman curry ($8.99), shrimp pad thai ($9.79) and seafood tom yam soup ($8.25).

Hours: 10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 652-6666.



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