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10 meals to try during Buffalo's Local Restaurant Week

The biannual Local Restaurant Week begins Oct. 16 and rages for a full week, celebrating Buffalo's freakishly deep roster of quality eateries.

The News' Andrew Galarneau wrote about the nuts and bolts of LRW here, and you can browse the list of participating restaurants here.

But, to get the creative dining jus flowing, here are 10 quality options from around the area - don't worry, they're not all trendy restaurants in downtown or North Buffalo:

This Little Pig (4401 Transit Road, Clarence), lunch or dinner
One starter, one entree and one extra for $20.17 - link to LRW options

Our choice: Kick off with the house pierogi (filled with farmer's cheese, fried with apples, bacon and chicken demi-glaze and whole grain mustard), jump to a main course of Three Little Pigs (rosemary roasted pork shoulder, pork tenderloin and pulled pork over greens and beans) and finish with an ice cream sandwich (two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and strawberries.)

The restaurant opened by Jeff Cooke Jr., former chef at Osteria 166, is buzzing since its victory at the Meatball Street Brawl, so enter with confidence.

Read more: Starters: Mushroom pizza, smoked short rib at This Little Pig

This Little Pig's booth won meatball awards at the second annual Meatball Street Brawl. (Matt Weinberg/Special to The News)


Taste of Siam (810 Elmwood Ave.), lunch or dinner
One appetizer or dessert, one entree and one beverage for $20.17. Additional options for $30.17 and $40.17 - link to LRW menu

Our choice: The choice between appetizer or dessert won't be easy, but let's go this route: The classic Pad Thai (thin rice noodles sauteed with eggs, bean sprouts, scallions served with the house special peanut sauce), pan-seared bananas (served with cinnamon and sugar) and Community Beer Works' Frank (because it's a beer named Frank). Runner-up for beverage is the Thai iced coffee.

Read more: Taste of Siam, Thai without trepidation

Taste of Siam's Pad Thai is flat, thin rice noodles sauteed with bean sprouts, scallions and special house peanut sauce. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Schwabl's (789 Center Road, West Seneca), lunch or dinner
A litany of options, which you can see in full here, but we're going big: For $50.17, diners receive the following:

Our choice: If you're going to Schwabl's during Local Restaurant Week, chances are it's for the beef on weck (or a hard roll, which is also offered).

With the $50.17 option, dining parties receive a shrimp cocktail to share and a special beef on weck plate, which includes the classic sandwich (with jus, if desired), a choice of housemade German potato salad, french fries or real mashed potatoes with gravy, and a choice between homemade pickled beets and German-style cole slaw. That plate is the featured image atop this story.

Top it off with two potent Tom & Jerry cocktails (rum, brandy, housemade meringue and hot water), the reason Schwabl's is included in this list.

Read more: At Schwabl's, the beef goes on

Schwabl's is one of the handful of restaurants in Western New York to serve Tom & Jerrys, hot alcoholic beverages made with brandy or rum, hot water and homemade meringue. (Joseph Leta/Special to The News)


Lucia's on the Lake (4151 Lakeshore Road, Hamburg), dinner only
Various menu options are $20.17, $30.17 or $40.17, while select bottles of wine are $30.17 - LRW specials here

Our choice: We're most interested in the roasted brussels sprouts carbonara for $20.17, comprising orechiette pasta, pancetta, roasted brussels sprouts, Preischel Farms egg and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

For starters, the $20.17 bruschetta platter (saffron tomato confit, tomato jam, marinated olives, roasted red peppers, grilled baguette, fresh mozzarella, roasted portabella mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, basil vin, fresh pesto) should spruce up the taste buds.

The Hamburg fine-dining spot has proven that it's more than just a scenic view of the water; Galarneau's review, below, explains.

Read more: Lucia's is an outstanding choice for dinner with a view

Chef Alex Diaczenko, here in 2015 with Lucia's on the Lake's steamed clams. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Forty Thieves (727 Elmwood Ave.), lunch or dinner
Pick two of select items (one starter and one sandwich or salad) and a beer for $20.17 - LRW specials here

Our choice: Start with Doc's chorizo corn chowder if it's a cold day (or the spinach-artichoke dip bread bowl if it's not), then try out the new Elmwood restaurant's "award-winning beef-on-weck wings." The backup plan would either be the banh mi or the PB&J burger. Local Restaurant Week is the time to try new things, after all.

Although the craft beer board is not quite as extensive as the building's former inhabitant, it's still more than solid.

Read more: Forty Thieves restaurant to offer tap cocktails, stuffed potatoes


Fortuna's Restaurant (827 19th St., Niagara Falls), dinner only
Certain dinner options are $20.17, while a surf and turf selection runs for $30.17 - LRW specials here

Our choice: We're swayed by the appetizer description of "famous greens and beans," and since we're going for classic Italian, the restaurant's lauded chicken piccata (floured chicken breast sauteed in olive oil, butter, white wine, garlic, capers and lemon). The piccata was one of a few dishes enjoyed by The News' Andrew Galarneau during his recent dining review, which you can read below.

At Fortuna's, family style never went out of style


Dick & Jenny's (1270 Baseline Road, Grand Island), dinner only
"Dick's Tasting Sensation Menu" allows the diner to choose three courses; the price (either $20.17, $30.17 or $40.17) is determined by the entree selection - LRW specials here

Our choice: This is our favorite LRW menu, hands down. For the first two courses, we're picking the gumbo, which was just flaunted at the Voodoo Gumbo Fest at the Terrace, then the fried green tomatoes with New Orleans red remoulade (although the duck confit pain perdu is awfully tempting).

For the main course, after much deliberation, we're embracing reduced-price luxury of iron-skillet diver sea scallops and wood-fired shrimp ($40.17), served with a lobster-brie Beggar's Purse, spinach and peas, as well as a lobster white butter sauce (beurre blanc, if you're French, pretentious or both).

Read more: New Orleans flavors add flair at Dick & Jenny's

Owner and chef Richard Benz of Dick & Jenny's presents the crab-stuffed flounder. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


CRaVING (1472 Hertel Ave.), dinner only
Diners may choose one salad and one entree for $20.17 - LRW specials here

Our choice: Asparagus is hot right now, so we're diving deep into that salad, which contains field greens, roasted asparagus, roasted mushrooms, shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano, sweet lemon vinaigrette.

For the main course, it's time for the split roasted chicken, with rosemary mashed potatoes, asparagus and chicken jus. Little time has passed since Chef Adam Goetz cooked at the prestigious James Beard House, so the quality will be high.

Read more: Chef Goetz delivers upscale comfort food in expanded Hertel space

Chef Adam Goetz, pictured at CRaVING on Hertel Avenue, was invited to cook at the James Beard House. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News file photo)

Allen Burger Venture (175 Allen St.), lunch and dinner
It's simple: one burger and one local draft beer for $20.17

Our choice: ABV's behemoth burgers are good for two meals, so don't be bashful about taking leftovers home. You can find their list of nine burgers here, and we're partial to the Seven, which is smothered in Colorado pork green chili, Monterey Jack cheese, a brioche roll and served with a fork and knife, because it's impossible to devour with just your hands.

But, to get the best Local Restaurant Week value, the Nine might be a smoother move. For the beer, there's no shortage of local breweries represented.

Read more: Allen Burger Venture is a salute to top-notch beer, burgers

Allen Burger Venture's Seven is Colorado pork green chili and Monterey Jack cheese over a burger on a brioche roll. A fork and knife are necessary. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)


Casa Azul (128 Genesee St.), lunch and dinner
Two entrees, with a starter and churros (for dessert) to share for $30.17 - LRW specials here

Our choice: Try the guacamole - which contains cricket brittle - beginning the meal with zest and intrigue; then snag the featured tostada (typically seafood, although not necessarily) and an al pastor torta (Mexican-style sandwich with lettuce, tomato and marinated onions). The churros will be tough to share given the pace they'll be eaten.

Read more: At Casa Azul, tacos, tamales and mole, oh my!

Casa Azul co-owners and co-chefs Victor Parra and Zina Lapi present dishes the ceviche tostada and a trio of tacos. (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)







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