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Restaurant notes: Rowhouse, Ashker's on Main, Lime House, Carmine's

Buffalo's most ambitious restaurant of the year opens at 7 a.m. Oct. 12 in the sprawling former Lord Chumley complex along Delaware Avenue.

If you've never been inside 483 Delaware Ave., you're in for a treat with Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant. The soaring three-story space merges three rowhouses into one commercial enterprise, presenting Buffalonians with an unprecedentedly broad array of offerings.

Bakery will run from fine croissants and other laminated pastries to truly artisanal bread wrought from natural starts and long ferments. Head Baker Walter Grohs III will command an entire subterranean bakery.

A wood-fired oven on the first floor, equipped with a chef's counter, will turn out pizzas, and more. In fact, some 90 percent of the dishes on the dining room menu will feel its smoky heat.

A second-story nook is one of the places eaters can alight inside Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

A coffee counter will hit you will hit you with caffeine weaponized into usual and unusual forms. A juicery on site with serve your fresh fruit and vegetable elixir needs. It'll help stock a grab-and-go market section for people on the run.

Out of sight are the freezers stocked with local fruit, waiting to be fed into February smoothies as well as the slate of custom cocktails proffered in the first-floor cocktail bar during dinner hours.

Taking inspiration from establishments in other cities, such as San Francisco's Tartine and Eataly, and East Aurora's Elm Street Bakery, Rowhouse wants to redefine the full service restaurant.

Every edible need from a coffee and danish to fine dinner service drawn from the best of local produce and meats served with the adultest of beverages are contemplated behind Rowhouse's facade.

Second story dining facing Delaware Avenue at Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Expect small dishes from Executive Chef Nick Schabert like beef short rib and barley soup ($5), littleneck clams with housemade bacon, and pork broth and toast ($12).

Vegetarians have lots to choose from, including a fennel gratin ($6) and a warm quinoa and wood-grilled mushroom salad ($6), and entrees like grilled cauliflower with garlic bean puree, pine-nut gremolata, toasted bread and sautéed greens chimichurri ($18).

A first floor bar wasn't finished Oct. 10 at Rowhouse Bakery & Restaurant. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Carnivores can choose a pork chop, with white bean and bacon ragout, charred carrots ($26) and a roasted half chicken with brussels sprouts and duck confit, cauliflower cream, and potatoes ($24).

Behind it all are Sean Tuohey and Myriah Jaworski, husband and wife, who have been working on the project for several years. Behind them is Myriah's father, Mark R. Jaworski, who in conversation is Rowhouse's most passionate evangelist.

Rowhouse is designed to properly exploit Western New York's agricultural riches, Tuohey said. During an Oct. 10 visit, exhibit one was a city ham that had been wrought from a locally raised hog. It was cured, smoked and then brought to a crispy-edged fat-dripping finish in the wood oven.

Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. Closed Monday. Phone: 500-2253.


Ashker's on Main: Angelo Ashker isn't just adding another smoothie shop to his roster when he opens his restaurant at Main Street and West Ferry.

He's opened a center for healthy eating. Call it a coffee shop with a curriculum.

At 1526 Main St., in a former corner store space transformed by landlord Sinatra and Company, Ashker's on Main offers cold-pressed juices, smoothies and plant-based meals to the masses.

Breakfast and lunch will be plant-based, affordable dishes, Ashker said. Vegan chocolate chip scones, a rainbow of fresh pressed juices were among offerings on a recent morning.

In the event space next to the main restaurant dining room, Ashker plans weekend vegan dinners by a rotating cast of guest chefs are in the works.

Ashker's Juice bar goes beyond the smoothie

Cory McCants, the DJ of healthy foods, serving up tasty beets and other juice selections at Ashker's on Main. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Moreover, the restaurant will serve as a center for education, with room for cooking or nutrition classes and a library that encourages customers to grow their own food. Seeds and seedlings will be for sale.

Selection of local vegetables and recipe ingredients at Ashker's on Main. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

There will also be a spot to sell local produce, some prepped for easier meal-making. They'll be offered with recipe cards with suggested dishes using the ingredient, Ashker said, following the restaurant's mission of empowerment and education.

A collection of books on gardening and nature, and seeds for sale, at Ashker's on Main. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

"We'll have beans and rice, everything you need to make a complete meal here." Plus it will aim to be affordable and draw in everyone from the community, he said.

The restaurant, across the street from Willoughby Insurance, has been three years in the making, Ashker said. "It's taken us a lot longer than we thought," he said. "But the way it's coming out is great, so we're glad."

Ashker's on Main's hours are 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for now. Weekends will be special events before dinner service is started "in the near future," Ashker said.

The clean modern interior at Ashker's on Main, which was a deteriorating former corner store until Sinatra and Company and Askher got to work. (Andrew Galarneau/Buffalo News)

Ashker's Juice Bar opening big store at Main and W. Ferry


Carmine's back on Transit: Destroyed by fire in 2015 while its food was winning an award at Taste of Buffalo, Carmine's is coming back from the ashes.

The family Italian restaurant has a new location and has announced its grand reopening for Oct. 19 at its new location: 9430 Transit Road, East Amherst.

"I am excited to announce that Carmine’s is finally reopening after our tragic fire in July of 2015," Kelly Jacobbi said in her announcement.

The Carmine's struck by fire, at 4715 Transit Road, began as a supper club called The Charlesgate. In 1992, Michael Jacobbi opened it as Carmine's. After the 2015 fire, he opened Giacobbi's Cucina Citta, 59 Allen St.

Amherst Burmese: A Burmese family that got its start in America making sushi in Wegmans has opened an Evans Street restaurant featuring family specialties like housemade tofu.

Family patriarch Sein Win owns the Lime House restaurant, 424 Evans St., after a 14-year stint as the sushi franchisee working at the Wegmans around the corner on Sheridan Drive.

His wife Thet Lwin is in charge of the kitchen, including using family recipes for dishes, said her daughter Thanda Win, who does not work at the restaurant but acted as a translator. Her sister Saw Su Aung is taking care of customers in the dining room.

On the menu are Burmese classics like pork curry, coconut chicken soup, and tea leaf salad, plus noodle soups like kyae oo, which offers pork meatballs and quali eggs. The Japanese side includes sushi pieces, standard rools and creative rolls, plus dishes like tempura.

Thet Lwin's specialties include fresh housemade tofu, made in a three-day process. It's currently being offered, tempura fried, as a complimentary starter, for now.

The space, formerly Blu Nightclub, seats about 70. There's no alcohol now, but the restaurant will eventually serve beer and wine.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Closed Sunday. Phone: 276-3522.


Perks replacing Kaydara: Perks Café is opening a second, larger branch near the Medical Campus and Theater District.

The location will be 777 Main St., the corner of Goodell Street, currently occupied by Kaydara Noodle Bar.

Perks Café offers coffee and espresso, fresh baked goods, egg sandwiches and avocado toast, plus soups, salads and wraps. The Main Street restaurant will keep Perks' fan favorites, and expand its "contemporary health-conscious menu with a focus on vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options," said Julie Leone, marketing director.

The new restaurant, expected to open in December or January, is significantly larger than Perks Café's present spot at 448 Elmwood Ave. The new place should seat about 70, Leone said. Perks started at Broadway and Ellicott and 523 Main St. before moving to Elmwood at Bryant.

That means more room for its catering business, and events, the release said. Perks aims to add beer and wine at the Main Street store after it gets its license.

The restaurants are owned by the Wainfleet Companies.

Kaydara will be moving to another location, said owner Jennifer Laban.

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