The Rizzo restaurant group has rebooted Rizotto, its fine-dining restaurant on Maple Road.
Now named Rizotto Italian Eatery & Sweetery, the restaurant at 930 Maple Road reopened in January with a new look.
"We redid the whole place," said Mike Rizzo, head of MPR Restaurants, which include Bianchetti by Rizzo's and and Schnitzel & Co. locations on Transit Road in East Amherst and Eggert Road in Tonawanda. "We got rid of the carpeting, got rid of the white tablecloths. We made it a little more comfortable and a little more trendy."
But the changes are more than cosmetic, he said. Rizotto has added a dessert option for the neighborhood, with a standalone sweets operation.
"We have a dessert café in the back where we're doing gelato, crepes, Italian cookies and more desserts," Rizzo said.
It will also offer grab-and-go Italian meals for people in a hurry. Rizzo, who converted Rizzo's on Eggert Road to another German-centered Schnitzel & Co. in October, said the changes were part of the company's efforts to meet customer needs.
"We're just catching up with the trends," he said.
Eggsperience on Main: Eggsperience Vasilis is opening a second location on Main Street at West Ferry.
The Greek-inflected family restaurant, to be called Eggsperience Vasilis Main, will be serving customers at 1526 Main St.
Work on the restaurant is well under way, and the target opening date is March 31, said owner Vasilis Panagopoulos.
His wife Chrystalia operates the first Eggsperience Vasilis, 2878 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. "My wife is doing such a great job over there, she won’t let me do anything," Panagopoulos said, "so I figured I'd open another restaurant."
Panagopoulos also operates Vasilis Express, 1066 Elmwood Ave.
The Main Street restaurant will have 80 to 100 seats. It will mirror the Kenmore Eggsperience's menu, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
That means meals including souvlaki breakfasts and pancakes, burgers and salads for lunch, and fish, chicken and steak dishes fpor dinner, along with Greek specialties like tzatziki, stuffed grape leaves and avgolemono soup.
"I'm looking forward to trying it in this neighborhood," he said. "The medical corridor is down the street, and the area is upcoming. It looks promising."
New Transit Mexican: A new Mexican restaurant has opened where in the East Amherst plaza space formerly occupied by Chester's Cajun.
Juanes Mexican Restaurant, 9416 Transit Road, opened in late January, said Daniel Paz, son of owner Juan Paz.
It's a family restaurant, staffed by Paz's relatives, Daniel Paz said. They hail from Apozol, Zacatecas state in Mexico. His father has been running a construction company in Western New York before opening his first restaurant, Daniel Paz said.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes are available at Juanes all day, though it doesn’t open until 11 a.m. most days.
Tacos (3 for $11.50), burritos, fajitas and combination plates comprise much of the menu. There's also appetizers like guacamole ($6), taco salads ($12.50) and soups like albondingas, meatball soup ($5/$9).
On weekends two special soups are available, both $9. Posole (pork and hominy, top image) and menudo (tripe in chile broth), are served with chopped onion and cilantro ($9).
The restaurant will seat about 60 people.
A full bar liquor license has been applied for, but at present only soft drinks are available, he said. The plan is to offer a wide variety of margaritas, Mexican and domestic beer, and a wide variety of tequilas.
You can view the menu at juanesmr.com.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Phone: 276-3434.
Taco truck coming: One of the best family Mexican restaurants in town is working on expanding its reach with a food truck.
Taqueria los Mayas, 3525 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, has purchased a vehicle for its mobile kitchen, and it's being readied for the season, said owner Jorge Anguiano.
"We're working on it now, to get it on the road in early spring, hopefully," said Anguiano.
The restaurant's tacos, on housemade corn tortillas, will be on the truck's menu, along with burritos, quesadillas, and perhaps chimichangas, he said.
"We're thinking of doing other things as specials, like maybe carne asada fries, but we have to see how it goes," Anguiano said.
The truck would hopefully be able to appear at Larkinville's Food Truck Tuesdays and other events, he said, but will probably not be on the street every day.
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