The bone-deep fatigue of 60-hour weeks affords chefs precious few chances to enjoy a recuperative night off, visit other restaurants and let someone else cook for a change.
Given a shot, they don't want to miss.
Here's a few places some of Buffalo's hardworking chefs and restaurateurs spend their "me time."
Eric Nessa, executive chef, Tempo
"Hutch’s is always a solid choice. I usually have the prime N.Y. strip steak; my wife’s go-to is the filet with au poivre sauce. Cookie cup for dessert."
Also: Seabar's beef on weck roll, Dapper Goose's charred beans, Allen Burger Venture's tater tots and burgers.
Jennifer Marabella, executive chef, Siena
Besides seeing what colleagues are up to at 800 Maple and going out of her way for the fried wings at Rocco's, Marabella likes to visit Yoshi in East Aurora and let chef Ken Legnon decide what to send out.
Then there's 99 Fast Food. "It's so fast, and it's cheap, and it's done well." Order: three short rib appetizers, spring roll with peanut sauce, No. 27 pho, beef raw on the side.
Kenneth Legnon, chef, Yoshi
Brunch: Lait Cru, Black Sheep, and Roost.
Late night eats: Toutant's bar menu.
Inexpensive and delicious: Alibaba Kebab. Casa Azul for tacos and solid Mexican.
Zina Lapi, chef-owner, Casa Azul
The Old Pink: bologna sandwich double-stacked with onions and mustard.
Home Taste: cumin lamb, pork dumplings, green beans.
Hutch's: liver and onions, or soft shell crab in season.
And neighbors Marble + Rye and Toutant, with "stellar late-night eats in times of need."
Brian Mietus, chef-owner, Bacchus
"Susan and I like the classics for date night – Oliver's or (Ristorante) Lombardo."
Ross Warhol, executive chef, Oliver's
Monday nights are a Bar Bill and Aurora Brew Works ritual. Order zesty honey pepper and medium wings and a beef on weck to go, and head next door for a few beers.
Summer: George’s, in Boston, fried bologna with caramelized onions and provolone, or the bacon big George, always with an order of curly fries.
Gabrielle Mattina, owner, Gypsy Parlor, Gypsy Bohemian Grove Bar
Hardshell taco, ground beef, pickled jalapenos, queso at Breezy Burrito.
Nine & Night Thai beef salad, mutee chicken soup, Rakhapura Mutee and Sushi, West Side Bazaar.
Beef and bean burrito, hot, Elmwood Tacos and Subs.
Pasta fasoola or pasta and peas, Santasiero's.
Favorite restaurant in Buffalo: Viking Lobster Co.
Bob Syracuse, owner, Pizza Plant
Shango for starters, fried catfish, mac and cheese, Scottish salmon.
Glen Park Tavern for yellow pike.
The Irishman's vegetarian shepherd's pie for Linda, his vegetarian wife, and a turkey burger.
Merge for vegetarian and omnivore.
Falletta's for chicken or eggplant parmesan and pasta parmesan with marinara.
Jill Forster, owner, Lait Cru Brasserie, Nickel City Cheese
"Nights off without my kids, I like to go to Billy Club, the Black Sheep, Ristorante Lombardo, and Kuni's.
"With kids, Miss Hot Cafe, Pho Cali, Pappaceno's Pizza, and picnics at Chestnut Ridge."
Jimmy Butera, chef-owner, Butera's Craft Beer & Craft Pizzas
"My family always enjoys Ilio Dipaolo's, and my favorite Sunday breakfast spot is Savory's on Camp Road."
MaryAnn Giordano, chef-owner, GiGi's Cucina Povera
Remington Tavern for oysters.
Ristorante Lombardo for its wonderful service and wine selection.
Craving for a relaxing meal.
Sinatra’s for daily specials and long-standing house specialties.
Marco Sciortino, owner, Marco's
Remington Tavern for tuna.
Hutch's for the steak sandwich.
Olympic for souvlaki.
Seabar for sushi.
Edward Forster, co-chef, Dapper Goose
The Grange Community Kitchen ("bonkers good") for wine, "reverie-inducing" pastrami, burgers, and vegetable dishes like the hummus plate.
"Gorgeous and multi-faceted" Remedy House for low-alcohol spritzes, coffee, wine.
Las Puertas for pasta, vegetables and other innovative dishes.
Victor Parra Gonzalez, chef-owner, Las Puertas
The Dapper Goose for cider and "whatever the guys in the back feel like eating that day because they know what they are doing."
Home Taste: lamb with cumin.
If a full day off, Toronto for ethnic cuisine, like a recent Filipino meal eaten off banana leaves.
Jay Langfelder, chef-owner, Jay's Artisan Pizzeria
Remedy House cortado.
White Cow Dairy yogurt and cremes from the Farm Shop.
The Dapper Goose for vegetarian, like green beans, brussels sprouts, pappardelle.
Toutant: late-night bar specials.
Steven Gedra, chef-owner, the Black Sheep
Ted's Hot Dogs for a hot dog loaded and a BBQ chicken sandwich with cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion. "(Partner and wife) Ellen switches it up, but there's usually a burger involved, too."
Then Custard Corner on Porter for a peanut sundae (him) and small cone (her).
China Taste on Sweet Home Road for many things, especially eggplant.
If celebrating, (Ristorante) "Lombardo is pretty much our go-to," for a pasta or two, and a primi.
Mike Andrzejewski, chef-owner, Seabar
JT's for "beautifully plated appetizers, a delicious bowl of pasta," or "the best clams casino ever."
Forty Thieves for burgers, wings, and creative sandwiches at good prices.
Rotating bar at Chez Ami on Sunday afternoons for pizza or appetizers.
Burgers and tater tots from Allen Burger Venture.
Toutant fried chicken.
Pizza from Lovejoy Pizza.
Nick Pitillo, owner, Osteria 166, Villagio, Mercato
For a special dinner, Ristorante Lombardo.
Toutant fried chicken.
My "old faithful" is carpaccio and a veal chop at Tempo.
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