The biannual Local Restaurant Week runs March 20-26, and as the celebration of local eateries grows, deciding where to go becomes more difficult.
Over 215 restaurants have opted to participate, offering deals for lunch, dinner or both, all connected to the $20.17 price, reflecting the year. News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau and friendly employee Ben Tsujimoto pick out five good deals from the suburbs and the city, respectively.
Andrew Galarneau's five selections, all outside of the city:
At Amaretto Bistro, on 7170 Transit Road, Amherst: $20.17 can bring crispy calamari with pickled onions, peppers and lemon aioli; pork tenderloin with sweet potato gratin, dried fruit chutney and pork jus; and strawberry shortcake on a housemade biscuit.
At Cipollina, 6 Clinton St., Akron: $20.17 can buy housemade burrata with tomato jam and pistachio pesto; tagliatelle with wild boar ragu; and a gianduja torte.
At Riverstone Grill, 971 E. River Road, Grand Island, $20.17 can get you soup or salad; housemade potato chips and onion dip; a burger made of chuck, short rib and black truffles, topped with brie, housemade bacon, arugula and XO sauce with crispy garlic fries; and warm apple crisp.
At the Roycroft Inn, 40 S. Grove St., East Aurora, $20.17 brings a petite Caesar salad; hanger steak with demi-glace, whipped potatoes and vegetables; and dark chocolate truffle cake.
At Kentucky Greg's, 2186 George Urban Blvd., Depew: $20.17 feeds two, with each person choosing two kinds of meat (pulled pork, sliced beef, smoked chicken or sausage), two sides and Texas toast.
Ben Tsujimoto's five picks from in the city:
At Bacchus, 56 W. Chippewa St.: Dinner only, $20.17 or $40.17 – try the gnocchi "mac and cheese" with a beverage and dessert for $20.17, and Brian Mietus trots out impressive choices in the $40.17 entrees, which also include a beverage and dessert. See their full LRW menu.
At KO Bar & Grill, 2263 Delaware Ave.: Dinner only, there are two-for-$20.17, $20.17 and two-for-$40.17 options. Go all out and try the last option – beef on weck egg rolls, two prime New York strip steaks, choice of potato and vegetable, plus two pints. See their full LRW menu. That's a lot of food for $40.17 plus tax and tip, plus it's a restaurant that opened roughly two months ago.
At Lin Restaurant, 927 Tonawanda St.: Lunch and dinner. Dinner, for one, costs $20.17 – you can choose from a first course, entree and dessert. There are many permutations to try here, but I'd go with Burmese tea leaf salad as the starter, Pa Ka Pao (crispy pork) as the main dish and homemade mango ice cream as the closer. I'd have to skip the fried banana due to allergies, sadly. The $10.75 lunch menu options also look worthy.
At Thin Man Brewery, 492 Elmwood Ave.: Lunch and dinner. There are only two options, but the easy choice for me would be the Thin Man Burger, a pint of Thin Man's beer and a logo glass for $20.17. The burger is simple and well executed, and there's an increasingly solid list of house brews to choose from.
At Potter's Field, 425 Potters Road: Lunch and dinner. One appetizer and two entrees cost just $20.17 total, and it's a fantastic way to extend the St. Patrick's Day festivities. Snag Reuben bites, an Irish BLT and the delectable-sounding Potter's Burger for a filling, humble meal. Here's Potter's full list of LRW choices.
Five others Ben would try:
*Stuffed jalapenos, fried chicken sandwich and sea-salted chocolate torte, plus a glass of wine or beer, for $30.17 at MidTown Kitchen
*Beef samosa, chicken boneless paneer, plus sides of garlic naan and plane pulao (fried rice) for $20.17 from Clay Handi (new, full LRW menu)
*Jumbo cod and bread pudding, plus a soup or salad, from Oshun for $20.17
*Salad, tostada or red curry bowl, and a drink (wine, beer or cocktail) for $30.17 from Merge (which has several vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free choices)
*Salad, twin boneless pork chop (rubbed with chipotle cinnamon), served with mashed potatoes and vegetables, plus a glass of red or white wine, for $20.17 at Lenox Grill