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Summer’s almost over. Here’s a last chance at some beachside-and-patio reading before you go back to work and school:•  NOSE by James Conaway, Thomas Dunne Books, 2013 ($24.99): In 1990 Conaway wrote “Napa,” a tell-all expose of the egos and ambitions of the Gallos and Mondavis who put California on the world wine map. Now he’s written a novel about the area that will make…

Food and Drink

Western New Yorkers are lucky to have a bevy of Greek-American restaurants that serve everything from pancakes to lamb “lollychops” – even together if your mood strikes.Recently, the Sig Other’s parents clued us into a new place, the Olive Branch Family Restaurant. Once a defunct Denny’s, the owners renovated it into a lovely dining space with earthy colors, comfortable bo…

Dishes that are new, different, unexpected are like catnip to restaurant reviewers. So I had to tamp down my excitement as I read the dinner menu at Butterwood Sweet & Savory, set in a richly appointed space below ground level in the Hotel @ the Lafayette. ¶ The menu is a crazy quilt of offerings that mixes Asian, American and other cuisines together – sometimes on the s…

Food and Drink

In June, Williamsville welcomed cheesemonger Jill Forster and her Nickel City Cheese & Mercantile, offering her curated selection of cheeses from around the world. There’s more on her shelves – charcuterie, bread, salts, seasonings – and Forster has assembled a menu of sandwiches, like asparagus grilled cheese. But one of the standout offerings at the new shop (78 E. Sprin…

Food and Drink

Western New Yorkers are lucky to have a bevy of Greek-American restaurants that serve everything from pancakes to lamb “lollychops” – even together if your mood strikes.Recently, the Sig Other’s parents clued us into a new place, the Olive Branch Family Restaurant. Once a defunct Denny’s, the owners renovated it into a lovely dining space with earthy colors, comfortable bo…

Buffalo

Dishes that are new, different, unexpected are like catnip to restaurant reviewers. So I had to tamp down my excitement as I read the dinner menu at Butterwood Sweet & Savory, set in a richly appointed space below ground level in the Hotel @ the Lafayette. ¶ The menu is a crazy quilt of offerings that mixes Asian, American and other cuisines together – sometimes on the s…

Food and Drink

Once you master indirect-heat grilling and learn to use your grill as an outdoor oven, a world of options opens up.Brown Sugar-Brined Turkey With Warm Apple-Onion JamAbout 10 servingsFor the turkey (needs to be brined for 6 to 10 hours ahead of other preparations):2 quarts unsweetened apple cider2 quarts water1 cup kosher salt1 cup packed light brown sugar2 teaspoons black…

Food and Drink

Indulge your appetite for sweet corn by shopping farmers’ markets, roadside stands and local grocers for freshly picked ears, then crunching your way around cob after cob after cob.And when you decide you’ve had enough, let these recipes seduce you into indulging one, two or three more times with salads that embrace summer’s best produce and the season’s easygoing attitude…

Fried green tomatoes are, as far as I know, the only fried vegetable to be immortalized in the title of a major American motion picture. But they aren’t the most intuitive fried vegetable to immortalize. Tomatoes are juicy. They have a lot of loosely contained seeds. They fall apart easily. All of these traits make them very difficult to fry compared to, say, eggplant or b…

Why is food that is browned tastier than the same food cooked to the same temperature via steaming, boiling or microwaving?Thank the Maillard reaction (which occurs when the surface temperature of food is more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit) and caramelization (which kicks in at about 320 F). These chemical reactions not only bring about a color change, they also produce hund…

Here’s what happens when I read books like the newly released “Best Lunch Box Ever: Ideas and Recipes for School Lunches Kids Will Love” (Chronicle Books, $24.95), by Katie Sullivan Morford.I page through recipes for Medjool date, cream cheese and spinach sandwiches on lavash, curried quinoa with tangerines and dried cranberries and kiddie cobb salad with crumbled blue che…

Food and Drink

While many teens are looking for summer love, Flynn McGarry is searching for perfect truffles and sockeye salmon for his pop-up restaurant.Flynn, 14, has cooked with Daniel Boulud on NBC’s “Today” show. He’s worked in the kitchens of chefs Grant Achatz of Chicago’s Alinea and Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in New York. Flynn exudes the confidence of a kitchen veteran.“…

Daniel Johengen, chef-owner of top-rated Southtowns restaurant Daniels, is retiring after dinner Sept. 14.“It’s just time,” said Johengen, whose Hamburg restaurant has consistently been rated among the best in Western New York. “We’re old and tired. I’m not that old, I’m 58, but we’re tired. It’s been 23 years.”Since 1990, Johengen and his wife, Debbie, have worked togethe…

Erie County

When Alan Bedenko gets home to Clarence after staring at a screen all day as an insurance defense attorney and fires up his backyard pizza oven, he makes the best pizza in town.At least to him. And when it comes to matters of the heart, like ultimate pizza satisfaction, who else’s taste really matters?“I am obsessive-compulsive, almost, when it comes to the quality and typ…

By Andrew Z. Galarneau Daniel Johengen, chef-owner of top-rated Southtowns restaurant Daniels, is retiring after dinner Sept. 14. “It’s just time,” said Johengen, whose Hamburg restaurant (174 Buffalo St., Hamburg, daniels-restaurant.com, 648-6554) has consistently been rated among the best in Western New York. “We’re old and tired. I’m not that old, I’m 58, but we’re tir…