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Festivals

Black Iron Bystro's fourth anniversary 5 p.m. to midnight at 3648 South Park Ave., Blasdell. No cost to attend. Eclectic Blasdell restaurant invites well-wishers to congregate for its fourth birthday, fueled with free snacks from the Bystro, Nickel City Cheese and Mile 303, beverage tastings from 42 North, Community Beer Works, Lockhouse Distillery and Zamir Vodka, plu…

Gusto

Buffalo's biannual week dedicated to local restaurants is back again, as Local Restaurant Week runs April 16-22 at more than 200 eateries across the area. News Food Editor Andrew Galarneau laid the framework and provided useful links here, while Refresh Editor Scott Scanlon took the health-conscious approach, for which I'm grateful - I don't feel as obligated to include…

Food and Drink

Some call it a hidden gem. Others say it deserves more recognition. And most say they would come back for more. They’re all talking about Black Iron Bystro, tucked away along South Park Avenue in Blasdell. You’ll find an eclectic décor and a small menu that’s full of flavor. Owner Bryan Mecozzi used his 20-plus years of restaurant skills from both local establishment…

Food and Drink

Nothing says "holiday" like butter and booze and this season, Western New York bartenders are blending two of America’s favorite things for their own takes on a drink older than the country itself. Hot buttered rum dates back as early as the 1650s, when molasses first appeared in the colonies from Jamaica and distilleries opened in New England. Earliest iterations were ma…

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Cold weather calls for warm beverages. As the holidays give way to slush and stilettos yield to salt-crusted boots, Buffalo beverage aficionados seek out something to soothe the transition. The area’s best bartenders and baristas spend weeks crafting the cocktails and coffees that embody the season, many of which are twists on old favorites.At Buffalo Proper (333 Franklin …

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The seasonal produce of Western New York is our reward for surviving winter. I eat my first lush tomato still warm from the sun, and somewhere the last pile of dirty parking lot snow melts away. Mowing down a cob of festival corn, the flavor makes it easy to remember it was grown in Eden. When I stand over the sink with my second Niagara County peach of the day, Western Ne…

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Dustin Murphy will be joining Bryan Mecozzi at Black Iron Bystro in Blasdell after his stint as Tabree executive chef ends April 11. “The immediate plan is to continue what I’m doing, pick (Murphy's) brain on what he wants to get into, and see what works,” said Mecozzi, the chef-owner. Murphy will start at Black Iron Bystro, 3648 South Park Ave., on April 21. Murphy and …

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On Thursday night, Taste of Education offers a tasteful evening that includes an Iron Chef-style live cooking competition and a glimpse at the next generation of culinary talent in Western New York. High school level culinary students from Carrier Educational Center, Niagara and Orleans Career and Technical Education Centers, and Hewes Educational Center of Chautauqua Cou…

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The 2015 season of Nickel City Chef adds Edward Forster of Buffalo Proper as the fifth member of the "home team." Those chefs will compete against other up-and-coming culinary talents in five live hour-long cooking battles this spring. Forster's cooking helped put Buffalo Proper on my list of best new restaurants of 2014. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. They usuall…

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Before it opened as a restaurant in May, Black Iron Bystro was last a print shop. The space still has an industrial feel, albeit a factory cobbled together by avid recyclers. The lighting fixtures include a mixture of do-it-yourself and retro numbers, but the menu is resolutely original. There are unusual combinations, like scallops on spinach with black-eyed peas and red …

For eight years, Bryan Mecozzi worked on 3648 South Park Ave. with family and friends, aiming to turn the building into a bistro honoring the steel mills that once overshadowed the neighborhood.Last Tuesday, Mecozzi opened his own place there, called Black Iron Bystro (blackironbystro.com, 240-9830). “We gutted the entire storefront, which used to be my great-uncle's…

Food and Drink

For eight years, Bryan Mecozzi worked on 3648 South Park Ave. with family and friends, aiming to turn the building into a bistro honoring the steel mills that once overshadowed the neighborhood. Last Tuesday, Mecozzi opened his own place there, called Black Iron Bystro (blackironbystro.com, 240-9830). “We gutted the entire storefront, which used to be my great uncle’s pri…