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Growing up, Richard Semonian ate his mother’s tomato sauce three days a week. The former Maryann Torregrossa would mix crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, onion and spices, before simmering spare ribs, meatballs, or sausage in the sauce. When he left for college in Pittsburgh, Semonian couldn’t bring her along – but the sauce was his lifeline. “I always took a giant T…

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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 …

Food and Drink

The owners of Elmwood Japanese restaurant Sato are opening a ramen and noodle bar in University Heights. The space at 3268 Main St., formerly Kung Food, will offer Sato’s popular housemade ramen in a variety of styles. It also will feature soba, buckwheat noodles served either cold with dipping sauce, or hot in soup. “We just signed the lease, so we’re looking at probably…

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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 …