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If you’re hungry before hitting Shea’s Buffalo Theatre for “Hamilton,” don’t waste your shot. Here are some places I would suggest you consider for reasons practical and sentimental. Inform your server of your curtain time so they can make sure your experience fits into your allotted time, so you can save your evening’s drama for the stage. Looking to raise a glass t…

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It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all of the choices for inexpensive Italian eats in Buffalo. If you have an old phone book lying around, pick it up and flip through the hundreds of local choices from Amici to Zetti's. My mother’s a wonderful Italian cook, which makes it even harder. Yet nestled in the middle of those alphabetical listing is one of my local favorites, Pana…

Featured

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with all of the choices for inexpensive Italian eats in Buffalo. If you have an old phone book lying around, pick it up and flip through the hundreds of local choices from Amici to Zetti's. My mother’s a wonderful Italian cook, which makes it even harder. Yet nestled in the middle of those alphabetical listing is one of my local favorites, Pana…

Featured

This is a season of exuberance in the Buffalo restaurant world. Like the Gold Rush brought eager crowds with dollar signs in their eyes to stake out California claims, restaurateurs have been risking their stakes on real estate, bringing life and light to spaces long dark. A constellation of new restaurants have dawned in downtown blocks that once seemed destined to meet t…

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For Buffalo workers, The Lunch Box’s three locations – downtown in the Lafayette Court Building, the Tri-Main Building in North Buffalo and the Seneca Building in the Larkin District – offer a wide geographical range of lunchtime options. Each one boasts fresh sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as a bakery case for the sweet tooth. Both drop-off and staged catering are…

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The Mahony at the Fairmont opens today for lunch, bringing chef-owner Brian Mahony’s internationally-inspired fare to the Fairmont Creamery building. Lunch starts at 11 a.m., with fare like a pork verde burrito ($11), potato skins stuffed with chicken, cheese and spinach ($11), and a Mediterranean salmon salad on romaine and spinach with a yogurt-caper dressing. The 190-…

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Raclette is to 2016 what fondue was to 1965: The latest way for diners to engage in do-it-yourself meals without actual cooking. A French and Swiss dining technique named after the melting cheese of the same name, raclette is new to the states but all over Paris. When Raclettes owner Sandra Wilkins decided to open a spot with her husband and sister, she thought back to th…

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Raclettes, a French-centered restaurant with a specialty of melted cheese, plans to open March 21. The restaurant, at 537 Main St., will be open for lunch on weekdays to start, and dinner seven days a week. Sunday brunch should start after Easter, owner Sandra Wilkins said, and breakfast service should follow. Wilkins and her husband Paul bought the building in 2011, and …

Food and Drink

Since Leap Day only comes once every four years, Coco has a special bid for your dinner attention on Feb. 29. Coco, 888 Main St., is offering a four-course dinner from Chef Conor Casey, with beer pairings from Community Beer Works, 15 Lafayette Ave. Yes, that includes a beer dessert, in this case, a cardamom ice cream float made with The Whale. CBW's hefty American brown…

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We recently gifted Sawyer The Nephew Bandits tickets along with a “Boys Night Out” voucher for dinner with The Other Nephews (Nate and Christian). He wanted to go to Bada Bing. Why? The name makes him laugh. He’s 14. The others are 15 and 11. Would it be OK to take them? Turns out, yes. And we weren’t the only ones with kids arriving around 5 p.m. (Note: Bada Bing reloc…

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Let’s say you buy a National Hockey League team, and still have lots of money left. So much you can buy a National Football League team and still take a double-rink hockey complex with garage and high-rise hotel out of petty cash. Heck, build it next to the hockey arena. It wouldn’t be complete without a big restaurant, of course, because everybody’s gotta eat – and drink…

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A dedicated pierogi production facility with its own fast-food style pierogi restaurant is under way on Niagara Street. Ru’s Pierogi will occupy the first floor of the Turner Brothers Loft building at 295 Niagara St. Developer Jake Schneider will be converting 55,000 square feet of space into 40 apartments on upper floors. Work on the circa-1860s building has been underwa…

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Looks like the downtown dog wars are at an end: Dog é Style, the hot-dog-centric restaurant at 128 Genesee St., has closed. The announcement was made on the restaurant's Facebook page Sunday morning: "We have decided to close Dog é Style to focus on other endeavors. A new concept will be taking over the location in the new year. Thank you all for your support and patrona…

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Here are my suggestions for a uniquely Buffalo Twelve Days of Christmas, one delicious gift a day until Christmas Eve. Traditionally the 12 days of gift-giving follow Christmas, but this way you’ll have plenty of time to prepare. Look back at the first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day and sixth day. 12 Days of Buffalo Christmas: Sixth Day (eggnog from Ho…

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Soho Burger Bar owner Jay Manno is committed to making the Chippewa District a desirable destination for adults of all ages, refuting the perception of the nightlife strip as a place just for teenagers and rabble-rousers. The next step after rebranding Soho from nightclub-specific to a more versatile restaurant-bar, then, was opening Frankie Primo's +39, an Italian restau…