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Food and Drink

When Rue Franklin closed last year, restaurant regulars and industry folks wondered if the “death of fine dining” declared in Manhattan had, like so many cultural developments, made it to Buffalo five years later. Since the rest of the luxe crowd has held steady since, scheduling its funeral supper seems premature. There has been little fine dining among new restaurants…

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“Underpromise and overdeliver” is an oft-repeated axiom of business success. Restaurants – businesses that buy ingredients and fix them up to sell at a profit – are no exception. It may be even more important for new restaurants, places about which customers know nothing but the name. So even before it opened its doors, Elite Fine Dining faced a considerable challenge. T…

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Lucia’s on the Lake is expanding its successful Hamburg site, including building a two-level patio with views of Lake Erie. The patio will include “unobstructed rooftop views of the lake on top, and a covered patio below,” said Angelo Canna Jr., who owns Lucia’s with Jay Pasquarella. [Read review of Lucia's on the Lake here] The construction, which Lucia’s owners hope t…

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Elite Fine Dining, formerly The Friar’s Table, expects to open in mid-September after a sweeping renovation and kitchen upgrade. “Everything is new,” from the flatware to the windows, said Elijah Turley, owner of the restaurant at 301 Cleveland Drive, Cheektowaga. “We revamped the whole place.” The look is luxe, a step upscale from the country manor décor of Friar’s Tabl…

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This remarkable year of Buffalo restaurant openings continued last week with the maiden voyage of Marble + Rye, another newly-minted downtown place with an abundance of exposed brick and culinary ambition. It’s from Michael Dimmer and Christian Willmott, the owners of Black Market Food Truck. I arrived at the 75-seat room at 112 Genesee St. on the second day of service.…

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Danny Sheehan’s started serving dinner to Lockportians on July 14, 1960. A week later, President Dwight Eisenhower announced a $1 billion budget surplus, leading to criticism that the federal government was not spending enough taxpayer money. So much has changed since then. Its current owners bought the place two decades ago, and expanded it after the turn of the millenniu…

Buffalo

For years, I’ve badgered Buffalo diners for the names of their favorite restaurants with the unflattering tenacity of a dachshund on a chicken bone. One name kept resurfacing, like that guy who pops up in your Facebook feed with bewildering frequency. Except this name was offered as a confession. “I’m sorry,” an urbane and well-traveled friend told me. “I don’t really have…

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Daniels is a chef-owned restaurant once more. Executive Chef Scott Donhauser became sole proprietor in May, after buying out his other partners. “Business has been great and people are trusting us (to) do the things that Chef Daniel perfected over 23 years,” Donhauser said via email. The Hamburg restaurant, placed on Western New York’s fine-dining map by founding chef-ow…

Buffalo

In the ever-changing world of Buffalo fine dining, few places have stood the test of time like Rue Franklin. And on the menu of the French-inspired restaurant, nothing has pleased customers longer than the ile de flottante.The puff of meringue, floating on a sea of crème anglaise with a lacework of crunchy caramel and toasted almonds, has been on the menu since it became a…

Erie County

As The Buffalo News’ designated diner, I’m just one guy hunting for gems amid Western New York’s hundreds of places to eat. So I badger people for their favorites. In the Southtowns “special occasion” class, Rick’s on Main flies to the lips of a remarkable number of people. I finally went last month, and my faith in the wisdom of crowds was restored. In a two-story brick-a…

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Tabree owner Bryan Bryndle is overhauling his Snyder fine dining restaurant. Starting April 14, the menu will be refocused to French steakhouse. Bryndle is considering a new name, Entrecote, to reflect the change for his restaurant, at 4610 Main St. Entrecote is a French term for a cut of sirloin steak. “We’re going to lose the American-slash-Italian cuisine that we pick…

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One of my favorite dishes at Daniels, which I reviewed in today's Buffalo News, was the foie gras appetizer, above. When I read Chef Scott Donhauser's description, complete with Chanterelle mushroom bread "French toast," maple froth, a quail egg and drunken sour cherries, I thought it sounded complicated. Maybe too complicated. It worked together well on the plate, though…