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It wouldn’t be Christmas without our annual Springville tree-cutting expedition with the nephews - and a stop at Brunner’s Eatery just off the Hamburg/Boston exit of Route 219. Long before they were a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, the original Brunner’s was nothing more than a pick-up place in the plaza across the street. Instead of building a big pizzeria with a s…

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In a development at the luxe end of the local food movement, super-premium Wagyu beef from a steer raised in Clarence will be appearing at a Hamburg fine dining restaurant next month. The first Clarence Wagyu actually appeared on the menu at Daniels Restaurant, 174 Buffalo St., Hamburg, in February. Daniels chef-owner Scott Donhauser said the beef from Clarence is the be…

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Located in the Hamburg Village Square plaza, ZJ's occupies what was once a Your Host restaurant. (Some of us still call it the Pleasures & Pastimes plaza and remember the defunct diner.) On a late Sunday morning, ZJ’s looked like it just survived a major assault. Waitresses hustled and busboys struggled to keep up with vacated tables. Heading to an afternoon movie, w…

Food and Drink

Jack Devine’s Neighborhood Bar opened in Wheatfield two weeks ago, and plans to reopen Wednesday or Thursday in Hamburg. Both locations have been extensively renovated, said Robert Duvall, general manager of the Hamburg location, which has been at 4170 Southwestern Blvd. since 2011. The Wheatfield location, 6935 Ward Road, was formerly J.T. Wheatfield’s and Westby’s Pub.…

Food and Drink

Hamburg’s Buffalo Street Grill is turning into an upscale casual restaurant called Carte Blanche. Following extensive interior renovations at 61 Buffalo St., the restaurant will double its seating with a second-story space including a second bar, said Andrew Murtha, Hamburg Hospitality Group general manager. There’s also plans for a second-story deck above the alleyway al…

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Hamburg’s Buffalo Street Grill is turning into an upscale casual restaurant called Carte Blanche. Following extensive interior renovations at 61 Buffalo St., the restaurant will double its seating with a second-story space including a second bar, said Andrew Murtha, Hamburg Hospitality Group general manager. There’s also plans for a second-story deck above the alleyway al…

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Take one step into Major Tom’s Drop Zone restaurant in Hamburg and you’ll find yourself pointing at unusual military items. “It’s a wow factor,” said Tom Kiera, who owns the restaurant with his two brothers. “It’s almost like a museum out there!” You’ll find all kinds of aircraft memorabilia and World War II artifacts at Major Tom’s, 5842 Camp Road. Kiera’s favorite is a…

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Residents and frequent visitors to the Village of Hamburg will note that Butera’s Craft Beer & Craft Pizza has taken over the space formerly occupied by O’Brien’s Farm Fresh Meats & Smokehouse — a gourmet food store-cum-restaurant — and more recently August Bistro. Perhaps the third time is the charm.Owner Jimmy Butera of the nearby Jimmie’s Pizza closed his longtime locat…

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Years ago I ate dinner at a Thai restaurant called Sripraphai, off the 7 subway line in Woodside, Queens. That’s where I fell in love with Thai cuisine. Vibrant, colorful salads with a palate-wakening sour chile bite, resonant coconut cream curries whose complex spices bloomed in flavor like a gardenia bud opening in the sun. I’ve been chasing that dragon ever since. The T…

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The owners of Tina’s Italian Kitchen will close their restaurant in December, ending 34 years of service to the Village of Hamburg. Tom and Christine DeNisco are retiring. Before they do, they’re inviting customers back to 22 Main St. for another plate of pasta broccoli, chicken Christina or pasta fasoola, they announced. The Italian-American eatery opened in 1981 with 4…

Food and Drink

If you pick the right spot, Western New York’s waterfront views can be splendid. The same cannot be said of its waterfront restaurants, which have drawn a tepid response from customers wherever menus have aimed higher than fried fish. A couple of weeks ago, I had a meal that made me think that dynamic could change. I don’t want to oversell Lucia’s on the Lake in this re…