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Food and Drink

For decades, Henry Gorino, Chuck Mauro and their partners have convinced city diners to row against the tide and head to the suburbs for dinner. Their arguments were named Siena, in Snyder, and 800 Maple, in Amherst just past North Forest Road. Rocco's Wood Fired Pizza, aimed at family dining, followed. The general excellence of the trio is such that expectations were h…

Gusto

In search of Italian-American cuisine worth celebrating, I have encountered miles of pallid pasta and oceans of weak tomato sauce. There have been bright spots, certainly, places with plenty of dishes to recommend. But of the 20-something red sauce purveyors whose Southern Italian dishes I've had the privilege to evaluate, none ran the table. Then I went to Sinatra's. …

Food and Drink

A new bar-restaurant in Medina aims to please eyes as well as palates with a unique sculpture of the Erie Canal that runs through the dining room, serving as bar and table tops as well as decor. The interior of Mile 303, 416 Main St., has a turquoise stream flowing through it that rises and dips, echoing in an abstract way the topography of the canal. It's made of hard …

Gusto

Chef's Restaurant on the Go Cuisine: Old-fashioned Italian-American menu built on a foundation of slightly sweet red sauce. A Buffalo classic. Owner: Lou Billittier and Mary Beth Billittier-Darling Price range: $3.50-$9 Established: 2015 Dishes to try: Spaghetti Parmesan (lightly sauced pasta served under a thick layer of browned melted mozzarella), $9; meatba…

Gusto

Vincent and Linda Desiderio are bringing Linguine's restaurant back, in a bigger, better spot. After 20 years in a gas station plaza, the Desiderios closed one of the most-loved Italian restaurants in that area in December. Now they've signed the lease for a new place at 5354 Genesee St., Bowmansville, the former site of Water Lily Cafe. This restaurant, just a few h…

Amherst

Four months ago, there was a large for lease sign outside Siena restaurant in Snyder and the restaurant's owners were eyeing a move two blocks to the east. Today, Siena remains open for business at 4516 Main St., the sign is gone and the restaurant's owners no longer plan to buy the building at 4614 Main. Chuck Mauro, one of Siena's owners, said the restaurant is sta…

Gusto

Confession is good for the soul, or so they say. So I will share that when the first dishes arrived at Mangia, I emitted a quiet sigh of relief. After visiting so many Italian-American restaurants, the dominant strain of the area's "ethnic" eateries, I have developed red sauce fatigue. I've learned to expect average food in an average setting, made by a staff putting in…

Food and Drink

Bruno Italian Grill has moved in to the space formerly occupied by Rachel’s Mediterranean on the corner of Chippewa and Delaware. Trusting a similar business model to Rachel’s but a different cuisine, Bruno is hoping its fast-casual, build-your-own Italian concept will hit the ground running in stride with the time-crunched business crowd it’s hoping to entice. Bruno…

Food and Drink

Louie Yannello serves all the food he grew up eating in his Italian household: stuffed peppers, artichokes, salads, pastas and breads. “I have my own style of cooking, but it all comes from my mother, mainly,” said Yannello, owner of Louie’s Deli & Imports. “She would tell me, ‘If you like to eat, you’re going to have to learn how to cook.’ ” His parents started …

Food and Drink

Sinatra's, the classic Italian-American restaurant on Kenmore Avenue, will move to its new building across the street following a charity auction on March 19. The new Sinatra's at 945 Kenmore Ave., Tonawanda, can hold twice as many people for dinner, said manager David Ortolano. New features will include gluten-free pasta, a broader selection of Italian wine, and a pati…

Food and Drink

Mulberry Italian Ristorante won't be opening a sister restaurant in Snyder after all. "We're not doing it," said Joe Jerge, a Mulberry owner. "I'm really disappointed." Asked what happened to negotiations with the space's leaseholder, Jerge declined to comment. Announced in August, the new Mulberry was originally set to open at 4548 Main St., the former Squire on …

Food and Drink

Mulberry Italian Ristorante won't be opening a sister restaurant in Snyder after all. "We're not doing it," said Joe Jerge, a Mulberry owner. "I'm really disappointed." Asked what happened to negotiations with the space's leaseholder, Jerge declined to comment. Announced in August, the new Mulberry was originally set to open at 4548 Main St., the former Squire on …

Food and Drink

Aldo Evangelista is gone, but La Hacienda will live on. The Niagara Falls restaurant at 3019 Pine Ave. will be operated by the famed Niagara Falls restaurateur's family, with a planned reopening Wednesday. "Nothing's changing," said Donato Evangelista, Aldo's son. From the food to the staff, everything will be as Aldo left it, Donato said. After being diagnosed wi…

Food and Drink

Aldo Evangelista, owner, chef and personality behind La Hacienda, has died. After he took over the restaurant from his in-laws, Evangelista's pizza and Italian classics drew fans to 3019 Pine Ave. from down the street and far away. "Aldo was somebody who was a celebrity here in Niagara Falls," said Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. "He was in the habit of greeting his…

Food and Drink

The people behind Rachel's Mediterranean, relocated to 235 S. Elmwood Ave., are opening a quick-serve Italian spot in the former Rachel's spot at Chippewa and Delaware. The space, at 235 Delaware Ave., will be called Bruno Italian Grill. The restaurant's setup echoes Rachel's, with an Italian accent. Customers choose pasta, wrap or salad, then customize it. The me…