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Don't make an immediate beeline for the wine slushies. Well, you can - who am I to tell you not to? - but through experience, they're most refreshing after a few hours of sampling food from among the 200 individual options at the Taste of Buffalo, which runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. July 7 and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 8 at Niagara Square and up Delaware Avenue. Maybe it'…

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The ungainly, cavernous space between Washington and Main streets has eaten more than one restaurant dream. But now that EXPO has opened for lunch and dinner at 617 Main St., perhaps downtown Buffalo’s upscale food hall will prove that a group can succeed where individuals failed. Eaters can browse six shiny-new establishments, grab their choices, and retire to an assortm…

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The phenomenon started, as many do, in Japan. An up-and-coming chef takes the stage to face off with an experienced one in a singular cooking style, featuring a secret ingredient. A panel of guest judges determines whether the winner had bested the “Iron Chef.” The American version took the country by storm and now, in its 12th season, headlines a genre that has brought u…

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Ellicottville will get a casual Italian restaurant from seasoned operators when Villaggio has its planned opening Thursday. The 150-seat restaurant from Nick Pitillo and Jeff Cooke Jr. is located at 7 Monroe St., Ellicottville. Formerly The Barn, Villaggio is twice the size of Osteria 166, their original restaurant at 166 Franklin St. in downtown Buffalo. The Villaggio…

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Osteria 166 will be opening an Ellicottville restaurant twice the size of its downtown Buffalo site. The as-yet-unnamed restaurant will be located at 7 Monroe St., Ellicottville, where The Barn is now, said Osteria owner Nick Pitillo. “It’ll be rustic Italian food,” said Pitillo. “Best-sellers from Osteria and a few traditional items.” The new place has about 150 seat…

Art

Be thankful -- this weekend in Western New York is less about finding something to do and more about choosing between several worthy events. Love music? Pick between the Tragically Hip, blossoming locals The Traditional or even pay an exorbitant Stubhub sum for the 16 remaining Modest Mouse tickets. Have a powerful urge to imbibe this weekend? Maybe you were proactive in…

Food and Drink

Allen Burger Venture opened its doors in time for St. Patrick’s Day festivities Saturday, with 24 draft beers and an arsenal of canned beers. At 175 Allen St., it offers beer collection that’s heavy on craft brews, but there is also Blue Light.Another heavy aspect is the handles on the beer tower, a collection of black wrought iron implements like pitchfork a…

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Osteria 166 is joining Mulberry Italian Ristorante’s operation at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. Della Mostra, at 658 Main St., next door to the theater, will now feature dishes from Osteria, the downtown Italian restaurant, as well as Mulberry’s famed meatball and other dishes. Osteria’s risotto sticks and burrata will be there, along with pork osso buco ($18) and strozz…

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Our toes are numb. Our fingers resemble icicles. We are in desperate need of a winter warm-up from the inside out (and a darn good reason to leave the house). The best way to meet Mother Nature head on is from the safety of a bar stool (or similar) with a hot drink in hand. Something steamy to bring a body back from the deep freeze. We talked to a few area establishments…

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Local Restaurant Week, wherein places offer $20.14 specials and other deals in a group effort to seduce eaters off their couches and out of their familiar dining ruts, is not always dining at its finest. Chefs used to making dishes that go for twice that have to feed the masses, cheap. Because the masses will show up, some gripping computer printouts like a map to Incan t…

Food and Drink

Today, Buffalo Chophouse will officially raise the curtain on a “top-to-bottom overhaul” aimed at freshening up the city’s veteran steakhouse. Outside, there are new signs and blacktop. Inside, new carpet, drapes, furniture workstations and more. The place has gone through a “top-to-bottom” overhaul, said owner Mark Croce. “Since we opened the Chophouse in 2002, it’s bee…

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A selection of Osteria 166’s dishes will be available at Santora’s new Amherst location, 7800 Transit Road, on a trial basis through September, said Osteria chef Jeff Cooke. “We will be offering selected menu items and features, prepared by my cooks out of their kitchen, Thursday through Sunday in September,” he said, numbering between seven and 12 items each night, rangi…

Festivals

The final day of the Taste of Buffalo continues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today along Delaware Avenue from Chippewa Street to Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. For more information, visit www.tasteofbuffalo.com. Following are the 2014 winners: • Chairman’s Choice: Bambino Bar and Kitchen, Spinach Arancini. • Children’s Choice: The Village Inn, Tollhouse Pie. • New York …