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You might say Tab Daulton used to work on a bigger canvas. A few years ago, he was the chef in charge of feeding First Niagara Center fans. Today, he’s got his own place, a former dive bar in Lackawanna. There, at Winfield’s Pub, in a matchbox-sized kitchen, he insists on making his own stock and baking his own bread, which is like performing tai chi in a tanning booth, i…

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Trattoria Aroma North French, the third outpost of Dave Cosentino’s homage to northern Italian cuisine, is in a building so new that the sidewalks are still shiny. Inside, a two-story space has been hemmed in century-old wood, with reclaimed hand-hewn beams crossing overhead, and walls paneled in barn planks. Cosentino continues his efforts to serve food raised within an …

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If dining at Texas de Brazil, I suggest you park on the other side of Walden Galleria. Like, Macy’s. The resulting 20-minute walk lets you contemplate which buffet items are worth valuable stomach space. The stroll back can aid in digestion, as you reflect on which of the dozen kinds of grilled beef, chicken, pork and lamb was your favorite. The restaurant is styled after…

Food and Drink

For the better part of two decades, Tantalus and Medici House offered East Aurorans an eclectic mix of dishes from familiar cuisines, a chance to step away from the ordinary. The new restaurant from Laurie Kutas and John Rooney isn’t a step away, it’s an international flight. Theas introduces the mysteries and satisfactions of Ethiopian cuisine to the Southtowns. What the…

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This review is dedicated to my readers. The people who don’t just scan the score. Two weeks ago, I went into Valle of Mexico for dinner. I am giving it a rating of 7 plates. “Scanners” will never suspect this rating denotes the best Mexican cuisine in Buffalo. Because the truth about a restaurant is deeper than a digit. So much depends on how deeply the meal satisfied you…

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My first impression of Dick & Jenny’s Bake and Brew was a tsunami of sound. A crowd packed into an old house that was converted into a tavern long ago was singing along with a ragtime piano whiz, really belting it out, with a side of banjo. The racket blotted out our server’s exposition on the three kinds of oysters on offer, leaving me exasperated – but only temporari…

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What a restaurant decides to give you for free can tell you volumes about the place. At Casa Antica, when you sit down an abbondanza appears, three kinds of bread – baguette, garlic knots and pizza – plus a triple-threat relish tray of caponata, pickled vegetables and chunky olive-garlic mash. The message is clear as consommé: Grandma loves you so much s…

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Twenty-five years ago, Krista Van Wagner and husband, Kirk Van Wagner, added Caribbean flavors to the menu at Curly’s. Jamaican jerk chicken was as unusual for Lackawanna as iguanas are in the Antarctic, but Curly’s made it work. Two years ago, Shea Zappia took over the kitchen, adding Asian flavors from Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. My recent meal there showe…

Food and Drink

When Arirang opened about 20 years ago, in an apartment building near the University at Buffalo’s North Campus in Amherst, it was the second Korean restaurant in town. Its core menu of Korean soups, stews and stir-fried dishes hasn’t changed much in a decade. Once my recent meal proceeded past a fine array of banchan appetizers, most dishes were lackluster, and the beef bu…

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La Tavola Trattoria opened a year ago in a space that had been Little Talia, North End and other Italian restaurants in the last two decades, part of the Hertel Avenue red-sauce brigade. The new owners renovated the place, adding a wood-fired oven, hardwood floors and interiors of exposed brick, Venetian plaster. But besides above-average pizza – blistered and smoke…

Food and Drink

Medina is about 50 minutes from Buffalo if you take the Thruway to the Pembroke-Darien exit and head north, a lovely drive in fair weather. I mention that for all the people in Buffalo who say how far they'd go for real Mexican food. Mariachi de Oro is a real Mexican restaurant, serving food by and for Mexicans. It's run by a family from Oaxaca who have operated Monte A…