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On the first truly pleasant spring day of 2019, I was at the Little Club on Hertel Avenue, trying to become a better restaurant critic. One recurring reader complaint is that I don’t offer much wine insight. It’s a fair cop, as the Brits say. Which was why I was across the street from Ristorante Lombardo, in the family’s new wine-bar-slash-graduate-seminar. General Mana…

Gusto

The growing Hertel district is defined by its diversity. Dive bars sidle alongside craft beer pubs; ethnic restaurants neighbor on both sides. The Little Club fits in neatly between. A wine bar in a beer town, The Little Club makes a concerted effort to abandon pretense. It does so quite successfully. The decor is equal parts modern and urbane - the bar’s metallic curve…

Gusto

For generations, diners have made Ristorante Lombardo, the fine-dining Italian restaurant on Hertel Avenue, a destination for eating and drinking. The priorities are reversed across the street at The Little Club, the soon-to-open wine bar from the Lombardo family. The room at 1197 Hertel Ave., once Café Garangelo, will put wine first, said Thomas D. Lombardo. The Lit…

Gusto

Upscale Italian restaurant Ristorante Lombardo and owner Tommy Lombardo Jr. have narrowed the date for the opening of a new wine bar, The Little Club, at 1197 Hertel Ave., across the street from the restaurant. Announced originally in February for the space that was formerly Cafe GarAngelo, Lombardo's wine bar has taken shape, from vintage green tile to a marble bar and…

Food and Drink

The people behind Buffalo fine dining destination Ristorante Lombardo are opening a wine bar on Hertel Avenue. The site, 1197 Hertel Ave., was formerly Café Garangelo. The building is across the street from Ristorante Lombardo, established by the Lombardo family in 1975 at 1198 Hertel Ave. Third-generation restaurateur Thomas D. Lombardo is developing plans for the s…

Food and Drink

The people behind Buffalo fine dining destination Ristorante Lombardo are opening a wine bar on Hertel Avenue. The site, 1197 Hertel Ave., was formerly Café Garangelo. The building is across the street from Ristorante Lombardo, established by the Lombardo family in 1975 at 1198 Hertel Ave. Third-generation restaurateur Thomas D. Lombardo is developing plans for the s…

Bills

The tables were set. The china and crystal were ready. The reservations were made. In Western New York's finest restaurants, everything was in place for an elegant New Year's Eve feast. Then came a potential game-changer. The NFL had moved the Buffalo Bills game against the Miami Dolphins to 4:25 p.m. Was this some new strategy? Last weekend, a high-tension Bills gam…

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Fresh pasta is a daunting task for restaurants, requiring significant investments. Sometimes it requires expensive equipment, but it always demands cooks skilled in forming its shapes and cooking them in the narrow time window fresh pasta allows. Here’s to places that make housemade pasta a priority. 1) Ristorante Lombardo, 1198 Hertel Ave., 879-4291 Pasta dish: Tonarel…

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Three and a half years ago, I was appointed restaurant critic of The Buffalo News. Some 200 restaurant reviews later, my view of my job has expanded a smidge. My core mission is still giving readers actionable intelligence on where to spend their dining dollars. Put another way, it’s my job to find and proclaim the best in Western New York’s eating life. “The best” is a …

Food and Drink

*Excerpts from Andrew Galarneau's 10-plate review of Ristorante Lombardo: "From beginning to end, this was my most memorable Italian meal in Buffalo, a meal without a significant misstep. Is Ristorante Lombardo the best Italian restaurant in town? Having not dined at all the contenders, I can’t say. Have I seen a better one? No." *Read his full review *See Ristorante …

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Here are five top-notch cocktails to enjoy from the Buffalo area bar scene. Supressor #21 Lombardo Ristorante 1198 Hertel Ave. (873-4291) A smooth, velvety after-dinner drink, Lombardo’s Supressor #21 is the perfect blend of earthy, bitter and forest-fruit sweet. The sherry and umami Cynar are decadently rich, while orange bitters perk up the finish. -----------------…

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There are pizzas I remember, all my life, though some have changed. Some had peppers, some had cheddar. Some had prawn, and some romaine. All these pizzas had their flavors, The cheese and the sauce, I still can recall Some were thin crust, some were deep dish. In my life, I ate them all. Pizza is personal. We imprint on the pizzas of our youth, so in advancing years we m…

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The Italian fine-dining establishment Ristorante Lombardo is resplendent with touches of class: Valet parking for your ride; white tablecloths glistening under dim lighting; crisp, white-collared wait staff ready to de-crumb the table and refold your cloth napkin; and of course, some of the best Italian fare this side of Piazza Navona. (You can read Andrew Galarneau's 10 o…

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There are more Italian restaurants in Buffalo than any other ethnic flavor. Since pizza, chicken Parmesan and spaghetti with meatballs have joined the great American melting pot, maybe “ethnic” isn’t even the right word any more. Amid the sea of red sauce along Hertel Avenue’s Little Italy, Ristorante Lombardo stands tall. It doesn’t serve most of the Italian-American clic…