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Food and Drink

Squid tossed in seasoned flour and fried to a crisp has become one of the 716 area code’s signature appetizers. Calamari is harder than it looks, though – much more challenging than cooking chicken wings. Coating failure, cooking mollusk morsels to rubber band stage, and overdoing post-Frialator ornamentation are common flaws. Here’s eight plates of sublime fried squ…

Gusto

“Upgraded tavern menu” is the great white whale of restaurant concepts. It’s on the lips of every other operator, but the true beast is rarely glimpsed. It’s an obsessive subject because giving customers noticeably better versions of dishes they already want sounds like a high-percentage shot at restaurant success. It’s hard to find because it’s difficult to offer fa…

Gusto

Growing up, Richard Semonian ate his mother’s tomato sauce three days a week. The former Maryann Torregrossa would mix crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, onion and spices, before simmering spare ribs, meatballs, or sausage in the sauce. When he left for college in Pittsburgh, Semonian couldn’t bring her along – but the sauce was his lifeline. “I always took a giant T…

Gusto

Simple and unassuming, the exterior of Lackawanna’s Winfield’s Pub, located on Ridge Road near Abbott Road, belies the explorations that unfold inside. Unique appetizers, varied entrees and interesting side dishes marry with a solid list of craft beer and cocktails. With all of the fresh takes of a downtown bistro, Winfield’s off-the-beaten path location exemplifies the…

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St. Patrick’s Day isn’t typically known for its culinary confections, unless you think Guinness counts as a food. We’ve followed the rainbow to find some St. Patrick's-inspired fare that's not your stereotypical corned beef and cabbage. 1. Toutant 437 Ellicott St.; 342-2901 The culinary crew at Toutant is celebrating St. Paddy’s with a little southern flair, brining its …

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Tony Rials shaves down a chunk of crystal clear ice and drops it into a highball. He measures an ounce of this, a dash of that and a dropper of something else into a shaker, stirs vigorously and then strains it – twice – over the ice. He pinches the oils from an orange peel and swirls it around the edges of the glass before sliding the drink toward the customer with a smil…

Food and Drink

If the winter has left you thinking you need a dose of comfort food, consider Kiki’s warm potato salad at Winfield’s Pub in Lackawanna.It’s potatoes, bacon and green olives in a gooey Velveeta bath. Made to order, sprinkled with scallions, it’s soothing and carb-dense enough to power a driveway’s worth of snow shoveling. It’s $5 as…

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Winfield’s Pub is an unassuming storefront on Ridge Road in Lackawanna, where neon beer signs in the window stand out more than its small shingle sign. It looks like the kind of bar your grandfathers and fathers would frequent after long factory days, where 20-somethings in grease-stained T-shirts go to blow off steam and workaday frustration. Except for one thing: The fo…

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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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The bar at 1213 Ridge Road reopened as  Winfield's Pub (821-0700) in November, with a menu that goes far beyond the obligatory fish fry. Chef-owner Tab Daulton used to be Delaware North's head chef at the former HSBC Arena. Now he makes one heck of a toasted cheese sandwich. The photo above only show half of the Grilled Cheese Bites ($8), gooey, crusty and loaded with cri…