There are a lot of places to eat in WNY and sometimes deciding where to head for a meal is overwhelming. Where to Eat This Weekend is a weekly feature that I (Alli) have been thinking about for a while. I’m incredibly indecisive and while having 100′s of detailed reviews of restaurants to pick from is wonderful, sometimes having someone narrow down your choices makes your life a bit easier. A new Where to Eat This Weekend will be posted every Friday with the sole purpose of helping you decide where to eat and hopefully introduce you to a few new places that are worth checking out. The posts will have a new ‘theme’ each week. I will pick a town (i.e. East Aurora, Orchard Park), cuisine (Thai, Mexican) or street (Hertel, Kenmore Ave) and give you a list of all of the notable places to eat/drink within that theme along with links to websites and our reviews as well as a few quick descriptions (price, type of food, etc). Past posts focused on East Aurora, Allentown, Vietnamese cuisine , “unique” Chicken Wings, Kenmore Ave and Seasonal Hot Dog Stands.
This week we are recommending you go out for Local Restaurant Week and get a great deal at a locally owned restaurant. WNY Local Restaurant Week is Oct. 15 – 21. It is a bi-annual event that allows diners to eat meals at over 200 local restaurants for only $20.12. The idea is to get people to not only try out restaurants they have not been to before that may be normally out of their price range, but (more importantly) to EAT LOCAL and discover how many really amazing locally owned and operated restaurants we have in WNY (which is our goal every day on Buffalo Eats).
This week we had the opportunity to enjoy a LWR preview night on the gorgeous second floor of Mike A’s at the Hotel Lafayette. We enjoyed sashimi from Chef Mike Andrzejewski of Seabar, pasta bolognese from Chef Michael Obarka of Ristorante Lombardo, the epic Foie Gras Burger from again Chef Mike Andrzejewski of Mike A’s, surf and turf featuring lobster and veal cheek from Chef Joseph Jerge of Mulberry’s, and a quartet of cheesecake from AcQua. Along with wine selections from some of the best local wineries (Johnson Estate Winery, Leonard Oaks Estate Winery, Chateau Niagara, Arrowhead) and beer from Flying Bison, it was an amazing night and we highly recommend trying any of those restaurants. You can check out our pictures from that night in our facebook gallery.
Since we started Buffalo Eats, we’ve participated in every LRW and have listed all of our visits here.We’ve taken a look at the list and thought we’d give some recommendations on a couple restaurants and their offerings, there’s plenty of great meals to be had this weekend but here are some of our favorites.
So..where should you eat this
weekend week? Restaurants participating in Local Restaurant Week!
With a tasty menu that’s inspired by Mexican street food and great drinks, Cantina is definitely worth a trip into the city. Since opening, it’s been one of the most popular restaurants downtown, so reservations are highly recommended. Cantina Loco is offering a dinner for one special that includes Chimi Churri Pork, Enchilada, Beans, Rice AND a Margherita (above). I’d recommend ordering a couple more drinks if you’re up for a late night.
We are both big fans of Kentucky Greg’s Hickory Pit and it’s easy to see why with delicious BBQ at really affordable prices. Their restaurant week deal is for two people and includes two combo entrees, two sides, Texas toast and fountain drinks. With a location that is only a couple miles away from the Galleria Mall, Kentucky Greg’s would be a great post shopping lunch or dinner.
Mulberry’s is one of Buffalo’s best hidden gems, tucked away into a neighborhood in Lackwanna in the shadows of Bethlehem Steel. The first time we drove to the restaurant, we thought we went down the wrong street. But once you walk in, you’ll understand the high praise and why they were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Their offering is a three course tasting menu that changes every night, so you’ll probably have to be an open minded eater. During this week’s preview night, we sampled incredibly tender Veal cheek with Lobster (above) and strachiatella cheese; everything was delicious.
The first Vietnamese restaurant that we ever visited was Saigon Bangkok and trying their Pho was a life changing moment. Sadly we haven’t been back since that meal but we’ve heard their food is still fantastic and their menu offering is a great deal. Their offering for this week includes a soup, appetizer, entree (Thai or Vietnamese menu entree) and dessert for each person.
We’ve said in the past that Shango is one of our favorite restaurants and that love started with a Local Restaurant Week visit a couple years ago (see their steak above). With a talented chef using fresh/local ingredients, a wonderful location and a great beer selection, there are few things not to love (not their mention their gumbo is ridiculously good). Their offering includes a soup/salad, an entree and dessert for each person.
- Ristorante Lombardo (North Buffalo)
We’ve never been to Ristorante Lombardo but we’ve sampled some of Chef Michael Obarka’s food at several events and each time we’ve been very impressed. He’s committed to making everything he can in house (including pasta and pancetta), using fresh ingredients and offering creative specials. Their restaurant week offering is a soup or salad appetizer and a choice of an entree of a special menu. We tried their Pasta Bolognese (pictured top) at the preview night and really enjoyed it. This is our number one choice on our LRW wishlist this year, so you may see us there!