Our previews of interesting/fun food happenings.
Oct 17, 2012
LRW Preview: Italian favs, from casual to fine
Italian restaurants reign supreme in WNY, where red sauce joints, take-out pizza parlors, and themed fine dining experiences grace nearly every major neighborhood. The Local Restaurant Week roster is packed full of them, so we've decided to highlight a few here, in alphabetical order.
Located on the short, western end of Chippewa, we reviewed Bada Bing for our March issue. Food writer Nina Barone found that "Buffalonians may call Bada Bing a great sports bar, but I can see how its patrons feel it’s a well-kept secret for a meal too." This wise-guy themed joint may be seen as a bar by passers-by, but the truth is the food is of good value. During LRW, $20.12 fetches a meal for two, including a generous portion of pasta and meatballs, side salad, and fountain drinks.
Della Terra, located within the stunning Avant, boasts a lovely dining room and a varied menu that includes classic Italian stand-bys. On offer this week for $20.12 is a "local inspired" salad, and your choice of Lasagna al Forno, hand rolled pasta made to order, Pollo al Tartufo, or pan-seared chicken with orzo. For those with a more social evening in mind, certain wine selections served with a plate of fruit and cheese for light noshing are also available for $20.12.
My Tomato Pie has a lot of comforting dishes on their regular menu, so it's no surprise that they've made similar dishes available for LRW. Sausage Cacciatore, chicken parmesan, a cheese tortellini dish called Pasta Maria, and a gluten free offering of chicken medallions in marinara sauce can be had, with two entrees arriving at your table for the total cost of $20.12.
Longtime North Buffalo favorite Ristorante Lombardo always delivers, and their menu for LRW is no exception. Course one includes a choice of arugula, pear, and Gorgonzola salad or hearty lamb and vegetable soup. Course two features options such as goat ricotta and mushroom ravioli with thyme-butter emulsion and aged pecorino, satisfying Tagliatelle Bolognese, a skirt steak served with salsa verde and roasted potatoes, Piccata of opah with risotto, grilled pork tenderloin with sweet potato and mascarpone mash or, for the non-meat eater, polenta with pearl onion agrodolce. This two course meal will set diners back (of course) only $20.12 each.
Trattoria Aroma has two very different locations, one more contemporary (Bryant Street, Buffalo) and one more comforting (Main Street, Williamsville). In the city diners will find that their favorite Aroma pasta dish from the existing menu is available with an accompanying side salad for only $20.12. In the 'burbs, the offerings include two options, both $20.12—the first is soup, salad, and "lunch-size" pizza, the second is the selection of one entree from the regular menu.
Rizotto Ristorante is another new restaurant making a name for itself. The newest addition to the Banchetti fleet, this Italian eatery has opened in the Maple Road location that briefly housed Verbena. By all early reports, diners are leaving happy. In my mind, any new restaurant brave enough to face the crush of guests that accompany LRW understands that participation is a distinct opportunity to win regulars and garnish excellent reviews on social media sites. The LRW menu at Rizotto's makes me think they get this. People have been chatting up Rizotto's "antipasto bar" to me since they opened, and now is your chance to sample it since two selections from it are the start to this $20.12 deal. Entree options include the diner's choice from a 6oz filet served with a risotto croquette, sauteed spinach, and a reduction of port wine, seared scarlet snapper with pea risotto and fennel carrot slaw, chicken Saltimboca with veg and a side of Parmesan risotto, or housemade ravioli of spinach and ricotta served in a tomato cream sauce. A simple dessert menu includes modest portions of sfinge (a type of Italian doughnut), risotto pudding, or mini cannoli.
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