April 2014 Food News
“A little much” — raw, pickled, sliced, and roasted vegetables with fruits, grains, herbs and flowers, dressed with yoghurt
Courtesy of The Workshop Buffalo
April is here, and with it comes a host of food events.
Calendar of Food & Drink Events
Taste of the Trail; times vary
A Gust of Sun Winery – Creamy, vegetarian carrot soup, infused with Sweet Westies White wine
Arrowhead Spring Vineyards – D’avolio olive oils will be featuring breads with artisanal olive oils. Paired with Arrowhead’s red wines.
Eveningside Vineyards – Chocolate Brownies paired with red wines
Flight of Five Winery – Lock 68 wine paired with Pesto Chicken Sliders (a vegetarian option will be available)
Freedom Run Winery – Choose a sample of one of three flat breads paired with a wine: Sundried Tomato Pesto with Chardonnay; Sautéed Greens and Sundried Tomato with Pinot Noir; Chicken Bacon Ranch with Cabernet Franc; Buffalo Chicken with Gewurztraminer.
Honeymoon Trail Winery – Food samples provided by the Wine Trail Italian Bistro
Long Cliff Winery – Pinot Noir paired with a mixed vegetable side dish from Garlock’s Restaurant, Lockport
Midnight Run Wine Cellars – Coconut curry chicken paired with Riesling
Niagara Landing Wine Cellars – Assorted artisan and stuffed breads with a variety of dips that pair with any of our wines
Victorianbourg Wine Estate — A choice of either Pinot Noir or Pinot Gris, paired with Bruschetta on Crostini from Red Coach Inn.
Plates & Pasta; 7–10p.m.
The sixth installment of this annual benefit for Buffalo Arts Studio includes a silent auction featuring unique plates created by renowned local artists, food provided by Amy McCarthy and Current catering, desserts from Sweet_ness 7 Café, as well as beer and wine by the glass. Tickets are $25–75 per person, you can purchase them here.
Complete Wellness Arts and Science Center
Attendees will learn about sustainable, omega-3 rich fish options, as well as view three different fish cooking demonstrations (none of which will include frying). Kathy and the center offer a variety of healthy cooking classes each month. Registration required.
Learn the terminology involved with consuming and enjoying sustainable wines. Sample five wines, each with individual variances of sustainability. Appetizers will be served. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here.
Flapjacks at the Farm; 8:30, 10, and 11:30a.m.
Massachusetts Avenue Project’s annual fundraiser is a hoot, a good cause, and the perfect excuse to chow down on pancakes! Held at Trinity Episcopal Church Tickets are $15 (kids under 5 are free). They can be purchased here.
Yelp Rocks the Farm; 2–5p.m.
Join the local Yelp chapter at The Lodge for a celebration of local farms. Featuring T-Meadow Farm, Boston Valley Mushrooms, Plato Dale Farm, Dan Tower Farm, and Native Offerings, guests will sample a variety of dishes and enjoy music from The Mountain Run All Star Blue Grass band. A donation of $10 at the door will be divided among the farms. A RSVP through Yelp is required.
Ristorante Lombardo’s Monthly Wine Dinner; 6:30p.m.
Vine & Dine - A Celebration of Local Wine & Food will feature wines from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery and Arrowhead Spring Vineyards paired with chef Michael Obarka’s remarkable cuisine. The winemakers will be in attendance. Reservations are required; the price is $85 per person plus tax and gratuity and reservations are required.
Shaved Asparagus Salad
preserved lemon, baby pea shoots, Maggie’s round cheese
with Sauvignon Blanc Reserve, Leonard Oakes 2012
ricotta, mushrooms, amarena cherries, brown butter
with Pinot Noir Barrel #44, Arrowhead Spring 2012
& Blaufrankisch, Leonard Oakes 2012
T-Meadow Pork Pate
fennel, toasted coriander seed, burnt orange
with Riesling Reserve, Leonard Oakes 2012
T-Meadow Pork Shoulder
goat cheese polenta, blackberry gastrique
with Estate Syrah, Arrowhead Spring 2010
& Estate Syrah, Arrowhead Spring 2011
Prime Rib Fiorentino
Florentine herb crust, Capezzana olive oil, pee wee potatoes
with Estate Meritage Reserve, Arrowhead Spring 2008
& Estate Meritage Reserve, Arrowhead Spring 2010
nut brittle, wildflower honey
with Vidal Ice Wine, Leonard Oakes 2012
In Other News
As we told you a bit ago, chef Brad Rowell has moved to Elm Street Bakery where he’s begun to serve dinner, an offering not previously available at the lovely little East Aurora getaway. Cooking nearly all of the evening offerings in the bakery’s wood-fired oven has proven to be an exciting challenge for Rowell, and early reports have been good. Now offering table service and a smart menu, it’s only a matter of time before the home of WNY’s best bakery becomes a solid dinner option for locals.
Perfetto, the downtown restaurant that once hoped to offer singing waiters in addition to steak and seafood to downtown theatergoers has closed. Its location—the former Breckenridge Brewery/Empire Brewing Company/YaYa Brewhouse—appeared to have legs once major remodeling was undertaken, but the space is tough. With entrances on both Washington and Main, guests tend to feel like they have been seated in a hallway. The newly selected McMansion-y finishes didn't help, leaving an air of micro-hotel waiting room behind. Breaking the space up better might be the ideal solution, but only time and a restaurateur with vision (and great food) can prove me right.
Will Main become a dining destination again?
Meanwhile, the 500 block of Main is quickly becoming the spot to be for up and coming restaurants. In November, we reported some changes to the formerly quiet block, including the building at 537 Main purchased by Paul and Sandra Wilkins that they intend to open as a restaurant in the very near future.
Just around the corner on West Huron, Jim Guarino’s Oshun Oyster Bar is beginning to take shape. For those who may not know, Guarino is the chef and owner of the successful University Heights eatery, Shango.
Donnie Burtless, friend to Spree and owner of BuffaloEats.org, took his readers on a visual tour of the new space. You can view it here.
Galarneau blows the lid off
Two big moves are underway. The first is the closing of Steve and Ellen Gedra's beloved Bistro Europa. Since arriving on the scene in 2009, the Gedra's have transformed the way Buffalonians think about food and restaurants while simultaneously training a slew of young, engaged chefs—a situation that will have a notable (and tracebale) impact on the kind of places Buffalo's scene gives birth to in the future. While it is sad to see their little ragtag bohemian food nirvana close, the good news is that they are simply moving to bigger and better space on Connecticut Street. The excitement around the Bistro's closing was only matched by Buffalo News food editor Andrew Galarneau's premature public unveiling of the new restaurant's name, The Black Sheep (a perfect moniker if you ask anyone who knows Steve well).
Just a few days later, another moment of revelation came, when Galarneau reported that Buffalo's favorite adopted son, barman Jon Karel, would be returning to Buffalo to open a new craft cocktail bar called Blood & Sand. The story wasn't saturated with details, perhaps because it's not really a story yet. Scrolling down to the bottom of Galarneau's post you'll see that idiotic commentators have cringed at the concept (What's a craft cocktail? Egads!) and its name (Am I the only person that's creeped out by a restaurant with blood in the title?)—rest assured News readers, the latter is simply a nod to one of Karel's favorite cocktails. I am thrilled at the news, though I'd like to suggest that News readers learn to Google first and hit "reply" second. If they don't like that, perhaps they can all chip in and buy the guy terrorized by the name a nice pig head dinner at The Black Sheep when it opens.
An art inspired pop-up
It seems every month I'm recounting a dinner hosted by chef Edward Forster's pop-up, The Workshop Buffalo. This month will be no exception. Partnered with Hallwalls for one if its rare but wonderful studio visits, The Workshop prepared a meal for attendees inspired entirely by the studio's resident artist, Kyle Butler. Forster recounts the experience on his blog here. As many have heard me say during the planning process of this event, Buffalo has a long and storied history of strong and vibrant art and food communities. Seeing them come together is something I'd like to see more of.
Christa Glennie Seychew is the senior editor of Buffalo Spree.