June 2014 Food News
WNY strawberries from Weiss farms in Eden, NY.
Christa Glennie Seychew
Well, my June Food News post is long overdue, and I assure you that it’s because I’ve been hard at work on the upcoming July issue of Buffalo Spree (which is packed to the hilt with cool stuff)—not because I’ve been day drinking again.
So, before the dog days of summer arrive, let’s catch up on the rest of the month’s many food-centric events, shall we?
Calendar of Food & Drink Events
Williamsville hosts its annual strawberry social. Sponsored by the Rotary Club, it’s a great family event featuring face painting, clowns, refreshments, and, of course, strawberry sundaes. Wednesday, June 18 from 4–8 p.m. at Island Park in Williamsville.
Buffalo Spree’s Best of WNY party takes place Thursday night. There’s no lectern, no long thank you speeches, just drinks and snacks and the chance to rub elbows with the 200+ winners of a 2014 award. Best chef? Best bartender? Best new restaurant? Best food truck? Sounds like fun to me. The evening also benefits WNY Book Arts Center. Thursday, June 19 from 5:30–8:30 p.m. at Shea’s. Get your tickets today.
Most of Western New York’s farmers markets are open now. Despite the fact that our area’s proud produce abilities don’t really shine until the second or third week of July, most markets offer a wide variety of goods that are slightly less seasonal—honey, meat, cold-stored apples, and the like. Each market I’ve been to this year has been packed, and I’m sure that will be true of the new North Buffalo Farmers Market, slated to open this Thursday (3–7 p.m.) Held in the parking lot of Holy Spirit Church (facing Hertel, next to Burger King), having another city market held on a different day allows better access to local foods. But remember, farmers only populate markets that are busy, so if you want to see this market thrive, be sure to swing by weekly. For a complete list of Erie and Niagara County markets, visit BuffaloSpree.com’s 2014 WNY Farmers Market Guide.
If you’ve never been to Hurd Orchards in Holley, NY, you really don’t know what you’re missing. They have a roster of summertime (and anytime) events for young and old and it’s a pleasant drive with a destination well worth the effort. Their schedule for the summer is here. Check it out for yourself, and don’t be quick to dismiss the variety of activities just because this week's Juneberry Jamboree isn’t up your alley. On this particular occasion, guests will learn more about the Juneberry, plus enjoy lunch, etc. Friday, June 20 at 12:30 p.m. at Hurd Orchards.
Chateau Niagara Winery will showcase pinot noirs from the Niagara Wine Trail with this one time tasting event. Sample pinots from A Gust of Sun Winery, Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Chateau Niagara Winery, Eveningside Vineyards, Freedom Run Winery, Lake Ontario Winery, Long Cliff Winery, and Victorianbourg Estate. The event is free and snacks will be provided. Friday, June 20 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at Chateau Niagara Winery.
Taste of Diversity showcases the growing variety of cuisines available on Buffalo’s West Side. Sample a wide array of ethnic foods at this very colorful and exciting food fest; there’s nothing else quite like it in all of WNY. Plus, it’s family-friendly and affordable! Saturday, June 21 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
Get your lederhosen ready, because Saturday marks another year of the German American Heritage Festival. Some may argue that yodeling and waltzing are the event’s main attractions, but I’m guessing it’s the sausage, sauerkraut, and beer. Saturday, June 21 from 4–8 p.m. at Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
Grassroots Gardens teams up with the new Resurgence Brewery for this fundraiser, featuring live music, food, craft beer, and more. Sunday, June 22 from Noon–3 p.m.
Chef Mike Andrzejewski has teamed up with Gekkeikan to offer a unique meal at Seabar. The company’s line of sakes will pair well with the chef’s well-regarded modern Japanese fare. Monday, June 23; seats are limited; cost is $69 per person plus tax and tip; reservations required.
Vera will host a summer pairing dinner that will preview the restaurant's upcoming menu. The meal features four courses with cocktails (and of course, Fernet Branca). The bustling cocktail bar rarely has the time and space to do events such as these and they are always fun, so if you're a fan, be sure to book your rez now. Tuesday, June 24 from 6–9 p.m.; cost is $70 per person plus tax and tip; reservations required.
Mansion on Delaware Avenue has plenty of admirers far and wide, it’s part of what happens when you offer Buffalo's visitors the comfort of a luxury boutique hotel alongside our citizenry’s natural flair for neighborliness and hospitality. But too many locals have never booked themselves a staycation, so they don’t really know what they’re missing. Well, it doesn’t come with a turndown or scented bath bubbles, but Cocktails on the Lawn does allow locals to eat some remarkable food (courtesy of executive chef Jennifer Boye and sous chef Dan Borelli), sip fabulous cocktails, and well, enjoy the Mansion’s “lawn”, for lack of a better term. Don’t miss it, it’s a lovely event and it only happens a few times a year (upcoming dates: July 23 and August 20). Wednesday, June 25 from 5:30–8:30 p.m. at Mansion on Delaware Avenue.
INdustry Night presents I Scream, You Scream. The ongoing event (hosted by yours truly) is geared toward food and beverage folks, but open to the general public. This month we'll attempt to deliver brain freeze to an entire crowd with a flight of ice cream samples from Sweet Jenny’s and boozy ice cream floats from VERA. Samples are free, but available on a first come, first served basis (guests must be 21 and over). The event takes place on Monday, June 30 from 9:30 p.m.–1 a.m. at Seabar. See IN’s website or Facebook page for details.
Black Iron Bystro (sic)
3648 South Park Avenue, Blasdell
1176 South Park Avenue, Buffalo
179 East Ave., Lockport
470 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
59 Allen Street, Buffalo
1250 Niagara Street, Buffalo
Christa Glennie Seychew is Spree's senior editor.