May 2014 Food News
Calendar of Food & Drink Events
Friday Night Flights; 7p.m.
Leonard Oakes Winery hosts its monthly Friday night series. This evening promises samples of unreleased wines and tank samples, as well as a flight of offerings from NY distillers, and a selection of summer beers. Tickets are $25.
In my opinion, this is one of the tastiest events of the year. Details online are slim (which seems to be an ongoing issue with Lewiston Village events) but trust me, it's a good night to get your tiny fish fry on. Head out to the Lewiston Waterfront (115 North Water Street).
Cinco de Mayo
Join Cantina Loco for their annual Cinco de Mayo party! It starts with a visit from Don Julio Tequila tonight at 10 p.m., continues on all day and night Saturday with Dos Equis making a special appearance at 8 p.m., and again on Sunday, with Sauza Tequila at 8 p.m. Expect drink specials all weekend long, and don’t forget to order some chow while you’re there, you know, to help soak it all up.
Polish Happy Hour (Buffalo Polish Constitution Day); 5 p.m.
Venture down to the Polish Library (Adam Mickiewicz Library & Dramatic Circle) for Polish libations, as well as free Polish food. The evening will feature DJ/MC John Gora and the promise of the “largest selection of Polish music this side of Poland”. Details can be found here.
Dinner and a Movie: Godfather III; 6:30 p.m.
The Screening Room presents the third in Coppola’s famous film trilogy, paired with a spaghetti buffet, a glass of Francis Coppola’s wine, and a “leave the gun, take the” cannoli. Tickets are $30.
Cantina’s Cinco de Mayo dinner; 7 p.m.
Chef Mike A has always held a special place in his heart for Mexican food, first evidenced in the tasty enchiladas offered on Seabar’s menu and then later, with the opening of Cantina. A multi-course meal is in the works, with a special order of ingredients (such as masa and chilis) coming in from Mexico. Fresh goat from local meat magicians Dispenza’s will also be integrated into the meal with a barbacoa preparation. Guests can also expect Octopus Escebeche, Sweet Corn Soup with Smoked Hen and Chili Cream, Pozole, Foie Gras Tostados, and more. Tequila tastings will also be featured. Cost is $69 per person, and reservations (held with a credit card) can be made by contacting Cantina Loco via telephone.
Larkin’s Food Truck Tuesdays return; 5–8p.m.
You know better weather has finally arrived when the sherbet-colored three-ring circus of Larkinville’s Food Truck Tuesdays is back on the menu. With up to twenty trucks coming from far and wide, and lots of wide open space to run, and jump, and hula hoop, there’s no sign that this weekly event will do anything but gain more momentum as the season goes on.
Can’t make it to the opening of Larkin’s weekly Tuesday night feasts? Help support a great school and get your feedbag on with Olmsted 64’s Food Truck Fundraiser on Friday, May 9. Trucks scheduled include Lloyd, Roaming Buffalo, R&R Barbecue, The Sweet Hearth, and Rolling Joe Café.
Wine Trail Blossoms is a weekend-long opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with the wine trail. You can find the details using the link above. The cost is $40 per person or $70 per couple.
The well-respected craft brewer hosts their third annual Public Day. Guests are provided a souvenir glass and the option to purchase samples for only a buck. There will be limited edition beers and special cask offerings, along with a variety of Southern Tier's tried and true favorites. Food will be available, as will brewery tours and live music. Admission is free.
This meal is an art and food experience featuring fare from chef Colleen Stillwell, served inside the fascinating home/art project of Dennis Maher. The location itself is enough to warrant your interest, but the promise of this talented chef’s cuisine should excite anyone who adores and admires fine food. Tickets are $200 per person.
Industry Night; 9p.m.
Industry Night returns after a brief hiatus. Seabar’s ongoing event series meant to unite Buffalo’s hospitality workers (as well as the general public), while providing curated, fun food and beverage experiences, will kick the summer season off with a pretty crazy event you won’t want to miss. Mike A and I, your honored hosts, will release details soon enough, but for now, be sure to mark your calendar—not just for the 9:30–midnight slot that IN typically requires, but also for some time to take a nap, eat a protein bar, and hydrate earlier in the day. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
In Other News
Blood & Sand announced
Spree announced details for a project that will feature the talents of barkeep Jon Karel and executive chef Edward Forster earlier this week. You can find that story here.
We are all anxiously anticipating the opening of Steve and Ellen Gedra’s new venture, the Black Sheep. Since the Bistro shuttered a few weeks ago, the couple has been able to funnel all their energy into the project, which is still under construction. It seems the former Golden Key—beloved for its dive bar chic, cranky cat, and questionable food offerings—needed a gut job, and the Gedras have taken it to heart. The entire building is theirs, and big plans are in the works for the two outdoor plots (which they also own), that sit to the building’s east and west. But that’s a conversation for another day. Let’s talk about having to replace the roof, rebuild the entire back half of the building, install a brand new HVAC and ansul system (not to mention plumbing and electric), erect a utility poll in order to add appropriately capable power to the property, put in a giant walk-in and freezer, build out a kitchen (as large as the entire footprint of the old restaurant), add new bathrooms, and custom build all the furniture? Yeah, the Gedras have been busy. Steve toured me through the property, and while it’s not very photo-friendly at this stage, it’s easy to see their vision for the place.
The front room functions as the bar and some banquette seating runs along the wall. Fortunately, the custom bar was desgined with dining in mind. The bar is, in my mind, usually the best seat in the house at most restaurants, but it presented real concernsat Europa, where the original owner had put such a large piece of trim on the outside of the bar that it made eating at it a challenge. If you move toward the back of the building you enter a short hallway, which houses the restrooms, replete with page from cookbooks penned by Jacques Pepin (for the men) and Julia Child (for the ladies, of course), and into the dining room. The dining room is actually two spaces, with a small room opening into a larger one. Steve states that the new place should seat about seventy people.
The bar is made, in part, from wood that was once part of the building’s roof, and church pews, original brickwork, and other interior details mean that the couple’s rabid clientele will find the Black Sheep just as cozy and friendly as they did the Bistro. We have a slideshow of photos below, but be forewarned, it’s not very pretty. The sightlines are tough with the limited lighting and the amount of construction equipment currently in the space.
When will the Sheep open? Well, it’s the question everyone asks. The answer? Drive by every day. One day you will be lucky and it will be open. Until then, we will all have to dream of potato pancakes and sticky toffee pudding. Anticipation is good for the soul.
Cugino’s Italian Restaurant, WIlliamsville
Christa Glennie Seychew is Spree's senior editor.