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Haute cuisine in the hills: Dinner worth Chautauqua drive?

If you love fine food enough to drive 90 minutes for it, you might want to call the Anthenaeum Hotel at 357-4444 and see if there are any seats left for the Sept. 10 Farm to Table Dinner.

The Anthenaeum is the Chautauqua Institution’s hotel, and the reason to go is a young chef named Ross Warhol. The 23-year-old chef has done training stages at some of the world’s best kitchens, including Spain’s El Bulli, Ubuntu in California and Chicago’s Alinea. He’s composing dishes of largely local ingredients through a haute cuisine sensibility, and winning fans in the process.

For the Sept. 10 dinner, everything will be sourced from farmers within 30 miles of the hotel, Warhol said. “I’m definitely doing a Green Heron Growers chicken dish,” he said, stuffing the breast with thigh and leg meat, like a sage stuffing. There’ll be country ham ravioli, using hams Warhol cured himself from a Freeman Homestead hog.

The six or seven course dinner, with accompanying beer and wine pairings, will go for about $115, including tax and gratuity. There were about 10 seats left Tuesday night.

If you miss the dinner, Warhol will be assisting fellow Anthenaeum chef Brett Odorisio at a Sept. 24 dinner at Green Heron Growers, a certified organic farm that grows everything from heirloom beef to shiitake mushrooms. Tickets are $85 at or 465-5704.

Review chat with News food writer Andrew Galarneau

I'll be stopping by to take questions, and ask them, at a noon chat here. It's easy to sign up and participate.

What have you eaten lately that the world should know about? Share at noon.

Video: Blueberry pancakes, Alton Brown style

Who says teenagers don't want to cook? Special guest star Lydia Galarneau shows her father how to make real blueberry pancakes, featured in today's Elements column in The Buffalo News.

Lloyd taco truck throws all-you-can-eat party Friday

Fans of Buffalo's first food truck, Lloyd the taco wagon, can check out new Mexican items the truck's cooks are testing at an all-you-can-eat party Friday.

The belated celebration of the truck's one-year anniversary will be held Friday, Sept. 2 at Artisan Kitchens & Baths, 200 Amherst St., Buffalo. It'll run from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

For $15, eaters can try "new menu items like lengua [tongue] taco, Kaluha pork, southwest potato salad, Oaxaca brownies and old favorites such as our braised beef and stewed black beans," wrote Lloyd principal Peter Cimino.

Tickets are available at the truck, which can be located through its Facebook page or Twitter feed. Or you can buy them at the door, Cimino said.

'Lucky Peach' magazine serves up treats for eaters and cooks alike

Lucky peach1
Lucky Peach is a food magazine that seems to be aiming to replicate, in paper and ink, the experience of hanging, traveling and eating with a food-crazed bunch of pals.

It's Chef David Chang of Momofuku at the head of the table, exploring Japan's ramen shops and more with food writer Peter Meehan, who co-authored the Momofuku cookbook. (Meehan contributes a recipe, in haiku, for Momofuku's corn with bacon and miso butter, a dish so popular they won't make it any more.)

There are lots of long articles, from esteemed writers including kitchen scientist Harold McGee and John T. Edge, concerning potato chips, and "the problem of authenticity." There are recipes, too, but none aimed at getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes so you can get the kids to soccer practice.

Take "Cavatelli P.S. 46," for example. Hip Little Italy chef/restauranteur Mario Carbone offers a pasta that melds the best parts of Jamaican patties and pasta with meat ragu.

With its passion, its writers' voices, and its pleasantly eclectic design, it evokes memories of Andy Warhol's Interview. Except that rather than submerging itself in the world of artists and art, Lucky Peach strives to strike up new conversations about food and eating. (Issue 1 has a $10 cover price at your local newsstand, or order here.)

Corn with miso butter and bacon, haiku style, and more sweet corn recipes

Here's a few more corn recipes to try, and a haiku version of one featured in today's Buffalo News.

Here's a simple-as-anything East Hampton Corn Pudding.

Also from Saveur, John T. Edge's recipe for Corn Relish.

For a soup that tastes of summer, try Corn Soup with Basil Oil from

The corn with miso butter and bacon has become one of the few recipes rendered in haiku. It can be found in Lucky Peach, a magazine labeled "The new food quarterly from Momofuku's David Chang."

Corn with Miso Butter and Bacon by Peter Meehan, in Lucky Peach

Render the bacon,
Add the corn. Jump and sizzle
As gold turns to brown.

Miso and butter
Join'd in equal proportions
Plop! Into the pan.

Splash stock, then toss. Glaze.
Crack slow-poached egg to crown like
Hokkaido sunset.

Torches chef plans sail-up Tonawanda BBQ joint

Chef J.J. Richert, who got to exercise his showmanship as a Nickel City Chef, aims to make a splash next year with a new seasonal place: a barbecue joint with boat parking.

Richert, who operates Torches on Kenmore Avenue with his brother Kevin, said he plans to open Smoke on the Water next spring with Kevin and a third brother, Mark Richert. The trio have purchased 77 Young St., formerly Suzz Cafe, which is perched on the Erie Canal in the City of Tonawanda.

It might seat 30 inside, but construction is under way, with plans including a 2,000 square foot deck, J.J. Richert said.

The menu will include barbecue standards like pulled pork, brisket, spare and baby back ribs and chicken, Richert said. There'll be seafood, too. It'll also pay extra attention to side dishes, with offerings like the mac and cheese from Torches, collard greens with speck and smoked ham hock, pinto
beans with chorizo and fresh corn, and fresh spins on cole slaw, potato salad and macaroni salad.

Lots of places have cole slaw, but the parking will be unique. "We'll have an 85 foot dock out back," Richert said. "It'll be so boaters can pull up, tie off, come in and have some barbecue, then take off."

Also in his plans, Richert said: barbecue dinghy service, serving local marinas. "Call the restaurant, order your barbecue, and we'll bring it to your boat."


Buffalo food legends: the 'Old Pink' steak sandwich

Old pink robyn conniff daytime bartender STEAK_7986115 
Rarely seen in daylight, the steak sandwich as presented by daytime bartender Robyn Conniff. Photo: Charles Lewis 

Even in Buffalo, a town with more than its share of food obsessions, few dishes can
legitimately boast of "street cred." But murmur "steak sandwich at the old Pink" to almost any
gathering of eaters who spent part of their youth in Buffalo, and heads start nodding like you
cracked the code.

"Pink" hasn't been part of the place's official name for years, but few who walk through the dim
doorway of the Allen Street Bar and Grill (223 Allen St. 884-4338) care. They're there for the
gloomy embrace of one of the city's classic dive bars.

Which just happens to make a killer steak sandwich, like it has since the late 1960s,
through a series of owners. It was an even meatier experience then, using a hunk cut off a
whole loin. Today, it's $10 out of your drink budget. But for that you get dinner and a show.

The bartender pulls a 12-ounce choice New York strip from the cooler, anoints the slab with
Worcestershire, salt and pepper, then slaps it on the grill. Despite the exhaust hood, the
aroma alerts everyone to the sizzling drama unfolding feet away.

If you want, Guinness-braised peppers and onions go on top, covered with cheese, all on a
juice-absorbing Constanzo's roll.

Regulars will tell you that the grill's iron grate, bearing the scorched grease of a
thousand midnight fires, adds an earthy, robust character to the sandwich. Proprietor Molly
Brinkworth shot that notion down - "we clean it every night" - but when she bought a new grill
last month? She did swap over the old grate.

"People say it changes the taste, so I just keep using the same grates," she said. Why would anyone mess with the mojo when it's strong enough to pull people right downtown from the airport?

"I don't get it," Brinkworth said. "I mean, I like the steak sandwich and everything, but
there are some people who get off the plane and come right here."

(The Old Pink Steak Sandwich's Facebook page is right here if you want to register as a fan.) 


Elm Street Bakery's wood-fired loaves wow East Aurora

Baguettes, ciabatta and EA Sourdough at Elm St Bakery, East Aurora 
Clockwise from left: Baguettes, EA Sourdough, ciabatta.          Photo: Kateri Rene Ewing

The Elm Street Bakeryhas created an outsized buzz for a place not quite a month old. But
that's what happens when you tear apart a former appliance store at 72 Elm St. and give East
Aurora a stylish, sophisticated scratch bakery built around a massive wood-burning brick oven.

At Elm Street, customers can pick up a loaf of hearth-baked sourdough bread, an
apricot-almond galette made with local fruit, and a crusty baguette in the same place. This is
a bakery that roasts its own coffee beans before brewing them up for customers.

(East Aurora Advertiser Columnist Rick Ohler got there at 6 a.m. the first morning, only to find himself third in line.)

Owner Jay DePerno said that the bakery has seen about 400 transactions a day so far, and is
coming close to selling out of loaves. "We're close every day," said DePerno. "We're trying to
make it so the last person who comes in the door has some bread to go home with."

A loaf of hearth-baked sourdough runs about $4 to $5.50, and there's also naturally
leavened rye, grain and fruit breads on offer. Yeast breads like baguettes and batards are
$3 to 4, DePerno said.

Sweet offerings include items like muffins, scones, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, pecan
squares and brownies, DePerno said.

Here's a picture of the bakery counter setup today, from Michael Caputo, who said the lineup of treats included sour cream pecan coffee cake, cherry chocolate chip cookie, walnut brownie, rustic French Bostock (which is typically a brioche slice dipped in syrup, topped with almond cream and almonds, baked, then sugar-dusted), vanilla bean shortbread dome, molten chocolate cookie, and muffins, including blueberry-lemon:

Elm Street Bakery counter 2 

There's more offerings in the works, too. In September, DePerno said, the bakery aims to
offer ready-made pizzas and other meals built around locally produced meat, vegetables and

(72 Elm St., East Aurora. Open Tues.-Fri., 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sat. 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; 652-4720.)

 Becon Cheddar and Chive Scone from Elm St Bakery, East Aurora
Bacon, cheddar and chive scones at Elm Street Bakery.            Photo: Kateri Rene Ewing

Recipe: Fleisher's short ribs of beef, Korean style

Here's a recipe from "The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat," featured in today's Buffalo News. The Applestones take an old-world cut and add hip Korean flavors.

Flanken, Fleisher’s Style
Serves 4

(From The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat, by Joshua and Jessica Applestone and Alexandra Zissu, Clarkson Potter, $27.50)

We marinate very few things at the shop; we don’t want to overmarinate and lose the true flavor of the meat. We prefer that our customers do it themselves. Flanken (or short ribs cut Korean barbecue style) is one of the few exceptions. It takes well to marinating, so you can leave the ribs in the marinade for up to 12 hours without losing that big, beefy taste.

Flanken has a funny place in our hearts. It appeals to both our Jewish sides and our foodie natures. Most older balabustas, or Jewish housewives, know flanken (a Yiddish term for flank, or side) as a flavorful, inexpensive cut to be braised. A good Jewish cook didn’t dare serve borscht without a good chunk of flanken in it to add that earthy, rich feel.

For years we were traumatized by this cut; older Jewish women would walk into our store and order flanken. We would say, “Short ribs, right?” and get berated. Sometimes we would be able to convince them that we were talking about the same thing. It’s the same bones, but a different cut—flanken is cut horizontally across the rib plate so that you get long, thin pieces of meat studded with many ribs.

More recently foodies have been ordering this cut and grilling it Korean style. They call it kalbi. Given the choice between borscht (which, according to my grandmother’s recipe, is meat cooked until it is tasteless accompanied by mushy beets) and kalbi, I go Korean every time.

4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch-long) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup mirin
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons toasted Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon Asian chili sauce, such as
Thai Sriracha or Korean gochujang
3 pounds flanken, cut 1 inch thick,
2 to 3 ribs across
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head butter lettuce (optional)
¼ cup coarsely chopped scallions (white and green parts)

Put the garlic to taste, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, canola oil, maple syrup, sesame oil, and chili sauce in a bowl and mix well. Pour the marinade into a thick, sealable bag, place the flanken in the bag, and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat a grill to high. Oil the grill grates. Remove the meat from the marinade and put it on the grill; reserve the marinade. Grill the meat until done, about 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn the ribs; the high sugar content of the marinade makes them char easily.

Transfer the ribs to a platter and set aside. Pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan set over high heat. Bring it to a boil and cook until it becomes thick and syrupy.

To serve, drizzle the flanken with the reduced marinade and sprinkle with the cilantro, sesame seeds, and salt. To eat, pull the meat off the bones, wrap it in lettuce leaves if using, and sprinkle with scallions.


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