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Desperately seeking great gelato in Western New York

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Ladies and gentlemen, and gelato lovers of all ages, I give you "Desperately seeking great gelato," the first Taste cover from Buffalo News intern Aidan Ryan, who started writing for the newspaper in 2009, as one of its high school aged NeXt corresponents.

When I learned he'd been smitten by gelato during a recent trip to Italy, I sent him out to survey Western New York's gelato offerings. This is his report. You may well differ with him on specific gelato issues or evaluations, but I think you have to agree he can write.


Photos of grandmothers around the world cooking food of love - with recipes

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

As Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti traveled the world, he captured images of grandmothers with their most loving dishes. With adorable pictures and yes, the recipes, Galimberti's work glows with a transcendent universality: "Eat something," grandma said, "I made it for you."

As Arianna Rinaldo wrote on his site:

With the taste of his grandma’s ravioli in his mouth, Gabriele travelled around the world and, next to thousands of other adventures, turned into a curious and hungry grandson for the grannies of all the countries he visited.  Appealing to their natural cooking care and their inevitable pride in their best recipe, common factors to all grandmothers in the world, Gabriele persuaded them to do their best in the kitchen. This means moose stake in Alaska and caterpillars in Malawi, delicious, but ferociously hot, ten-spice-curry in India and sharks soup in the Philippines. 

Here's a selection laid out on a single page. For the recipes, you need the original site.




Nickel City Cheese opens second shop today in heart of Williamsville

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Nickel City Cheese and Mercantile, the Elmwood cheese emporium with classy sandwiches and a curated collection of edibles like smoked sea salt, is opening its second store today in Williamsville.

It's at 78 East Spring St., Williamsville (634-2830,, the former Sweet Jenny's place by the Williamsville Water Mill. Hours are Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (and earlier at the Williamsville Farmers Market with breakfast sandwiches). Closed Sundays.

Proprietor Jill Gedra Forster's opening menu:

Soup: Aspargus with lemon and Parmigiano Reggiano, $5.75

Mac-n-Cheese, plain $6.99, nacho style $7.99

Pepper turkey with mayo, sprouts, red onion and muenster on rye, $8.99

Lemongrass cured salmon with pickled Asian vegetables, lemon aioli, red onion and romaine on pumpernickel, $8.99

Banh Mi: country pate, smoked ham, Sriracha mayo, red onion, cilantro and pickled vegetables, $8.99

Grilled goat gouda with fig jam on a pretzel bun, $6.99

Speck, arugula, Stracchino and balsamic vinaigrette on a ciabatta roll, $8.99

Angelo Turco on his father and future of Elmwood icon Louie's Hot Dogs

By Andrew Z. Galarneau's Ben Tsujimoto got to talk to Angelo Turco about the future of Louie's Hot Dogs after a February fire closed the popular place at Elmwood and Hodge.

Turco, still dealing with the death of his father Louie on May 1, shared his thoughts on the restaurant grind and possibilities for the space, which the landlord still wants to be Louie's (official name: Louie’s Foot Long Hot Dogs).

Check it out here.




Dinosaur Bar-B-Que breaking ground this week for fall opening

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que restaurant slated for 301 Franklin St. breaks ground this week, according to Dinosaur chief John Stage. 

Its current estimated opening date is late October or early November, he said.

The 180-seat restaurant will end up being about 7,200 square feet. Here's a Buffalo Rising item from March with architectural renderings and more details.



First look at Tappo, Mike Andrzejewski's new casual Italian restaurant

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Top Buffalo chef Mike Andrzejewski is opening his fourth restaurant by the end of next week*, call it June 21 maybe. It's called Tappo, and it's developer Rocco Termini's shot at the biggest audience in Buffalo dining: casual Italian addicts, the army of diners who launched a thousand red sauce joints. 

Tappo (338 Ellicott St., 259-8130) doesn't have a website yet apparently, but below is the opening menu. Loaded with $6-ish appetizers, $12-ish pastas and $15-ish specialties like braciole, eggplant parmesan and seasonal agnolotti, Andrzejewski aims to offer upgraded blue-collar classics. There'll also be specials drawn from seasonal produce and seafood, and regional specialties, he said.

It wouldn't be an Andrzejewski joint without a few wild cards for the high-flyers. Tappo will offer "White Truffled Pasta, $55."

The wine list will focus on bottles under $20, and folks can browse a wine rack to see what catches their eye. 

Download Tappo menu

* correction: an earlier version said this week



Video: Elements: Mexican Wedding Cakes

In Mexico, pecans are used in mole sauces, pies and cookies such as the classic Mexican wedding cakes, the powdered sugar-dusted meltaway shortbreads that have cousins in many cuisines.

Buffalo Eats on Midnight Mass, snout-to-tail dinner, coming Bistro Europa events

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Alli Suriani and Donny Burtless of continue their relentless pursuit of 716 deliciousness with a glimpse inside Midnight Mass.

Held on a Sunday at midnight, the once-a-month dinner at Bistro Europa (484 Elmwood Ave., 884-1100) gives local chefs a chance to show off their moves with Steve and Ellen Gedra. James Roberts of Park Country Club did tonkatsu ramen plus accoutrements, then Ed Forster of Mike A's at the Lafayette did his riff on a fried chicken dinner. It concluded with something called a schmaltz drumstick cupcake. For all the photos and details, click here.

Good luck getting seats to the next Midnight Mass on June 23, featuring Chef Bruce Wieszala, who has his own ship now at Tabree

If you miss out, Burtless points out two more Bistro Europa specials coming: a $65 four-course beer pairing dinner on June 16, and a $150 farm-to-table dinner June 30 at Oles Farm.

For more evidence of what Bistro Europa can get up to, check out coverage of the snout-to-tail dinner May 19. The Gedras, Wieszala and Carmelo Raimondi (of Lewiston's Carmelo's) turned a T-Meadow heritage breed pig into a meal to remember.

Ben Tsujimoto of points to a time-lapse video of the kitchen as nine hours of labor is boiled down to 2:20 with a pulsing soundtrack. Stick around to the end and it's just the dishwasher, then you're rewarded with flashes of the dishes the night's customers enjoyed, from cracklins (skin) to trotter, belly, heart, tongue, ear and for dessert, a "brioche de cochon" made with leaf lard, with rhubarb jam. 

BuffaloEats has the menu for that event here. If you know of any other outlandish menus upcoming, please do let me know.




Osteria 166 opening downtown with more than everyday Buffalo Italian food

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

There's a new Italian restaurant opening today in downtown Buffalo, offering several choices you don't see on every Italian menu in town.

Osteria 166 (166 Franklin St., 858-3118, is in the space that was Frankie Mohawk's, across the street from the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center and the Statler.*

Its menu lists porchetta sandwiches ($9) and grilled octopus ($10) as a regular appetizer, and whole branzino baked in a salt crust as a Friday special.

There is also a lunch special sandwich of imported and house cured meats and cheeses on a giant sub roll. The wrinkle: it's sold at $3 an inch, two inch minimum, with truffle parmesan kettle chips.

The place opens at 11 a.m. today, will serve dinners until 10 p.m., and has a full liquor license. Kendra Pitillo said her husband Nick is the owner, an Ellicottville fellow who worked in dining at the Seneca casinos. Chef Jeff Cooke has casino kitchen experience as well, she said.

In a refreshing departure, Osteria 166 is opening its doors with a functioning website, listing its menu, already in existence. 

* correction: an earlier version said Hyatt




Buffalo's buzziest resto seat: Martin Cooks at Horsefeathers

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

When ordinarily taciturn eater aquaintances rave about a new place, I listen. When three or four mention the same place, I make sure it's on my review list.

The toll of people reporting having their minds blown at Martin Cooks on Connecticut Street has gotten to double digits. So if you value your mental equilibrium, I would recommend that you stay away from 346 Connecticut St., and not call 259-9306 to inquire about the menu.

Subjects reported symptoms of disassociation, including persistent thoughts of "How can I be eating this in Buffalo on a street that I previously associated with having my car broken into?" and "There must be a trick because the menu said this was eight dollars."

As is often the case, Ben Tsujimoto has the complete story on what veteran chef Martin Danilowicz and former The Eights proprietor Amelia Nussbaumer have happening, a counter-service, open kitchen, ingredient-driven dining thing that's been a hit in zip codes with much higher rents. (Buffalo Rising was first to profile Martin Cooks in April.)

Dinner is prix fixe, $55 for 5 courses. Which last night were to be:

Chicken & waffles, cherries

Roast peach, Manchego

Grilled chicken, cornbread puree, greens, Paula's BBQ

Feta, honey, porcini & blueberry

Strawberry rhubarb shortcake

With wine pairings, $80, probably before tax or tip.

It's a la carte lunch, $8-$12. I had bolognese and it was real bolognese, deep long-simmered flavor with almost no tomato, and there was a huge tender pork spare rib with Asian rice and a poached egg.

But then there was this:

Martin cooks 010

... being a crispy quinoa cake over bright marinara with arugula and popcorn sprout salad ($10), a vegetarian dish. The cakes were weirdly light yet hearty in their essence, between cool crunchy salad and fruity tomatoes.

Cooks who can make you happy with quinoa are capable of anything. Watch out for these people.




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