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Hamburg fine dining restaurant Daniels to reopen under new ownership

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

The Hamburg fine dining restaurant Daniels has new owners, who say that they aim to “carry on the Johengen legacy of fine dining.”

Daniels closed Sept. 14. The soft opening is Dec. 6.

Henry Matuszewski, the former owner of Daffodils, has joined forces with insurance agent and entrepreneur Annette Winder and veteran chef Scott Donhauser, most recently of Butterwood Sweet & Savory.

The team has been working to get the details right, Winder said. Donhauser has spent time with retired chef Daniel Johengen, the restaurant’s creator, to learn sauces and dishes that the restaurant’s faithful fans adored. Dishes like Daffodils rack of lamb and seasonally inspired specials from Donhauser will be added.

The opening menu includes a foie gras ravioli appetizer with caramelized apples, riesling-poached cherries, double-smoked bacon bread pudding ($15), and filet mignon “Pepperweck,” crusted in caraway seeds and cracked black pepper, with blue cheese cream, roasted heirloom tomatoes and basil oil ($39).

The four full-time servers are returning as well, she said. Some subtle changes to décor, and tableside French press coffee, are in the offing.

Call 648-6554 for reservations. The restaurant is at 174 Buffalo St.

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Adirondacks chef aims to open The Archer, a restaurant in former City Grill space

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

A liquor license application has been filed for 268 Main St., site of the former City Grill.

The applicant, Joshua Archer, has been the chef-operator at the Essex Inn, an historic 11-room Lake Champlain inn featuring a farm-to-table restaurant.

Reached by phone this morning, he declined to discuss his plans for the restaurant, at the advice of his attorney.

The site's former tenant, City Grill, closed in 2012. Two years earlier a gunman shot eight people, four fatally, as they were leaving the restaurant, in one of the city's worst shootings.

Hat tip to Kathleen Rooney, @heyitsurban and Jill Terreri of The Buffalo News.


Acapulco chef aims to bring Latin sophistication to Youngstown's Old Fort Inn restaurant

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Chef Victor Parra Gonzalez, most recently of the Seneca Niagara Casino's culinary staff, has decided to put his money on Youngstown.

Two weeks ago he took over the Old Fort Inn's restaurant, renaming it Jaguar at the Bistro (110 Main St., Youngstown, 745-7141). Get all the details in today's restaurant news column.

He aims to offer Latin-inspired dishes with flair. But first he has to make it through the winter. Who says there's no legal gambling outside the casinos?

“I’m hoping that the people in Youngstown will support it and we’ll be able to create a destination,” he said. “It’s hard for somebody to get out to Youngstown, to dine at this restaurant where a dish will be flambéed at the table, or infused with a siphon, or have smoke to it. People don’t know it yet, but that’s the type of things that are coming.”

Here's the most recent menu:

Download November 15 menu2 jaguar at the bistro


Macaroni and cheese truck hits Buffalo streets - and it's pretty darn cute

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Buffalo's curbside dining scene has been enriched with the arrival of a macaroni and cheese specialist, news that has lit up quite a few faces. Winter's coming, and if you're going to stand on an icy sidewalk eating, macaroni and cheese would be a contender.

It's run by Nichols grad Falynn Koch, who sold her house in Savannah, Ga., and moved back to Buffalo to open it. Here's the story in today's restaurant column.

I haven't tasted the food at FallyMac, but the menu covers everybody for $4-$8, right down to vegan gluten-free. Plus FallyMac has got the cutest graphics I've seen on a Buffalo food truck. Call me shallow, but I like a little eye candy while I'm standing there wondering if waiting is worth it.

Here's a photo tweeted by @FallyMac716

Fallymac by fallymac

Here's another view that was tweeted by @BuffaloJill

FallyMac truck by @buffalojill

(Photo by @BuffaloJill)


Turns out Koch has a background in graphic arts, used to draw comic books and such, and has similarly talented friends of the artist persuasion. Tait Howard is the fellow who came up with those.

After its next date Friday night at the Globe Market on Hertel, Koch said, FallyMac should be outside Acropolis on Elmwood Saturday night late, and for lunch at First Niagara Center on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

email: Buffalo food blogger Donnie Burtless on journey from amateur to respected voice

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Recently,'s Nick Mendola interviewed Donnie Burtless on how the auditor and lifelong eater turned a personal journal of restaurants into Buffalo's best-read food blog,

Burtless tells him that if BuffaloEats looks good, it's largely because of his wife and co-conspirator, Alli Suriani.

"I am not a good writer," Burtless told Mendola. "I will never say I’m a good writer. My wife went to grad school for five years. She’s written hundreds of papers, huge 25-page theses so she’s my editor. I write something that in my head that makes complete sense and she takes it from my head to the page. She saves my ass, basically."

He's an auditor, so here's some of the numbers: BuffaloEats has covered nearly 500 places in three years - and the couple still has 100 on their to-do list.


Mayor cutting ribbon tomorrow for Sun Restaurant Buffalo's new black rice bar

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Now that the elections are over, a passel of politicians - Mayor Byron Brown, state senators Mark Grisanti and Tim Kennedy, and City Councilman Joe Golombek - are expected to appear at the grand opening of Sun Restaurant Buffalo's new black rice bar.

The city's first Burmese restaurant, run by Kevin and Stephanie Lin, started featuring black rice in sushi rolls, salads, entrees and desserts earlier this year. Also known as "forbidden rice," because it was once reserved for royalty, black rice has more texture, flavor and nutrients than white rice, sort of like long-grain wild rice.

The ceremony, at 11 a.m. tomorrow, will be followed by samples of black rice dishes and a wine tasting, Kevin Lin said. The restaurant is at 1989 Niagara St. To RSVP, call 447-0202.



More West Side Bazaar dishes: kyeoo, my new favorite Burmese soup, and a crispy Thai cookie

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

A few weeks ago, I made a new acquaintance at the West Side Bazaar, 25 Grant St. As I explained in today's story in the Buffalo News, the cafeteria-style room serves up Thai, Burmese, Arakanese, Peruvian and Ethiopian home cooking. There's a bunch of dish pictures with the story, and another gallery here.

Here's one we couldn't get in the paper. This is kyeoo, my new Burmese friend. It's pork broth with rice noodles, bok choy stalks, tofu, pork meatballs, quail eggs and a chicken egg on top. It's served with a little bowl of sweet-spicy chile ketchup, but I'd also suggest you consider adding some of that red chopped chile and vinegar stuff from the jar on the booth's counter.

West Side Bazaar 009

The polite man behind the counter is Soe Maung Maung, if you have any questions. He runs the Burmese and Thai windows. The kyeoo is $6.99, a small price to pay. In my opinion.

Bad news: Only available on Wednesdays.

Good news: It's Wednesday.

The place opens at 11 a.m. for lunch.

If you're still on the fence let me show you dessert.

The Arakanese guy - Arakan being one of the distinct Burmese cultures - has a little booth off to the side of the main four. Khaing Thein and his wife are dishing up their own version of fish noodle soup, tangier, with meatballs. Thein is also doing sushi, including this banana mango dessert roll ($7.50), which was a sticky tropical delight.

West Side Bazaar 019

Now consider this crispy Thai cookie of coconut milk batter and black sesame seeds, fried on a mold and curled as it's cooled. It's $2 at the cookies and bubble tea stand across from the windows. It's delicious. Even my coworker Toni, who is not an adventurous eater, enjoyed it, and now we can say she likes Thai food.

West Side Bazaar 022

It's called dorg jorg, and despite its Sith-lord-worthy name, it's as delicate and resonant with toasty sesame flavor as anything you might like to have with a cup of jasmine tea. Funny thing, you start ordering from the Burmese and Thai windows and a guy brings you a jug of jasmine tea, and little styrofoam cups.


West Coast sensation Korean tacos arrive in WNY at Tonawanda's K Cafe

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

The latest West Coast culinary sensation to reach Western New York is Korean tacos, the Mexican-Korean hybrid of Asian marinated meats served up on tortillas. Started by Kogi BBQ, a fleet of Los Angeles food trucks, the sweet and bold flavors of Korean beef, chicken or pork, topped with Asian-spiced slaws or kimchi, have grown into their own culinary genre.

Last month, K Café (546 Niagara Falls Blvd., Tonawanda, 836-8888) started serving Korean tacos (meat, lettuce, rice, kimchi, slaw and spicy kochujang sauce; three for $6.50) and burritos in a building that last held a spaghetti parlor.

K cafe 004

K cafe 006

If that’s not enough to get the hearts of food thrill seekers pounding, owner Kate Li, a former owner of Ying’s Wings & Things, also sells the sort of burgers you’d eat on a dare. They start with hefty patties of a beef-bacon blend, then add toppings like mashed avocado with chipotle, fried eggs, caramelized onions, cheese, more Korean barbecue, and kimchi.

All on the same burger, sometimes, as in the Kogi 50/50 “gangnam-style” number ($8.99). As I ate it, I wished for a Maid of the Mist style plastic poncho. But I did not stop until it was gone.

Here's the K Cafe 50/50 ($7.99):

K cafe 021

Continue reading "West Coast sensation Korean tacos arrive in WNY at Tonawanda's K Cafe" »

BuffaloEats: At Crust, new Allen St. pizzeria, a unique crust is just the beginning

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Donnie Burtless and Alli Suriani of really like the pizza at Crust (242 Allen St., 551-0781,, the upscale create-your-own pie place in Allentown. The love starts with the dough, said to rise for 72 hours before use.

Burtless writes:

"We’ve made several trips to the restaurant since they had their soft opening a couple weeks ago. Full disclosure: we were first invited to a tasting and sampled almost everything on their menu. I realize we were served food in the most ideal of scenarios but it’s been just as good on every visit since. We’ve been back at least five times in the past two weeks. It’s safe to say we are big fans."