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Reopen after fire, Gertie's restaurant in Clarence adds tables, bar from Saturn Club

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Gertie's owners took advantage of a fire that shut their Clarence restaurant to renovate, adding 20 dining seats. The restaurant (6010 Goodrich Rd, Clarence Center, 741-1311) reopens today for lunch at 11 a.m.

The dining room bar was removed, said owner Beth Gross. In the front room, which formerly housed a display case and bar tables, they installed a bar. The centerpiece is a reclaimed bar, originally from Buffalo's Saturn Club, which they restored. "It's got that old-time feel to it," she said. "It's probably 80 years old. We refinished it, and it's beautiful."

Gross said Gertie's corns its own beef for its corned beef dinner, a 10-day process, then smothers it in brown sugar and braises it in Guinness. That's $20.99 with braised cabbage, roasted potatoes and carrots and a slice of housemade Irish soda bread. It's on the menu for dinner March 14 and 15.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

Lent is here: Enjoy the ultimate WNY community fish fry guide

Fish fry the buffalo news

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Sure, you can get the classic Buffalo fish fry year-round, in restaurants. During Lent, you can turn buying deep-fried seafood into a good deed. (Whether its karma erases cholesterol depends on the fine print of your personal faith.)

At some point in Western New York history, restaurants weren't enough. During the period of abstinence observant Roman Catholics and other Christians observe before Easter, the demand for fried fish dinners outstripped restaurants' supply. And the community fish fry became popular.

You could say it still is, as a fundraising source for small community groups and churches. Here's a list of 62, from Elks Lodge No. 491, 209 W. State St., Olean (down by the Pennsylvania border) to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2239 W. Creek Road, Burt (where you can see Toronto on a clear day).

Check it out.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

 

 

On its 50th anniversary, read the essential text on the genesis of the Buffalo chicken wing

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

In my reporting for stories around the 50th anniversary of the Buffalo chicken wing, I was surprised by how many self-professed wing experts had never read the piece I consider the ur-text of wing scholarship.

Published in 1980, "An Attempt to Compile a Short History of the Buffalo Chicken Wing," by New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, is still essential reading for all students of the spicy, crispy chicken digit.

Even then, Trillin found that the precise circumstances of its appearance at the Anchor Bar were elusive.

"Fortunately, the actual moment that Buffalo chicken wings were invented has been described by Frank Bellissimo and his son, Dom, with the sort of rich detail that any historian would value; unfortunately, they use different details."

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

Nominate your favorite WNY corned beef and cabbage dinner for St. Patrick's Day

ST. PATRICK'S DAY Features
Brian Carney prepares corned beef and cabbage at the Shannon Pub in Tonawanda. (Buffalo News, 2009)

 

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

In anticpation of St. Patrick's Day, we'd like to know where to find your favorite plate of corned beef and cabbage. Send your nomination to agalarneau@buffnews.com, or tweet it to @buffalofood, and we'll publish an informed list next week.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

 

Bistro Europa closing March 31, to get ready for new Connecticut Street restaurant

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

One of the hardest tables to get in Buffalo just got a lot harder.

Steven and Ellen Gedra have announced that they are closing Bistro Europa (484 Elmwood Ave., europabuffalo.com, 884-1100) after dinner March 31.

The Gedras will turn all their attention to finishing their new place, at 367 Connecticut St. Renovations have been underway on the former Golden Key Tavern. It’s expected to open this summer.

In case you are unaware why anyone would care, here's the dinner menu for March 4, with 28 days remaining before it goes dark. I mean, feijoada, for Pete's sake.

***

House-Cured Charcuterie & Salumi- lardo spuma, pork liver pate, speck,  culatello, duck rillette, pancetta

1 for 43 for 12, 4 for 15, 6 or 21

Nickel City Cheese Board- humboldt fog (goat, CA), Neals Yard Stichelton (Raw cow, UK), cantal (Raw cow, France)  16

Soup – black bean and escarole sm 4 lg 5

Pierogi- chorizo, onion, rutabaga – 3 for 8 or 6 for 15

Ellen’s Bread Basket- rye, sourdough, pretzel bun  burro di chianti, evoo        6

Local Beets 5 Ways- mousse, tartare, roasted, pickled, Carpaccio, pistachios, goat cheese truffle     10

Winterberry and citrus salad – honey vinaigrette, almonds, greens    9

T-Meadow Pork Taco – confit pig head, house smoked chorizo, queso fresco, salsa roja   6

Pork Skin Fritters – aioli, sweet and sour cabbage    8

BBQ Pork Flank Steak – Indian spiced dates and kohlrabi pickles, cannellini beans  10

House Made Liverwurst – beer & onion jam, parsley and pickled horseradish salad, toast  9

Fermented Black bean Ribs – spicy soy pickles, sesame pancake  12

Duck confit Pizzetta – Oles’ egg, spinach, pancetta  ½ for 7 whole for 15

Squid and chorizo Fideos- piquillo saffron broth   14

FeijoadaBrazilian hot pepper sauce, rice pilaf,  sm 12/ lg 20

House-made Gnocchi –tesa, turnip, turnip greens, carrot rutabaga puree  sm 10/ lg 17

T-Meadow Pork Chop – crispy smashed potatoes, root vegetable puree, braised cabbage  26

 

Desserts  7

Sticky Toffee Pudding- whipped cream

Earl Grey Ganache- tea cream, madeleines   

Banana cake - maple pastry cream, maple candied walnuts, tangerine curd 

 

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

 

District, Pearl Street lounge-restaurant with a 'NYC feel,' aims to open by St. Patrick's Day

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Hoping to open around St. Patrick’s Day, District is taking shape at 454 Pearl St., formerly Blue Buffalo.

Tim Walton, an owner, said they aim to offer a place with a New York City lounge-restaurant feel, with drinks and food. “Something a little bit different, that we don’t have around here,” he said.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

Theater District Italian restaurant Perfetto closed, owner hopes to reopen March 17

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Perfetto, the Theater District Italian restaurant that opened in January 2013, has closed - temporarily, according to owner Jay Haynes.

The last day of service was Saturday. Renovations will be underway, Haynes said. He hopes to reopen the 260-seat restaurant, at 617 Main St., on March 17.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

Pork-and-pineapple tacos land at Agave restaurant, Elmwood Avenue's new Mexican spot

Agave 020

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Stopped by the new Agave (765 Elmwood Ave., 887-2933) for lunch the other day, seeking some of those authentic Mexican tacos that owner Sergio Mucino was talking about.

I found a menu that's about 95 percent the same as Don Tequila, his Allen Street spot. The differences I noticed were posole and menudo ($8.99, weekends only) and tacos, in al pastor, chicken, asada and carnitas flavors. They're $11.99 for three, with a side of rice and beans.

Check out the fake chef getting TV morning host to drink ham-pie-gravy smoothie

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

Around the holidays, it can get tough to book guests on your early morning TV shows. So I feel sorry for the hosts who came to work one morning and found their job required them to play the straight guy to Nick Prueher

Playing a character called Chef Keith Guerke, Prueher said he was a self-trained chef promoting a leftovers cookbook. Actually, he was there to perform "Daily Show" level satire, without having to pay for his own camera crews. He was there to get them to say "yummy" to the ham-pie-gravy smoothie.

"I'm self taught, I'm kind of unorthodox," he tells one young fellow. "People compare me to - have you heard of GG Allin?"

"I can't say that I have," said the interviewer, betraying his lack of popular culture street cred, "tell me more."

According to Wikipedia, GG Allin "is best remembered for his notorious live performances, which often featured transgressive acts, including coprophagia, self-mutilation, and attacking audience members."

What Prueher did was see how many excuses he could give the show to cut him off, but no one did, apparently. Not until the whole table unfortunately tips over, food, blender and all. 

Warning: Not great lunch break fare.

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

 

From sponge candy to Charlie Chaplins, Buffalo's candy culture celebrated in Saveur magazine

By Andrew Z. Galarneau

I mentioned last month that Saveur magazine writers Michael and Jane Stern wrote an article extolling Buffalo's confectioners. It's finally online.

"Buffalo's signature sweet is itself a European import: sponge candy a bite-size block of nearly weightless golden spun sugar enveloped in milk or dark chocolate," they wrote. "But that is just the beginning. In Buffalo, chocolatiers concoct their own marshmallow sauce, understand the nuances of caramel, and temper cocoa butter to a luxurious smoothness. Best of all, several sweets shops also churn out their own ice cream, serving elaborate sundaes and shakes."

You can read the whole story here.

The piece specifically mentions Alethea's, King Condrell's, Mike's, Nick Charlap's, and Sweet's on the Hill. 

email: agalarneau@buffnews.com

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