Buffalo Eats previews Local Restaurant Week
blog by BuffaloDotCom • March 28, 2011 @ 10:45am
Last week I had the privilege of attending a special preview night of Local Restaurant Week (check out the video). For anyone who doesn’t know about Local Restaurant Week—How could you not? It happens twice a year—it’s honestly become my new favorite holiday. This year, over 200 local restaurants will be offering fantastic dining deals priced at $21.11 for their customers. This is their highest participant total yet.
Along with several members of the food press, this VIP preview night consisted of eating and drinking at four of Buffalo’s best restaurants. We started our adventure at the recently renovated Seabar, located on Ellicott right near Chippewa. My last visit to Seabar was more than years ago, so I was shocked when I walked in to see their hip-stylish dining room with lights on the wall that changed colors as the night went on. I was looking forward to their beef on weck rolls, carpaccio wrapped around rice then sprinkled with caraway seeds and served with a horseradish sauce. They were just as fantastic as I remembered.
Our next stop was the legendary Oliver’s located on Elmwood. They have been one of Buffalo’s finest dining destinations for over 70 years. Before my visit I’ve heard nothing but amazing stories that date back to when my grandparents were young and dating. So I was a little overwhelmed when we walked in, as this has been No. 1 on my restaurant wish list for quite some time. We tasted some cheese, their spinach loaf, fried calamari and mini flat bread pizzas. I know I haven’t even touched the surface of their menu, but I’m dying to go back. If you are like myself and have limited financial resources, this week is a great chance to finally try a place like Oliver’s.
We then traveled to Shango, another restaurant that I’ve never been to but have heard only great things about. It was my highlight of the evening, foodwise. I sampled their gumbo, recommended by Mike Andrzejewski (chef/owner of Seabar). It had a great smooth complex flavor without the heavy Worcestershire kick. But really what I’m still dreaming about was their absolutely delicious beignets, a New Orleans donut that was light and fluffy, and filled with chocolate.
Our final stop was at Creekview, a wonderful bar-restaurant located in the village of Williamsville. A great location with a great dining room that looks out over Ellicott Creek. My fiancé Alli and I have eaten there before, but I forgot about their impressive menu. When we arrived, I couldn’t help but notice their large chalkboard filled with amazing sounding specials for the day.
In just under three hours I managed to sample food from four awesome local restaurants and, honestly, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve had the opportunity to do since I started blogging. While I think any of the four restaurants would be a great Restaurant Week destination, you have about 200 other restaurants to choose from that will easily satisfy any craving. All this week—until April 3—make an effort to get out of your house and try out a local restaurant. If there was ever a time to branch out of your normal routine and support the local restaurant community while sampling amazing food, it’s this week.