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Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 9: Eat Local at Bistro Europa

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Photo from Bistro Europa’s website

Bistro Europa is a Western New York locavore staple. Located on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, Bistro Europa serves up, well, you guessed it- bistro fare with a European flare.

There’s always something new to try on Europa’s menu. Owners Steve and Ellen Gedra partner with area farmers and retailers to serve up dishes made from fresh, local ingredients. The foreign influence is prevalent, too- the majority of their food is prepared or inspired by European techniques and dishes.

Take for instance some of Europa’s more recent menu offerings. For starters, the restaurant serves up great seafood, like Dutch cultured mussels in a ginger and lobster broth with chard and preserved lemon. Not your cup of tea? How about something with a bit of a French touch, like coquettes with ham from Lockport’s T-Meadow farm. If not, there’s always the Eastern Europe staple- pierogi! The influences vary, but it’s all brought together by the freshness and quality of the ingredients.

Bistro Europa also features a great beer menu with local favorites served up alongside popular brews from across the pond. Buffalo’s own Flying Bison Rusty Chain, Guinness Stout, Stella Artois and Peroni are just a few of the eclectic beers on hand. Prices range too, so you can go more affordable or really indulge.

Bistro Europa is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. Dinner is served from 5:00pm to 10:00pm Monday through Thursday and 5:00pm to 11:00pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed Sundays. Currently, Europa is closed from July 1-8 and will re-open for dinner on July 9th.

You can find more information along with current menu offerings on their website at www.europabuffalo.com. They can also be found on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 9: Drink Local at Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 10:35 am


Nestled in rich soil along the Niagara Wine Trail are four generations of grape growers. Leonard Oakes Estate Winery produces wine that is standing the test of time, due to a stellar reputation and multiple awards. Owned and operated by the Oakes Family, the estate near Lake Ontario is home to almost 100 years of agricultural experience. Old world philosophies combined with forethought makes them a must-stop on the Niagara Wine Trail. Come taste the fruits of their labor.

As Leonard Oakes’ great grandson, Jonathan Oakes may be a fourth generation fruit farmer but he is the first in the family to make wine. His attention to detail and dedication to producing premium wines would make Leonard proud. Thanks to Jonathan’s vision and talent, the estate Leonard started is getting much-deserved acclaim.

Oakes and the winery, recently received the “Best Dessert Wine” acknowledgment for their 2008 Vidal Ice Wine at the NY Food and Wine Classic.

Outside of wine, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery’s Steampunk Cider has been 10 years in the making, and Jonathan sees his approach as being closer to that of craft beer that winemaking. As opposed to the over processed and usually syrupy sweet flavors commonly found at the grocery store, Steampunk Cider seamlessly blends the structure and complexity of English ciders with the fruit forward qualities of American style cider. With aromas of fresh picked apples, this cider delivers a mouthwatering sparkling texture with the most refreshing balance of crisp acidity and ripe fruit character.

Steampunk Cider was recognized with a double gold award, at the NY Food and Wine Classic.

Summer is the perfect time to try their popular Fuji Wine, made with Fuji Apples grown on the property. Hand harvested and selected for their natural sweetness and crisp acidity, this wine is bold yet elegant.

Leonard Oakes Estate Winery in located in Medina, NY and is open year round. January through April: Noon – 6 pm Sunday – Friday; and 10 am – 6 pm Saturday. April through December: 11 am – 6 pm Monday – Friday; 10 am – 6 pm Saturday; and noon – 6pm Sunday. Find them online at www.oakeswinery.com, or on Facebook at Leonard-Oakes-Estate-Winery; and follow them on Twitter @OAKESWINERY.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 8: Eat Local at Trattoria Aroma

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm

For a delicious experience step into Trattoria Aroma, and dine in an elegant setting with rustic charm. With locations in Williamsville and Buffalo, this Tuscan eatery serves freshly made brick oven pizzas, pastas, antipasti, and entrées of fresh meat and fish selections.

Working with local farms when possible, owner and chef Dave Cosentino selects seasonal products and ethically raised animals. Tower Farms, Youngstown for fruits; Hanova Hills, Dunkirk for beef. Blossom Hill Farm, Gowanda provides Cosentino with Heritage pork, free-range, mother-fed veal, and chicken eggs. Oles Farm, Alden sends spray-free biodynamic produce and New York State maple syrup to Trattoria Aroma, and H2Grown Farm in Lewiston is a supplier of hydroponic vegetables and fruits. Windy Ridge Natural Farms in Alfred is known for their organic pastured and humanely raised chicken and eggs, while Empire Specialty Cheese of Conewango Valley delivers hormone-free Amish-made mozzarella curd that is served on plates to patrons.

Dinner is fantastic at Trattoria Aroma, especially for special occasions and events.

For lunch, try the Hanova Farm Burger with house-smoked Blossom Hill Farm bacon, house-pulled mozzarella, roasted red peppers, parsley pesto, Fontina cheese and truffled fries.

At brunch (only served at the Buffalo locale) why not start a Sunday with Tagliatelle Adriatico, served with a lobster claw, tiger shrimp, sea scallops, Cipollini onion, roasted yellow peppers, H2Gro tomato, spinach, Saffron-vanilla bean cream.

Cosentino in no stranger to feeding Western New Yorkers and was previously named a Local Food Hero by Edible Buffalo magazine. A staple in the Elmwood Village food culture, he continues to move the locavore movement forward.

A young yet knowledgeable food chain, Trattoria Aroma’s staff is one of the finest in Western New York. As Cosentino’s restaurants evolved, so has his clientele. A confident and opinionated group, with experienced palates, patrons expects a menu of European dishes that showcase fresh local ingredients.

For more information, visit www.thearomagroup.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 8: Drink Local at Niagara Landing Wine Cellars

In Uncategorized on June 29, 2012 at 9:21 am

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars in Lockport, NY is nestled in vineyards dating back to the late 1800s, tended by three generations of family viticulturists. Apart of the Niagara Wine Trail, Niagara Landing Wine Cellars was the first winery to open in Niagara USA.

Like every winery on the trail, their wines are as good as their grapes and their grapes as good as the soil they grow from. Thanks to glacial deposits created a fertile base below the Niagara Escarpment, the Niagara Wine Trail resides on land that is ideal to grow grapes. The moderating effects of Lake Ontario contribute to a longer growing season and ripening vineyards.

Niagara Landing Wine Cellars is truly a trailblazer on what is now the fastest growing wine-trail in the country, and they continue to specialize in wines made from native Labrusca grapes and European Vinifera varietals. Their award winning wines range from the smooth and fruity Boxer Blush to their rich and full Cabernet Sauvignon.

At the Indy International Wine Competition, Niagara Landing Wine Cellars came out on top. Their Rosebud Peach, an excellent dessert wine best served chilled; and Port, a blend of premium red grape varieties, both received a Gold medals. Silver medal recipients included their Baco Noir, smoky on the nose and rich berries on the palate; Rosebud Red, cotton candy on the nose, and cherry and strawberry tartness on the palate; and their Vidal Blanc Ice Wine 2008, the first ice wine grown and vented on the Niagara Escarpment. This complex wine is an enchanting mingling of mango, papaya, and apricot, with a lingering hint of honey.

Don’t forget their fruit wines. Raspberry Rosebud is a sweet addition to their Rosebud line, also best served cold. Their Cranberry Wine is semi-sweet and appears to be a blush, but leave a classic cranberry tartness on the palate. The Blueberry Wine is a deep red semi-sweet fruit wine exhibiting rich berry character with black cherry and vanilla overtones.

Visit Niagara Landing Wine Cellars May – December, 10 am – 6 pm Monday – Saturday; and noon – 6 pm Sunday. Their winter hours are January – April, noon – 6 pm Sunday – Friday; and 10 am – 6 pm Saturday.

Find them online at www.niagaralanding.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 7: Eat Local at The Roycroft Inn

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Photo courtesy of The Roycroft Inn’s Facebook page

The Roycroft Inn is an important landmark located in the heart of the village of East Aurora, NY. As part of the historic Roycroft Campus, the Roycroft Inn was opened in 1905 to accommodate visitors who traveled to the campus to experience and learn about the Roycroft way of life. The vision of Elbert Hubbard, a pioneer and founder of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, the Roycroft Campus became a hub for entrepreneurship, creativity and learning.

Today the Inn attracts visitors from all over the globe who come here to learn about the Roycroft movement. With its world-class appeal guests can also experience top-notch dining which embraces our local food movement. Very much in the same spirit of Elbert Hubbard who nurtured artisans, the dining room at the Roycroft Inn nurtures our palates with delicious seasonal meals prepared using local ingredients and paired with local beer and wines.

The quote at the top of their dining menu encapsulates the spirit of Roycroft from its early years and bridges it with today’s dining sensibility:

“Consider the Apple. Plucked and eaten in solitude – just an apple. Baked in a crust and cooled on a windowsill – the essence of a nation. Offered as a gift with a sultry smile – the downfall of man. The True inspiration for cooking comes from seeing and holding in your hands perfect ingredients – ingredients that fill you with the pleasure of being alive.”

Eat, drink and be enlightened.

For more information about the Roycroft Inn please visit www.roycroftinn.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 7: Drink Local at Johnson Estate Winery

In Uncategorized on June 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Nestled in the hear of Lake Erie Wine Country along the shoreline is Johnson Estate Winery, New York’s oldest estate winery. Estate wineries use grapes from their own vineyards to make wine. The entire vinification process from the crushing of grapes to the bottling of the wine is done at the winery. You can’t get any more local than that!

Back in the early part of the 20th century, the now farm winery was originally founded as a tree fruit and Concord grape farm by English immigrant Fredrick Johnson. Sunnyslope Fruit Farm (as it was originally named) specialized in apples, cherries and peaches and concord grapes. The building that was once cold storage for the farm is now the winery’s tasting room.

Today Johnson Estate Winery grows more than Concord grapes. They grow a variety of European vinifera style grapes including Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling; some French-hybrid style grapes such as Vidal Blanc, Chambourcin, and Traminette. In addition, they grow indigenous grapes such as Catawba and Niagara. The variety of vineyards allows the winery to produce a broad range of wines that meet the needs of most tasting palates.

Johnson is hosting some exciting events this July including Sunday morning vineyard walks (something we highly recommend if you’ve never done it) and a Locavore Wine Pairing Dinner on July 27, 2012. For more information visit their website at www.johnsonwinery.com or find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 6: Eat Local at Globe Market

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Globe Market has been a mainstay on the Elmwood strip for several years. Consistently serving up fresh, hot soups, deliciously creative salads and more to a hungry lunchtime crowd.  Whether if you want to dine-in, take-out or need catering services, Globe offers it all!

But there is a lot that happens behind the scenes too that makes Globe special. Lisa Hennig, co-owner, instituted a commercial kitchen composting program a few years ago, one of the first in the area. They also grow their own ingredients such as herbs and peppers, while sourcing other fresh ingredients from local growers as they become available.  A commitment they never waver from.

Recently, Globe took their staff to First Light Farm & Creamery to attend one of their weekend cheese-making workshops. The artisan cheese movement is starting to take hold in Western New York and Globe wants to be a part of it. Hoping to make in-house cheeses like ricotta and mozzarella, Globe also sells First Light’s cheeses in the store. This investment in their staff and business is another example of their commitment to the local food movement and the local economy.

Globe currently has two locations; 768 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo and 298 Main Street, Buffalo and is looking to open its third location soon at 1416 Hertel Avenue, Buffalo. For more information about Globe Market and to view their daily lunch specials, visit www.theglobemarket.com. You can also find them on Facebook.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 6: Drink Local at Community Beer Works!

In Uncategorized on June 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

New on the local drink scene is Community Beer Works, Buffalo’s first nanobrewery. Now providing fresh, high quality, local beer to downtown haunts: Cole’s, Mister Goodbar, Blue Monk, Blackrock Kitchen & Bar, and The Village Beer Merchant.

Started by five guys with a love for beer and community spirit, Community Beer Works also prides itself on being environmentally friendly. They donate their spent grain to the Massachusetts Avenue Project.

Ethan Cox, Rudy Watkins, Dan Conley and Gregory Patterson-Tanski are setting out to “Embeer Buffalo”. They not only want Community Beer Works to succeed, but the overall beer culture of Buffalo to thrive. A former hub for beer hops and beer production prior to Prohibition, this group believes Buffalo can again be one of the premiere beer destinations in the country.

Their brewery has one-and-a half barrels, and brews on a three-burner Psychobrew system using Stout kettles and fermenters. On average, a double batch is brewed, filling up two conical fermenters. Their clarification methods start and end with crash cooling the beer to drop the yeast out of suspension. They do not filter or use clarifying agents on their beer, which leave in more nutrients and keep it vegetarian.

Taste the proof in their products. Their American Pale Ale (the Frank) has a mellow malt base and reveals the hops as they compete with sweet grains. Loaded with zest, pine and a touch of citrus. Be sure to try their Whale, a brown ale beer that is nutty with a hint of sweetness, but not overwhelming. It also appears to have some dark malt characteristics but good on a warm spring day. It may be suitable for a post-meal drink.

**Located on Lafayette Ave., Buffalo, Community Beer Works does not have a retail license yet and therefore not open to the public; however, meet the guys this summer at local events. From 6 – 9 pm July 13 they will be at Bricks and Brews, at the Darwin Martin House; and from 5:30 – 9:30 pm August 10, they will be at Buffalo Brewfest.

For more information about Community Beer Works, visit www.communitybeerworks.com, find them on Facebook at communitybeerworks or follow them on Twitter @communitybeer.

Listen here to the podcast of our radio interview with Ethan Cox and Rudy Watkins!

**This post originally ran in June 2012. Since then Community Beer Works has received their retail license and is currently open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm-7pm at 15 Lafayette Avenue, Buffalo. Additionally  they can be found at the Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market every Saturday during market season. Growlers and kegs available.

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 5: Eat Local at D’Avolio’s Kitchen

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

We recently visited the newest incarnation of the olive oil boom happening in Buffalo; D’Avolio’s Kitchen in Williamsville. Located in a beautiful brick house on Main Street (some might remember this as being the former location of Butterwood Desserts), D’Avolio has expanded its business to include prepared foods (think pizza, sauces, breads!) and cooking classes.

We chatted with owner Dan Gagliardo who shared with us some of the secrets behind the new kitchen. He disclosed that many of the tried and true recipes being used came from his grandmother. And they have a resident baker who comes into the kitchen during the wee hours to bake fresh breads available daily. We were particularly pleased with their margarita pizza which had such unbelievable flavor we went back for more the next day. And as any chef will tell you, the hallmark of any authentic Italian kitchen is an outstanding margarita pizza! A simple composition with rich, bold flavor.

In addition to their broad array of fresh olive oils and vinegars, D’Avolio Kitchen offers lunch-time foods and prepared foods such as sauces and breads.

D’Avolio Kitchen is located 5409 Main Street in Williamsville, NY. The hours are Monday-Saturday 10am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. To learn more about their other locations visit www.davolios.com. You can also follow them on Twitter at @DAvolioKitchen or find them on Facebook.

 

Eat Drink Local Week, Day 5: Drink Local at Arrowhead Spring Vineyards

In Uncategorized on June 26, 2012 at 10:28 am

Photo courtesy of Arrowhead Spring’s Facebook page

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards produces the highest quality, barrel ages wines from their estate vineyard and locally grown grapes. Handcrafted in small lots with a focus on quality make them a popular stop on the fastest growing wine trail in the United States, the Niagara Wine Trail.

Winemakers Robin and Duncan Ross aim to raise the best grapes possible in the most natural way they can. Their wines reflect the rich soil and climate the region below the Niagara Escarpment is known for. With a deep respect for the area, maintaining their land and focusing on sustainable farming and living naturally, their wine list deserves the recognition it has received.

Edible Buffalo magazine named Arrowhead Spring Vineyard a Local Hero Award Winner in 2010 for Beverage Artisan Wine Recognition; and their wine selection has grown every year since. Red, White, Rosé and Ice Wine; there is something to please every palate.

The 2008 BeauVine Rosé is a light, fun, easy-drinking sweet red wine, with floral notes on the nose, reminiscent of roses and is smooth on the palate. It is a perfect wine for a picnic or sipping amongst friends, or use in Sangria or as a mixer. The Reserve Meritage from the same year is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc; this wine has been aged in French and American oak barrels. Undertones of dark chocolate and cassis, it is well matched with hearty meals.

Arrowhead Spring Vineyards is known for their Pinot Noir and their 2010 Pinot Noir has a beautiful nose of raspberry, cranberry and the scent of fall leaves will greet drinkers of this bountiful Pinot Noir. A chalky backbone, silky tannins, and lively acidity that make this a prime example of the Niagara Pinot mark the palate. Aged one year in French oak.

If white is on the menu, try their 2010 Semi Dry Riesling, a delightful semi-dry wine, with a refreshing nose and a clean finish; or their 2009 Chardonnay a lightly oaked Chardonnay with lively acidity and a fresh clean taste.

Join Arrowhead Spring Vineyards online at www.arrowheadspringvineyards.com, follow them on Twitter at @ArrowheadSpring or find them on Facebook at arrowheadspringvineyards.

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