Known as the “Stuffed Hot Pepper King,” Nicky G's Sports Bar and Restaurant churns out pizzas, calzones, and subs crowned with stuffed peppers, but they also concoct milder choices, such as 8-ounce Black Angus cheeseburgers, steak-and-cheese subs, and even freshly made crab cakes. From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., the wait staff shuffles food to tables inside the restaurant and bar area or to patrons on the patio. On Sunday nights, guests can enjoy entertainment with their meal, as wannabe singers tray their hand at karaoke and wannabe football players tackle barstools.
There are many good places to people-watch at Kaydara Noodle Bar?at the circular bar or near the windows that overlook Main Street or even near the open kitchen where chefs prepare Southeast Asian noodle dishes in bowls of broth and simmering stir fries. Vietnamese pho is served hot enough to cook thin slices of raw beef, and udon and crispy egg noodles arrive mixed with your choice of meat. Tofu is typically an option, too, as the menu makes many efforts to accommodate vegans and vegetarians. Daily features have included vegan pho, and there's always a vegetable side of the day.
Aside from noodles, Kaydara serves a variety of small and large plates. Potstickers stuffed with potatoes, goat cheese, and Chinese vinegar can preface entrees of beef tenderloin with sweet chili butter, or spicy black-bean pork riblets. To balance out the piquant flavors, try sipping on a house-made pear and lychee soda or licking one of the wall's more calming paintings by local artists, each one available for sale.
Atmosphere@62 dishes out a menu of upscale cuisine in an elegant, crimson-walled dining room, earning it a nomination WGRZ's Best Taste in Buffalo contest. Candlelight flickers and a hush falls over the dining room as the lobster ravioli appetizer stuffed with scallops, shrimp, smoked salmon, and lobster arrives at the table ($15). The filet of sirloin, served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and house vegetables, takes francophile taste buds on a dream vacation with a choice of au poive or roquefort topping ($15), and the grilled cedar plank salmon, dressed in a livery of sauce vierge, tempts seafood-treasuring tummies alongside lemon-parmesan risotto and grilled vegetables ($24).
At Laughlin's Hearty Bistro, chefs concoct a menu of rustic, bistro-style fare that spotlights quality cuts of beef, fresh fish, and meaty sandwiches paired with hand-cut fries. Steak- and seafood-laden plates make their way to the cozy dining room, where warm lamplight illuminates dark-wood tables and exposed-brick walls. A mezzanine populated with plush, black leather easy chairs overlooks a copper-topped bar. Here, friendly bartenders and repurposed paint shakers mix a mean martini, and the bar's glassware also brims with wine and beer.
As pedestrians bustle past the eclectic restaurants and theater of the lively Chippewa District, the aroma of sizzling ground beef and freshly baked brioche rolls draws them toward Soho Burger Bar. Executive chef Ray Flor's kitchen is the source of these smells, where chefs whip up a variety of specialty burgers using specialty ground beef from the local Johnny's Meats and custom-made buns from Romeo's Bakery Cafe. They adorn patties of grilled ahi tuna, bison, and turkey with gourmet cheeses, sauces and garnishes, pairing burgers with appetizers of fish tacos or sides of truffle tater tots. Meanwhile, bartenders blend premium liquors into cocktails and decadent spiked milkshakes.
Reporters who lauded the restaurant's burgers in publications such as Buffalo Rising or Buffalo News were equally charmed by the interior decor, citing sultry lighting, an inventive chandelier made of liquor bottles, and walls covered in illuminated retro album covers. Cozy conversation nooks, bistro tables, couches, and translucent tortoiseshell patio chairs scatter the vibrant dining room, upstairs lounge, and outdoor patios of the versatile restaurant, which transforms into a quirky eatery during the day, a lively hot spot at night, and an enchanted yo-yo factory by early dawn.