On the shores of Sheepshead Bay, the chefs at Baku Palace delight palates with a menu of Turkish and Russian cuisine kept afloat by a supermassive vodka list. Servers ferry plates of seafood such as boiled lobster, entrees including fried trout, sheep's tongue, and grilled filet mignon, and kebabs out to eager patrons, and live music compels forks to shovel food in rhythmic unison. The eatery's regal chandeliers—which were designed in the Czech Republic—elegant patterned wallpaper, and ornate catering displays facilitate birthday celebrations, corporate events, and lavish surprise parties for the parking valet.
For more than a century, the Woodbury family has tilled the rich, porous soil of the Fredonia area to craft one-of-a-kind, flavorful wines from homegrown grapes. The vineyard’s serene surroundings—from the doting shelter of the nearby Allegheny uplands to the temperate words of encouragement from Lake Erie—work together to rear aromatic, mature, and emotionally balanced crops. Sippers may indulge in the complex flavors of a full-bodied cabernet ($24/bottle), the peppery floral notes of the Gewürztraminer ($24/bottle), or the regional sweetness of a niagara ($9.50). In addition to bottling up high-quality grape juice, the expert vintners at Woodbury shake down local orchards for refreshing fruit wines, such as a tastefully tart cranberry ($12) or delicate apple ($12), simultaneously capable of banishing thin-skinned doctors and impressing teachers with its semidry personality and ability to rinse chalkboards.
Diners at Dina's mull over a unique menu of healthful eats crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Succulent starters include the bacon-wrapped dates, stuffed with Stilton blue cheese and almonds under a sprinkle of balsamic syrup ($9.95), and the baked brie, buoyed by an orchard of apples, grapes, and pears ($9.95). Share a slice of the boss gourmet pizza, plastered with mushrooms, sausage, green peppers, kalamata olives, and mozzarella ($17.95 for a large), or monopolistically hoard entrees such as the chicken parmesan ($18.95) or Cowgirl ribs. During a.m. hours, diners can nosh on massive pancakes ($7.75) or eggy burrito bombs ($8.75) in the open air of Dina's sidewalk seating, or lounge amongst brick-bedecked walls of the upstairs loft while cooing sweet nothings to the eatery’s sandwiches.
To the Spicola family, wine isn't simply something sipped on at dinner or during a party. Rather, it's the family heritage, which forms a bridge between generations. Today, Dominic Spicola runs the Winery of Ellicottville with his son-in-law, but years ago, he worked alongside his father, Francesco, an Italian immigrant schooled in his home country's winemaking tradition. Together, the duo crushed and pressed annual harvests into barrels of wine, making sure their relatives had enough to fill glasses at dinner and water balloons at family picnics throughout the year.
Today, Dominic and his son-in-law mesh this Old World wisdom with New World techniques to craft chardonnays and merlots, reds and whites. They sell their bottles from an unassuming shop on Monroe Street, where sky-blue walls, family pictures, and shelved knickknacks surround a sun-splashed bar.
Johnny B's menu soothes languishing stomachs with classic American comforts. Begin the family-friendly feast by downing bites of deep-fried zucchini ($4.75), or wait 'til his back is turned and sneak slurps of Uncle Pete’s chili (served seasonally, $3.50–$4.75). A honey-dijon dressing complements the crab-cake salad ($7.95), and the Titanic sandwich conquers an unsinkable appetite with a tasty pairing of ham, turkey, mozzarella, American cheese, and Italian dressing served on a half loaf of Italian bread ($8.95). For more formal fare try an 8-ounce proteinous plate piled high with Peter's Italian strip steak smothered with grilled mushrooms, onions, and alfredo sauce ($13.95), or wrap a seafood-seeking mouthtrap around flaky crab-stuffed scrod ($13.95).