A bubbling fish tank beckons diners in the doors of New Shanghai Buffet, where they kick off a culinary expedition with classic Chinese dishes that range from general tso's chicken and sweet-and-sour pork to littleneck clams and artfully crafted sushi. Covered buffet stations flaunt crab legs and barbecue spare ribs in their gleaming metal vessels, and an expansive takeout menu keeps diners from wheeling buffet tables home when the staff's back is turned. Amid a mélange of leafy plants, grand prints of Asian landscapes pair with traditional Chinese baubles to adorn the dining room's floral walls.
The Buffalo News raves equally over this unique restaurant's fresh cuisine and its dual dining rooms: a hibachi room, whose tables each center on a grill where chefs’ deft knife work synchronizes with dancing flames, and a room of traditional seating. USDA choice steaks and South African lobsters, hibachi-grilled to perfection, sate hunger in both rooms. Expertly crafted custom sushi rolls are stuffed with ingredients sourced from across the globe, uniting international flavors as effectively as the food-only Olympic Games. Steaming bowls of udon noodles, fragrant teriyaki, and other Japanese fare diversifies the menu, and cocktails such as the popular Asian pear martini—as well as vintages from full bar’s eclectic wine menu—delight the palate.
Occuping the building at Lackawanna's central intersection Nelson's ridge perfectly captures the neighborhood’s charm. The eatery takes its name from nearby Our Lady of Victory Basilica's well-loved leader, Father Nelson Baker, and furthers the connection with menu names derived from religious icons. Chefs churn out classic diner fare such as burgers, hot sandwiches, and fried chicken for lunch and dinner, but the biggest crowd pleasers are their served-all-day hotcakes, stuffed with bananas and chocolate chips, blueberries, or diced apples and bacon. In true diner fashion, Nelson’s feeds hungry diners at a long counter dotted with bar stools, and floor-to-ceiling windows offer gorgeous views of its namesake basilica.
At Hideaway’s, chefs prepare half-pound burgers, grilled chicken dinners, and fried seafood from ingredients that have never been frozen or preserved in a museum laboratory. Each Friday, the eatery hosts a fish fry that serves breaded, battered, or broiled fillets as well as the Fisherman’s platter teeming with fried fish, scallops, and shrimp. To enliven the ambiance, the restaurant features Thursday- and Friday-night karaoke and live music on Saturdays.
Back in the 1830s, the building that now houses Colden Mill functioned as a grain mill. These days, the scent of grain no longer wafts over the facility?s hardwood floors and original solid-beam construction. Instead, one finds the alluring aromas of executive chef Matthew Webb?s upscale take on American food.
Drawing on the experience he gained while working past gigs everywhere from Chicago to the British Virgin Islands, Matthew woos vegetarians with mains such as gnocchi with roasted wild mushrooms, so named for the crazy pranks they?ve pulled on unsuspecting portobellos. At its core, however, Colden Mill is a shrine to carnivores. Lobster meat and lobster gravy join the cheddar curds of poutine, buttermilk enriches free-range chicken, and a blue-cheese crust and port-wine demi-glace lend extra flavors to succulent filet mignons.
Since 1928, four generations of the Romanello family have been tweaking and swapping recipes at a trio of restaurants in Western New York. In the 1980s, Romanello's South took its place among the family's eateries. Reporters from AM Buffalo have visited to heap praise on the ballroom, whose honey-hued expanses of hardwood can accommodate parties of up to 300 people or 150 adolescent rhinoceroses. Chatter from groups drifts into smaller dining rooms, where fireplaces cast their liquid light across white tablecloths laden with calamari, pasta, and eggplant parmigiana. Some evenings, the restaurant resounds with the harmonies of local artists, which swell beneath the clink of toasting glasses and help clear minds of shrill toothpaste jingles.