Beyond the elegant bistro's striped awning, chef Kevin O'Connell Jr.'s contemporary culinary creations titillate palates in the form of small plates and upscale entrees, featured by the Buffalo News. Dishes parade out from the kitchen bearing grilled veal loin with fried mozzarella or smoked-salmon pizza. Larger plates showcase grilled rib eye with cheddar and bacon and barbecued Hudson Valley duck breast, as patrons sip or spit-take handcrafted cocktails, wines, and craft beers. A hand-painted mural of the French countryside and paintings by local artist Claire Essley beam down upon the main dining room's sleek black chairs and white tabletops, and the bar's glass mosaics and pounded copper glimmer beneath a sundial dome. Red umbrellas speckle the outdoor patio, and a private room spaciously accommodates large parties. Further delighting guests, regular movie nights and special events offer up a welcome respite from the humdrum home-dining entertainment of the family dog playing the spoons again.
Restauranteur Tamas Brummer and his wife, Chef llona Deicsics, frequently welcome guests from all over the world to Savoury and Sweet Restaurant. Her menu showcases the traditional flavours of Europe. Chef Ilona's old-world specialties include goulash, Hungarian stews, chicken paprika, cabbage rolls, and?as the restaurant's name implies?crepes stuffed with savoury or sweet ingredients. Cooks prepare every element of every dish from scratch, enhancing them with pairings of wines sourced from Europe. The continental vibe stretches from the kitchen to the dining room which features exhibitions of original art and occasional live acoustic music.
From its charming Bryant Street storefront, Trattoria Aroma serves up authentic boot-country fare using local and organic products whenever possible. Launch a decadent dining experience with an order of peppercorn-seared pork belly, served with a cracked egg, sweet-pea pesto, and shaved parmesan ($9), or opt for the crispy fried artichoke hearts over parsley pesto ($7). Gourmet pizzas ($12+) and house-made pastas, such as the lobster ravioli with fried leeks and brandy cream ($21), offer sophisticated twists on familiar flavors, while Trattoria Aroma's meaty fare perks up frownful Florentines. Poultry loyalists exchange regal high-fives over juicy bites of chicken saltimbocca, a fragrant sage- and prosciutto-enhanced dish with asparagus, roasted potatoes, and a white-wine-lemon sauce ($22). Vela osso bucco Milanese, with saffron-parmesan risotto and gremolata ($29), offers a marrowful meal for opulent meat-lovers and makes an ideal accompaniment for any of the fermented favorites off of Trattoria's award-winning wine list.
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.
Each morning at 7 a.m., Justin Brandon and his mother, Joan, open the doors of Bertha's Diner—the cozy North Buffalo restaurant they took over from former owners Ken and Liz Kerr. The spot "oozes with charm and delicious food," according to one Buffalo News writer, who savored breakfast items including fresh blueberry banana bread, pancakes that were "cooked to perfection," and "heavenly hash, obviously made in the kitchen from real corned beef." When lunchtime rolls around, the kitchen crafts delicious eats such as tuna melts and meatloaf sandwiches smothered in gravy. Images of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and other 1950s icons decorate the walls alongside a giant 45 rpm record. Bertha's Diner is open until 3 p.m. except for Friday, when they are open until 8 p.m. for fish fries. They open at 8 a.m. on Sundays.
Steeped in the knowledge of old-world family recipes, Orazio's Italian Crepes and Gelato prepares traditional Italian treats with a modern twist. Try a savory Mediterranean crepe with baby spinach, olives, feta, and grape tomatoes, or satisfy sweet cravings with a dessert crepe stuffed with Nutella and fresh fruit. Gelato?in flavors such as strawberry, roasted pistachio, and coffee?pairs well with an espresso or cappuccino, creating the perfect snack to lull away the afternoon.