Bistros are remarkable in that they somehow manage to be both fancy and casual at the same time, much like a necktie with Taz on it. Feel gussied up without too much fuss with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of elegant fare and wide-ranging wines at The Wine Thief on Elmwood Street.
Recently featured in Buffalo Rising, The Wine Thief navigates a laser-beam-guarded landscape to offer fine wine and a menu of inventive new American fare to Buffalo residents. The wine list boasts various vinos by the bottle or glass, eschewing fermented juice boxes in favor of more reliable receptacles. Worldly whites, such as the 1734 Vouvray ’06 (Loire, France), compete for imbibers’ taste buds against alternative reds, known for their early 1990s grungewear and soft-loud musical dynamics. The Wine Thief is also home to a Cuvee wine storage system, which keeps open wines fresh for up to two weeks, allowing a total of 36 by-the-glass wines to be ready at any one time.
Seafaring fermented drink-lovers can anchor their appetite with the Australian lobster, served with spinach, chervil, seared tomatoes, and mascarpone ($12 half; $20 whole). Or opt for the duck taco, which merges the traditional Mexican dish with the quacking descendant of the long-extinct sparrow ($15). Other entrees include cappelini with opal basil, garden oregano, and olive oil ($16), and two pizza possibilities ($12–$14).
The Wine Thief’s softly chic atmosphere provides an ideal setting for communal relaxation via singular wines and elegant eats. A downstairs wine cellar stores patrons’ personal wines (for a yearly fee and additional tax) while also protecting Kansas farm girls from getting tornado’d away to a Technicolor world of idiot scarecrows and green, but not eco-friendly, cities run by self-conscious con men.
Tax not included.
Buffalo Rising praised The Wine Thief, and ArtvoiceTV featured it. OpenTable reviewers give it an average of 3.6 stars. Nearly 1,100 Facebookers are fans of The Wine Thief, and 85% of 67 Urbanspooners recommend it.
- It's hard to tell if The Wine Thief is a wine bar that thinks it's a restaurant or vice versa, but I would make the assessment right up front that it is successful as both, though that was not Cooper's initial intent. His history is steeped in wine…the right chef can turn a wine bar's fortune toward food just as quickly as patrons catch on to the chef's talent when they enjoy a bite while they imbibe. – Elena Cala Buscarino, Buffalo Rising
- The food was imaginative, well presented, and priced very well. The portions were realistic...not toooooo small, and not bring it home in a box either. Our server was efficient and not too intrusive (definitely a plus.) – OpenTable.com reviewer who dined on 06/26/2010
431 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, New York 14222-2209Get Directions