A serene feeling envelops visitors as they enter Fuji Grill Sushi Bar & Japanese Cuisine’s wood-paneled dining room replete with potted trees and sit at a table or at the sushi bar. Led by chef Tomo Lin, who trained in sushi preparation for four years in Japan, the kitchen creates Japanese food from teriyaki and tempura favorites to inventive sushi creations. Signature rolls include the Fuji, filled with yellowtail and salmon and topped with four types of roe, and the heart-shaped Susan roll of spicy tuna. Parties can also sample myriad selections with one of many combo platters that may include rolls, sashimi, or nigiri. The sushi chefs demonstrate a sense of whimsy as they decorate sushi plates with sauces, drawing images such as dragons, tree branches, or Morse code messages reading, "I know what you did."
Along one wall of the dining room, screens of angled wooden slats and a trellis canopy of ivy create a cozy, semiprivate atmosphere at each table. Japanese paper lanterns, wall scrolls, and windowpanes that mimic traditional paper screens additionally contribute to the eatery's authentic aura.
Write down the recipe you have been wanting to try and pick up the ingredients from Farmers and Artisans in Buffalo.
What's better than soup on a rainy day? Be sure you have some on hand.
This store has all the supplies you need to make a scrumptious dessert when your tastebuds are calling.
Planning a movie night? Stock up on all of your favorite snacks and munch and crunch all night long.
Farmers and Artisans serves up the most delicious freshly-baked bread in town. Head on over and pick up a loaf today.
When the heat gets the best of you, water is more important than ever. Cool off no matter where you are with a bottle from Farmers and Artisans.
Frozen food will fill you up, so you can eat some now and save the rest for later.
Vinegar is a great way to add that extra zing of flavor, and oil goes quickly in the kitchen. Pick these up now and use today or save for later.
If you need that extra push to get you through your workday, a coffee or tea from Farmers and Artisans will do the trick.
Take a dive and swim away with some succulent fish. It's a great source of protein for your next meal!
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
If you have a hankering for a tasty sandwich, swing on by Farmers and Artisans and satisfy your craving.
Here you can find an assortment of meats, such as pork and chicken, to meet your personal needs.
People can't get enough of the drinks here that take refreshment to the max.
Do you have a new pasta recipe that you've been dying to try? Pick up some noodles and treat yourself to a tasty dish.
Healthy eaters realize the importance of dairy in their diet. Make sure you're getting your fill of Vitamin D with dairy products from Farmers and Artisans.
If you like to try out different recipes and experiment with different flavors, you will love the selection of spices and seasonings that this store has to offer.
If rushing out the door is your morning routine, be sure to pick up a box of cereal for a quick and easy breakfast solution.
Next time you're in a rush, check out the amazing TV dinners available here to get you going out the door.
Guests of Farmers and Artisans' E Spring St location can park their vehicles on the street.
A great meal starts with a great grocery store. With a selection of trustworthy produce and exceptional goods, Farmers and Artisans will help feed you well in Buffalo.
Chow down on all of your pub favorites at The Irishman Pub and Eatery.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Looking for a good happy hour? Head to The Irishman Pub and Eatery and treat yourself to a bite or a drink for a discounted price.
Warm weather brings out The Irishman Pub and Eatery's highly coveted patio seating.
At The Irishman Pub and Eatery, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Musical groups perform live at The Irishman Pub and Eatery, so tables can perk up with some tunes.
Weekend visitors to the restaurant are well advised to take advantage of the reservation system — crowds tend to pack the place on Fridays and Saturdays.
Don't spend time or money shopping for a new dinner outfit
The Irishman Pub and Eatery's laid-back vibe accepts jeans, T-shirts, and everything in between.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from The Irishman Pub and Eatery to create the perfect night.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Drivers will embrace the number of street and lot parking choices close to The Irishman Pub and Eatery.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at The Irishman Pub and Eatery.
You'll typically spend about $30 per person to dine at The Irishman Pub and Eatery, so plan your budget accordingly.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, The Irishman Pub and Eatery is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Irishman Pub and Eatery's menu is decked out with all your pub favorites, so you won't need to worry. There's definitely something for everyone!
Hot pot may be a relatively new term to the Buffalo area, but the cuisine has been stewing in Mongolia for more than a thousand years. The key ingredient of hot pot is its broth. Available in five varieties, including a salty seafood broth, a herbal broth, a mushroom broth, a tomato broth and a spicy Mala broth, the meal is cooked on the spot by adding various ingredients to the simmering pot. Cooked to taste, the included meats and veggies quickly warm up diners, making hot pot an obvious choice during long Upstate winters.
Part of the international chain Little Lamb Mongolian Hotpot, which boasts more than 600 locations around the world, the cozy Amherst eatery invites guests to sample the menu of authentic Mongolian cuisine. Read on to learn about the components of Little Lamb's signature dish.
Broth: Guests can try the traditional herbal broth, the spicy mala broth, or a tomato-, mushroom-, or seafood-based broth.
Protein: Buffalo Little Lamb offers a wide variety of meats and poultry, including premium "Sun Volume" lamb slice, Beef Rib-eye cut, thin sliced chicken breast, and seafood, plus balls of fried shrimp, juicy beef, fried fish, lobster flavor.
Vegetables: Diners can choose from 9 mushroom varieties for their hot-pot meals, as well as tofu and veggies common in Asian fare, such as baby bok choy, watercress, Chinese yam, and taro-root slices.
Noodles: The house made noodles are among those that fill hot pots. Alternatively, visitors can opt for transparent glass or fish noodles.
BBQ: This features true Mongolian Barbecue items, which are flamed grilled and spiced for your choice of lamb rack, skewers, chicken wings and marinated fillet fish.
Come to Sean Patrick's Restaurant for a sandwich and side — this eatery serves American cuisine everyone will love.
Help yourself to a healthier lifestyle at Sean Patrick's Restaurant, where gluten-free and low-fat plates are the standard.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
Just around the workday bend are Sean Patrick's Restaurant's happy hour food and drink bargains.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at Sean Patrick's Restaurant.
Getting online is easy with Sean Patrick's Restaurant's free and convenient wifi.
At Sean Patrick's Restaurant, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Wear what you like when you dine at Sean Patrick's Restaurant — the restaurant has a chill vibe just right for casual dining.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Through their catering service, Sean Patrick's Restaurant can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Score free parking at the lot adjacent to Sean Patrick's Restaurant.
Cyclists are in luck. Sean Patrick's Restaurant provides bike parking.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Sean Patrick's Restaurant.
Sean Patrick's Restaurant is a great place to go for lunch or dinner, so make your way over to the restaurant today and munch on an American classic.
So round up your friends and head over to Sean Patrick's Restaurant for a casual American meal.
Amherst Pizza and Ale House is home to the familiar hot slice and relaxed pizza house atmosphere.
Whether rocking a gluten-free lifestyle or looking for something low-fat, this place will serve you just what you need.
This pizzeria's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Parents appreciate this pizzeria's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
At Amherst Pizza and Ale House, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Amherst Pizza and Ale House is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Enjoy wifi here free of cost.
Sound levels can reach upper decibel levels at the pizzeria, so sensitive ears beware!
Show up in sneakers or a suit at Amherst Pizza and Ale House, where dining in comfort is of utmost importance.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Amherst Pizza and Ale House offers catering.
Grab your meal to go at this pizzeria if you're in a hurry — or better yet, have them bring it to you through their delivery service!
Parking is available at an adjacent lot.
Major credit cards are accepted, so you can save yourself a trip to the ATM.
Amherst Pizza and Ale House offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
Next time you're in the mood for a casual night out, be sure to stop for a delicious pizza at Amherst Pizza and Ale House.
Fight for a great pizza pie by placing your order into Amherst Pizza and Ale House today.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of