Niagara Gazette

Features

March 17, 2014

Food from the family: Buffalo's Osteria 166 has Niagara region talent behind its success.

Buffalo's Osteria has Niagara region talent behind its success

Niagara Gazette — There are two things that stand out among the online reviews of Osteria 166 restaurant in Buffalo.

Many reviews mention being personally greeted by owner Nick Pitillo. A Canadian couple who came in one night just before closing reported how graciously they were treated, despite the late hour.

Both had served in restaurants before, according to the reviewer, “Kate H.,” and after Pitillo agreed to feed them, they asked jokingly if he would “hate them,” for holding up closing. To this, he was said to reply “Of course not, I’m going to welcome you like you are family and thank you genuinely for coming.”

When asked about that review, Pitillo said later that his idea of Italian food is all about treating people like family.  His restaurant, decorated by his sister, Kim Pitillo, and designer Michael Neffke of Niagara Falls, includes Pitillo family photos hung throughout.  

“To me, serving Italian food, it’s kind of like you’re in my home and we’re breaking bread,” he said. 

Many reviewers on sites including Yelp and Urban Spoon lauded the authentic, Italian food served in the restaurant, which is located at Franklin and Mohawk streets in Buffalo and which Pitillo has named Osteria because it means “casual pub” in Italian.

The kitchen staff, led by Jeff Cooke of Grand Island, has created a menu that includes handmade sausage and cured meats, as well as traditional favorites such as “Nani’s Sunday Sauce and meatballs.” 

A lot of the menu items come from family recipes, including ravioli handmade by Nick’s mother, but the kitchen is led by Cooke, who recently won two awards at The Buffalo Soup Fest, with his line chef, Joanna Congi, former head chef of Wine on Third in Niagara Falls. 

In a creative effort led by Congi,  the team submitted a broccolini gorgonzola cream soup that won two awards, including Best Vegetarian Soup and Fan Favorite.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • SUNLIFELexisPlace1072014jpg (1).jpg Lexi's Place: A safe haven for teens battling suicide, sexual abuse and depression

    In a perfect world, a 14-year-old wouldn’t know exactly how it feels to try suicide.
    An 11-year-old who reaches out to the unwanted kids at school would not be thrown against a locker and bullied by other teens trying to make her feel small.
    And surely no teen would have a father who, when she was small, would give her to his friends for sex.
    All those things happened to the teens at Lexi’s Place.

    July 22, 2014 8 Photos

  • SUN LIFE wine fest 3 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Sip the Niagara Wine Trail's best in one location The Niagara Wine Trail reveals it's sweetness slowly, and only to those dedicated enough to spend the time. There are 27 wineries and to sample a taste of each requires much driving through the backroads of the Niagara region, and far too much sipping to make driving a logical possibility. That's what makes the trail's 6th annual Wine and Culinary event such a good idea. Wine lovers who've always wanted to explore the new and unusual offerings of the 14-year-old wine trail, can do so next weekend, all in one place.

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE Open gardens 4 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Niagara gardeners take part in fest's Open Gardens program

    As they looked out over the near-half-acre that is the Blyth garden in the Town of Tonawanda, a visitor asked Linda Blyth if they ever get weeds.

    July 21, 2014 10 Photos

  • mug - Tybor, Chris RGB FIT FOR LIFE: The components, signs of an effective diet

    According to the latest research, “keto diets” or very low-carb diets are not more effective long-term than other diet methods. A wide range of diets work and I won’t debate the value of each and every diet or method out there, but the keys to a successful diet need to take the following into consideration:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE terrariums 2 072014.jpg [Duplicate] Terrariums — for the love of nature

    Terrarium workshops by Sara Johnson of Sylvatica 

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • NIA Fire Trucks art 2 071914 Local fire departments display their antique fire trucks at Canal Fest

    Canal Fest premiered a new event on Thursday afternoon with the first Vintage Fire Truck Muster, featuring antique firefighting vehicles from as early as 1872.

    July 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • Debutante 2 Falls debutante program aims to teach girls the art of success

    Many of the young girls in the newest debutante class in Niagara Falls have bigger challenges in their lives than practicing curtsies and writing thank-you notes.

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • SUN LIFE milk 1 071314.jpg [Duplicate] LOCKPORT: Farm couple shares organic dairy farming methods. When Tina Kowalski is out grocery shopping and she sees someone pick up a carton of organic milk, she sometimes walks over to thank them. If that carton is produced by the Upstate Farms dairy cooperative, there's a good chance it contains milk from one of the 60 dairy cows on her Lockport Farm. And she just loves those cows.

    July 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • mug - stack, catherine RGB [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NATURAL HEALTH: Do you really know what you are eating?

    Many individuals fall for words like “all natural,” “heart healthy” and pretty pictures of fruits and vegetables when shopping for groceries. These very misleading marketing ploys are partially responsible for the rising numbers of those diagnosed with heart disease and diabetes and people suffering from obesity even though they are eating foods that claim to benefit their health.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE exercise 2 071314.jpg [Duplicate] Local venues follow trend, offer free public exercise programs

     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

    July 13, 2014 3 Photos

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page