By Mia Summerson
Niagara Gazette — The newest area steakhouse — Mike A’s at the Lafayette Hotel in Buffalo — was buzzing recently as local media gathered to preview the cooking of top chefs in a preview of Western New York Local Restaurant Week — which continues this week through Sunday.
Local Restaurant Week is an opportunity for the people of Western New York to get out and enjoy foods from the kitchens of local independently owned restaurants and to experience what these places add to the culture of the area. Over 200 businesses are participating in the week-long event.
The media preview dinner consisted of a five-course meal with each dish paired with a wine that complimented its flavors. The appetizer was the Sashimi Sample from Seabar, a mix of different types of sushi and sushi rolls topped with rice noodles, prepared by Chef Mike Andrzejewski. This dish was paired with a 2011 Gewurztraminer from Chateau Niagara Winery.
Three entrées included Pasta Bolognese from Ristorante Lombardo in Buffalo, created with flat homemade noodles topped off with ground beef and pork and parmesan cheese, prepared by Chef Michael Obarka. The second entrée was the Foie Gras Burger from Mike A’s served open on baguette with red onion compote, mustard and mushroom, prepared by owner and chef, Mike Andrsejewski. This dish as well as the Pasta Bolognese, was paired with a 2008 Meritage Reserve from Arrowhead Spring.
The final entrée was the Surf and Turf prepared by Chef Joseph Jerge, owner of Mulberry Café. The dish consisted of lobster with stracchiatella cheese and basil pesto and also braised veal cheek with Yukon gold potato puree and pan sauce. This was paired with a 2011 Reserve Riesling from Leonard Oakes Estate Winery.
Desert was a sampling of cheesecakes from AcQua Restaurant, served with a Sparkling Ice Wine from Johnson Estate Winery.
The dishes were designed to get patron's tastebuds ready for all the restaurants participating in the bi-annual Local Restaurant Week. Area restaurants are offering signature dishes at a fixed price of $20.12.
Some of the participating restaurants in the Niagara Region include: In Lockport: Cammerata's, Danny Sheehan's Steakhouse, DeFillipos Italian Restaurant, Garlock's Restaurant, Shamus Restaurant. In North Tonawanda: The HIdeway Grill and Yummy Thai; In Niagara Falls, Fortuna's, Red Coach, and Suzanne's Fine Dining; On Grand Island, Dick and Jenny's and Serene Gardens; In Kenmore, Amici's Ristorante, Amigo's Restaurant, Jovi's Italian Grille, Manzella's Restaurant, Marotto's Restaurant and Orchid Asian Bistro. In Tonawanda, Caputi's Sheridan Pub, LaHacienda Brighton, Rizzo's Casa di Italia, Saigon Bangkok, Shannon Pub, Smoke on the Water and The Grill @ The Dome; In Wilson, the WIlson House Restaurant and Inn.
For a complete listing of restaurants and more information go to localrestaurantweek.com.