Friday, December 2, 2011

Black Rock Kitchen & Bar in Buffalo

I posted a status update yesterday morning on Facebook asking my friends what local restaurant I should patronize that night. Within an hour, I had six potential restaurants I'd never been to, and that's how I ended up at Black Rock Kitchen & Bar on Grant Street in Buffalo last night. (The power of Facebook).

My boyfriend Geoffrey and I arrived around 7:00pm and the place was packed. All the tables were taken, so we started the wait list and grabbed seats at the bar. We grabbed a beer, they typically have six on draft (Nom, Flying Bison Rusty Chain), and discussed the overall style of the restaurant. We agreed on retro chic. I absolutely love the artwork, old school clock hanging behind the bar, and the stamped tin ceiling.

We had an awesome chat about beer with our bartender Marcus, and were blown away by the 53 (yes I counted) different bottles of beer they had on display above the bar, all but one, they currently had to try. We looked at the wine list too and they have a great selection of both red and white wines. I truly appreciated that many of the beer and wines on the menu are local (or somewhat local).

We were told our table wait would be about a half an hour, but it couldn't have been more than 15 minutes before the hostess directed us to our seats. (By the way, the hostess stand is this awesome old school movie theatre ticket taker Geoffrey and I couldn't get enough off, cool piece of "furniture") The restaurant is small, there's about 12 tables, some booths and some tall tables. We were seated at a tall table closest to the kitchen, which made it even harder to pick what we wanted because everything the wait staff was bringing out looked amazing. I was lovin' on the little under the table hooks so my purse didn't end up on the floor too.

After our waitress Christi gave us her suggestions, and we went back and forth on the choices, we settled on lump crab and cucumber over butter lettuce with a dill buttermilk dressing for our "starter". We shared it and it was awesome. The salad was extremely tasty and had a lot of flavor. It was a great start to the meal. In fact, I could go for some of it right now.

For our entrees, I had a regular menu item, grilled shrimp over soft polenta with roasted cioppolini onions and Gorgonzola. Geoffrey opted for one of the nightly specials, a ribeye steak with leeks and a potato hash.

Our meals came out looking amazing and smelling absolutely delicious. For me, my polenta standards are really high after the amazing meal I had at Blue Monk earlier this year (nothing since has topped it), but the polenta with this dish was pretty damn good too!

I don't consider myself anything close to a food expert, so if you want me to tell you specifics on how it was prepared, what might have been missing or the cornmeal they used, I can't do that, but I can tell you, it was well worth the $13 price tag. The shrimp was grilled and seasoned well (you could taste the salt, but it wasn't anything bad or overpowering) and the onion and cheese with the polenta went together so well.

Geoffrey said his ribeye was cooked perfectly (medium rare) and I tried a little bit of his dish and truly enjoyed the leeks and the potato hash (with small bacon pieces). He rated it overall, his second favorite dish out of the year (behind Siena on Main Street).

Looking around at the different restaurant patrons there didn't seem to be any real demographic, there was a little bit of everyone. During our time there we saw families, a group of co-workers, a few couples and some Buffalo fireman. The age demographics were very mixed too. Everyone seemed to really love it!

I am totally psyched we found out about this place, and the truth is, just about every single menu item they offer I'd try. The cost is on par with most Buffalo restaurants (entrees ranging from $10 - some specials in the $20 range).

If you are looking for a date night hot spot, a place to hang out with some co-workers after a long day, or just want to experience the rejuvenation of the Black Rock neighborhood, please, please, please check out Black Rock Kitchen and Bar. It was an outstanding experience I was so excited to blog about, I did so within 16 hours of eating there.

Check them out on the web They also have a Facebook page. The official address is 491 Grant Street (past the Wegmans on Grant, same side as Wegmans, if you are coming from Elmwood) and the phone number for reservations is 716-551-0261.

Kudos to the chefs and the Goldman family on another great restaurant in Buffalo!

For more reviews on Black Rock Kitchen & Bar, check out:

Black Rock Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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