Friday, March 30, 2012

Restaurant Week Recap #2 - Oliver's Restaurant in Buffalo

Oliver's has always been a mysterious restaurant to me. When I lived in Kenmore, I drove past the small black building on Delaware Avenue so many times wondering what it looked like on the inside, and how the food was. I knew the food was expensive (and to be honest, out of my price range on most nights), so that's why I never tried it before. But along came Restaurant Week, and I finally decided to go! It was a date night with my boyfriend Geoffrey, and we had a reservation for 7pm on Thursday (3/29).

When we arrived the parking lot was completely packed, offering Valet service, so we found a spot on the street. The valet parkers greeted us as we walked through the parking lot and in we went!

When you walk in, there is a small foyer area with a coat check and doors to the restaurant on the right. Once you walk in you are greeted by a gorgeous grand piano and a big bar area that was fully stocked.  The walls and decor are dark (greyish walls and black leather chairs) but it surprisingly is not very dark inside. As we were seated, I felt like I stepped into a 1920's lounge, and I suddenly wished I wore a sparkly dress and Geoffrey had on a fedora. It has a very classy and sophisticated look and as I scanned the crowd, my boyfriend and I were easily the youngest in our area (if not the whole restaurant).

I have to admit, I was surprised by the inside of the restaurant (after frequenting the other restaurants owned by the same people), and while I'll admit it wasn't totally my "style", I felt thankful and lucky that Buffalo has a place like this.

Our server promptly came over to say hello and fill our water glasses, and we asked for a wine list. Wow! What a wine list! It has to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest selection of wines I've seen. Since my boyfriend and I differ on our wine choices we decided to each get our own glass as opposed to a bottle. The wine list by the glass is considerably smaller, but still a good variety. A typical glass of wine costs between $8 - $10.

The only menu we were given, and I am wondering if it was because we looked out of place, was the menu for Restaurant Week. We had already looked it over a million times at home with our mouths watering, so we ordered our dishes along with a spinach loaf.

To say the bread was great would be an understatement. I could have eaten four more loaves of it! The spinach was cooked perfectly and mixed in with lots of butter and spices. It started off our meal perfectly. My first course was the lobster bisque and it was delicious. My only gripe was that there were too many scallions on the top as a garnish. For me, it took away from the bisque a little bit. Geoffrey had the soft polenta and ricotta rapini, cappicola, olive and sweet pepper. The presentation of the dish was absolutely stunning and I felt like I was judging a plate from the finale of Top Chef. The polenta was delicious and the whole combination of flavors was absolutely outstanding. I was happy for my foodie boyfriend, and could tell he was in food heaven.

For my second course I ordered the baked scallop and shrimp cannelloni artichoke, leek, fennel, tomato-sherry sauce and Chervil salad. The presentation again was beautiful and the dish tasted even better than it looked. I loved the filling of the pasta, and the pasta was cooked to perfection. Geoffrey ordered the duck leg confit risotto butternut squash, chicory, cherries, chilies & marscapone. My boyfriend took one bite of it, and when he looked up I thought he was lovingly looking into my eyes, but it was the risotto. I think he said during the course of the meal how much he loved it ten times, and was still talking about it when we drove home, went to bed, and woke up. I have to admit though, it was pretty outstanding. Having had risotto the night before at Prime 490, and loving that, it didn't even compare.

The food at Oliver's is in a class of its own, and I was ecstatic I finally had the pleasure of trying it. While I can say I don't think I'll be dining there again (mostly for financial reasons right now), Restaurant Week gave me the chance to try it out and share my experience with all of you. As I age, and hopefully have more expendable money, it would be a perfect night out to celebrate something special.

If you are wondering about typical prices at Oliver's, their specialties normally run between $31-$41. They have small plates from the range of $12-$25 and appetizers are between $9-$15. The prices are high, but the quality, presentation and taste of the food is worth it. Trust me.

There's still a few days left this week to get out on the town and eat local. If you can, please do!

For more reviews on Oliver's check out:

Oliver's on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Krystal... im so happy you enjoyed your experience! My daughter is one of the Chefs there and the only female chef as well! They will also be participating in Dine Out For Life that is up coming!