Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Restaurant Week Recap #4: Cecelia's Ristorante in Buffalo

To wrap up my Restaurant Week adventures, I planned a girls night with some of my best friends from high school. I'm fortunate that so many of my close girlfriends growing up still live around me! 

We chose Cecelia's Ristorante, located on Elmwood Avenue. As with most places on Elmwood, they don't have a parking lot, but I was able to score a great spot just outside the restaurant on the street. 

The Italian restaurant is a trendy spot in Buffalo with a great outdoor patio. The inside boasts a large bar, and plenty of seating, but can get crowded quickly - especially during happy hour. The atmosphere is laid back, fun and flirty. It is a great spot to bring a date in Buffalo. Come summertime, the patio is hopping and it's a wonderful place to people watch. 

The Restaurant Week special included an appetizer, entree and cannoli for dessert. But before I get to the food, let's talk about the martinis. They boast a long martini list to choose from. I opted for the Bellini and it was tasty and not overpowering. Other good choices are the Lemon Drop, Pomegranate and Berry Snapple. If you are looking for a great deal, they offer 1/2 priced martinis Tuesday - Friday from 4:00 - 6:00pm (only available at the bar).  

For my appetizer, I chose the margherita pizza, which was honestly a meal in itself (see picture on the right). It was tasty, and while I couldn't finish it all, it was great for sharing with the table. They offer it under their regular pizza menu, and while I wouldn't necessarily go to this restaurant for pizza (try Siena, Rocco's or 800 Maple), it was a good starter. 

One of my friends chose the Caprese salad (also on their regular menu) and it was a gorgeous presentation, generous portion and delicious. To be honest, all of our appetizers were great. Others at my table chose the stuffed banana peppers (which were on the spicy side but had good flavor) and a Caesar salad (tasty). Our meal was certainly off to a good start. 

Before I get to our entrees, I want to point out how much I enjoyed the fact that the Restaurant Week specials were actual normal menu items for the restaurant. Many times, Restaurant Week specials include dishes you can't normally get at the restaurant, and while it is usually something delicious, I'd rather have a regular menu item so I know if I should come back or not. 

For my entree I, and a few others at my table. chose the Chicken Brushetta (cutlet floured & sauteed with grape tomatoes, basil, goat cheese in a lemon white wine sauce served over whipped potatoes). The dish had me at "goat cheese" but honestly everything about it was delicious. The chicken was breaded perfectly and cooked well and the lemon white wine sauce complemented everything on the plate. The whipped potatoes has so much flavor and all together it was a perfect dish. I would go back for this dish alone. 

Everything else my friends had (penne broccoli, chicken parm) looked great too and everyone enjoyed their meals. The portion sizes were good, there were not really any leftovers, but you definitely felt full and satisfied. 

Girls nights out are so important and Restaurant Week gives you a great opportunity to get together with friends, family and co-workers (although who really needs a "reason"?). I'm already counting down to the Fall Restaurant Week!

Thanks for the memories, Restaurant Week!

Caprese Salad (so pretty)

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