Last, have we “arrived?” Does Buffalo now rival or
even top other mid-sized US cities as far as quality and
quantity of dining options?
Lin: I don’t think we’re there quite yet, but I also don’t see
a reason why we won’t be able to get to where larger cities are
eventually. Buffalo is a diverse and open-minded community.
Rowan: All in all, we have a really good thing going with
the restaurant scene. If we continually reinvest and reinvent,
there will be no stopping Buffalo from remaining as a popular
destination for great, unique eats.
Roberts: I think as far as variety and quantity of offerings,
we are on par with most regional cities of our same size and
population density. I don't think we are yet in the league of
more major cities, just because our population and demographic don't yet support both casual eateries and ultra-fine
dining establishments at the same time. Those two categories together are what usually put bigger communities “on
the map.” But if you're talking about the quality of everyday
dining, we have definitely enough merit. We have increasingly bettered our service, sourcing, and trend knowledge. Above
all, we have found how to make our community happy. That’s
the hallmark of any great restaurant scene, big or small. So,
in that respect, we have arrived, yes.
Is there a food trend you’re tired of and want to see
diminished, or even gone?
Kumro: Everything and anything deep fried! The fact I’ve
received deep fried pita or croutons before just makes me
Roberts: I think we’re seeing a diminishing of molecular
gastronomy and the modifying of food textures just for the
sake of novelty. I think we’re finally to a point where the mastery of those techniques now add to a solid cooking and flavor
development skill set and are not used in place of or to mask
subpar cooking skills.
Have you ever created a dish that customers weren’t as
enthusiastic about as you’d thought?
Rowan: I joke that one of our “epic fails” over the years
was when we attempted a pizza grilled cheese. Quite surpris-
ingly, given the popularity of pizza in our area, nobody want-
ed it, even though the sandwich was very good.
Roberts: Anytime we offer anything with some kind of
offal, it’s a toss-up, like liver preps. Chicken liver mousse is
incredibly delicious, but for some reason, people don’t trust
it, even from us. Unless we make a BLT with it.
Tara Erwin is a PR professional and regular contributor to Spree.
“WE HAVE INCREASINGLY
BETTERED OUR SERVICE,
SOURCING, AND TREND
KNOWLEDGE. ABOVE ALL, WE
HAVE FOUND HOW TO MAKE
OUR COMMUNITY HAPPY. ”
“THE CROWDS ARE STAYING
AROUND, BUT I PERSONALLY
THINK WE NEED MORE INCENTIVES
LIKE HAPPY HOURS OR DAILY
SPECIALS TO INTRODUCE
THEM TO NEW PLACES.”