© Kristin Donnelly
Lake Effect Diner in Buffalo.
For years, my friend beckoned me to Buffalo with the promise of interesting people and great food. Last weekend, she got married, so I finally made the trip. And I was completely charmed. A few places I found:
Just Vino The one-year-old bar offers about 80 wines by the glass, including choices from the nearby Finger Lakes region, plus some geek wines, like Movia Ribolla Gialla from Slovenia.
City Wine Merchant Does Buffalo have the audience for quirkier bottles, like, say, the Nigl sparkling Grüner Veltliner from Austria or the Daniel Bouland Morgon, an aromatic cru Beaujolais? I sure hope so, because I certainly enjoyed them from this brand-new wine shop.
Trattoria Aroma Tucked on a corner in the cozy Elmwood Village neighborhood, Trattoria Aroma does beautiful rustic Italian-style food, like house-made sausages with stewed onions, tomatoes and bitter dandelion greens.
Lake Effect Diner Here’s a triumph story for the locavore and DIY movement: Last year, this seven-year-old diner in a vintage diner car closed for six weeks to source local eggs, meats and produce. I had fabulous fluffy blueberry pancakes (now made from scratch, not a mix) and delicious though slightly misshapen house-made sausage patties.
Yesterday my colleague Emily McKenna gave an enticing preview of the first ever Vermont Cheesemakers Festival on August 23. Murray’s Cheese has organized a 24-hour field trip to get transportation-challenged, cheese-loving New Yorkers to Vermont. A red-eye bus departs Manhattan at midnight, stops for breakfast at Vermont's excellent Farmers Diner and drops passengers at the festival when the doors open at 10 a.m. The field trip tickets include round-trip transportation, breakfast, festival entry, and special access to some of Vermont’s top producers.
© Murray's Cheese
Murray's will be leading a field trip from NYC to the festival.
Ben Harper, the Decemberists, Band of Horses and the Killers are just a few of the stellar bands gathering in Chicago this August 7–9 for the annual Lollapalooza music festival. Another highlight: amazing food cooked by F&W Best New Chef 2004 Graham Elliot Bowles. Snacks—all $9 or less—will mimic the whimsical dishes Bowles serves at his eponymous Chicago restaurant but with a state-fair bent: lobster corn dogs, buffalo chicken with blue-cheese foam, black-pepper-parmesan-truffle popcorn.
Bowles, something of a music junkie himself (he recorded some of the songs that play at his restaurant) will also be cooking a VIP dinner for Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell and his band, Jane’s Addiction, who will be taking the stage Sunday night.