Posted by: Kara Lydon, RD | September 10, 2011

Bistro Europa, Buffalo

For Labor Day weekend, I spent time with family and friends in Buffalo, NY. I spent some time with this guy too…

The weather was on my side and I managed to squeeze in two beach days! Two! And by beach, I mean Lake Erie…we New Englanders sure are spoiled.

My parents had been raving about this restaurant, Bistro Europa, in Buffalo that I believe is not new but went under new ownership and is getting a lot of buzzzz in B-lo right now. When my Dad told me he had the best salad of his life and that the flavors were just BURSTING, I knew I had to try it. They also did not leave out the fact that this restaurant prides themselves on serving fresh, local food. Okay, maybe that’s the part that sold me. Buffalo doesn’t really have any farm to table restaurants, at least none that I’m aware of, so I was super excited to hear this.

Bistro Europa focuses on European recipes and preparations of food. They believe in the quality of locally sourced foods and cooking recipes from scratch. Their focus and beliefs result in delicious, innovative dishes.

On Saturday night, my parents, Steve, and I walked into the tiny restaurant with a handful of tables and a bar.

To start, I had a braised sunflower in white wine and shallots with a golden raisin/caper vinaigrette topped with homemade ricotta. I had never tried sunflower before and when I saw it on the menu I knew it was meant to be. The sunflower heart is comparable to an artichoke heart in taste and texture. This dish was very unique and I loved every last bite of it.

My parents split the Oles Farm zucchini and cremini salad to start with baby arugula, capers, shallot, lemon citronette, Parmigiano Reggiano. I was too stuffed from my sunflower to try this salad but like my Dad said, it was bursting with flavor.

For my entree, I had the bass cheeks with carrot puree and elderberries.  The carrot puree was very flavorful and probably my favorite part of the dish.

And then there were desserts. Ellen, the owner and pastry chef makes all her desserts in house. Well, if they are made in house, I’ll take two!

First up, peach shortcake with fresh peaches, homemade buttery biscuit, and fresh whipped cream.

Next, the sticky toffee pudding. This was served warm surrounded by fresh whipped cream. It was heavenly. Sticky toffee pudding might be my new favorite dessert.

It was a delicious dinner that I could feel good about knowing the food was fresh, local, and made from scratch. No processed junk here! I also loved their plates, did anyone else notice they make for great foodie pics?! It inspired me to revamp my boring hand-me-down plate selection.

Peace, love, and food,

Kara

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