Monday, November 24, 2008

Artists In Buffalo

Artists in Buffalo Inc. presents Holiday Open Studio and Galleries. Take part in this unique opportunity to visit talented local artists and artisans in their studios and in small gallery settings.

The 3 day event hours are:
Friday December 5th from 5pm-9pm
Saturday & Sunday December 6th &7th from 11am-6pm

For more information and a printable map of the studios and galleries visit

Participating this year for the first time is ART MARKET gallery at 464 Amherst Street between Elmwood Avenue and Grant Street (next door to Artsphere). This intimate space exhibits works from some of Buffalo’s most exciting and talented artists. The opening reception is Saturday November 29, 2008 from 6pm-9pm.

The exhibit will run from November 28th-December 28th 2008 with hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11am-7pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday 11am-5pm

Don’t miss the opportunity to meet our talented local artists and view their fine art works.

Painting By Paul Rybarczyk

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sample Restaurant

Known for their amuse-bouche dinning concept, Sample restaurant has developed an innovative menu that delights diners with small bites of food that are packed with big flavors.

Jennifer and Adam Goetz have reinvented the restaurant experience by creating an environment which embraces the cocktail party, allowing each diner to create their own party at their table.

On a recent visit as part of the Sunday Supper Club, Sample restaurant hosted a Beer Dinner consisting of five outstanding courses, each perfectly paired with a carefully chosen beer selection. Here is that evening's line-up.

Complements of the kitchen, and to open your appetite, was an amuse of wild mushroom and parmigiano custard on a crispy potato crust.

The custard was silky smooth with a wonderful crispness from the potato crust.

First course: Pumpkin Soup
Creamy pumpkin soup was served with light as air herbed dumplings and toasted pumpkin seeds.

In leu of cream, this soup’s deep pumpkin flavor was achieved by a simple puree of pumpkin and vegetable broth.

Beer: Rochefort Trappist Ale “6”

Second course: Rabbit Tenderloin
This was wrapped in bacon and served with butter braised savoy cabbage served on top of creamy aged goat cheese polenta.

The sweet morsels of rabbit tenderloin surrounded by crispy bacon were nicely set off by the creamy goat cheese polenta, and drizzled with a reduced rabbit jus. This was a beautiful dish.

Beer: Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider (USDA organic)

Third course: House Made Sausage
Beer braised, served on a caramelized onion and potato pancake with a warm sour cream and apple foam.

Moist slices of house made sausage covered a sweet onion and crisp potato pancake and was topped with a haystack of matchstick apples with sour cream and apple foam. This dish is comfort food raised to a new level.

Beer: Ayinger Brau-Weisse

Roasted Beet Ice

The only thing you could taste was beets, pure and simple. Very refreshing.

Forth course: Veal Schnitzel Roulade
Stuffed with braised veal, served with parsnip spaetzle and brussels sprouts.

Thin slices of tender succulent veal stuffed with moist braised veal were incased in a light crispy bread coating and served with parsnip spaetzle and roasted brussels sprouts. An amazingly flavorful dish.

Beer: Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter

Fifth course: Butter Crusted Pear
House made blue cheese streusel and hibiscus scented creme anglaise gelato.

This deconstructed pie al a mode was a warm buttery pastry cage which held slices of caramelized pears along side crunchy blue cheese streusel with a lovely hibiscus scented creme anglaise gelato. Jennifer shows off some of her talents with this fabulous dessert.

Beer: Lindeman’s Pomme Lambic

Each course was carefully prepared, perfectly seasoned and incredibly delicious. The beers were paired to complement the food and truly enhanced the meal.

Thanks to Christy Gibney of Try-It Distributing Co. Inc. and John Staunton of Merchant du Vin for discussing the nuances of each beer and why they were paired with each course.

And a special thank you to Jennifer and Adam Goetz for all the hard work they both put into making that extraordinary evening happen.

242 Allen Street
Buffalo, NY 14201

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Keep Your Eye On The Pies

If you have ever tasted a Concord grape pie, you can attest to the fact that the flavor lives on in your memory, long after you have wiped the last crumb from your lips.

My first memory of pie made with grapes dates back more than 20 years. I was on a wine tour in the New York State Finger Lakes region. And, as I was driving through the country side, I was surprised to see that the roads were dotted with various sizes of roadside stands, orchards, vineyards and farmers, each displaying their prized offerings. One of the stands I passed posted a sign that read, “Homemade Concord Grape Pies”. I thought, “Grape pie, what would that taste like?” So I turned around and drove back to the stand and bought a pie. Needless to say, I have been hooked ever since.

The recipe for a grape pie requires patience. You must process the grapes to ensure a seedless and skinless filling, and it is arduous to say the least. This process has always been a major deterrent to making this sumptuous treat at home. But this is no longer the case. Instead, Blackman Homestead Farm has done the tedious work for me.

Last winter while shopping at the Wintermarket on Elmwood , I was introduced to the people at the Blackman Homestead Farm stand. I read in their literature that since 1852, Blackman Homestead Farm has been owned and operated by six generations of the Blackman family. The farm is located in Western New York on the picturesque Niagara Escarpment, a region known for its unique fruit growing characteristics. Blackman Homestead Farm offers several fruit butters that would be great on toast, or paired with cheeses. They also make apple sauces blended with other fruits for use along side meats, or served with pancakes for breakfast.

As I looked over their many nicely packaged items I was surprised to find a 32oz. jar of Concord Grape Pie Filling & Topping. I purchased it immediately with the intention of using it in a number of ways. I could use it as a topping for cheesecake, or served with pancakes or waffles, or to fill the center of a peanut butter thumb print cookie. Certainly I could pour it into a pie shell for a wonderful grape pie, or do as I did, spoon it into ramekins and sprinkle with a crumb topping for a rich and simple dessert. The ingredients are as simple as could be, they are listed on the jar as: Concord grapes, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice.

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, we look forward to the deserts that follow our home cooked meals. A Concord grape pie is the perfect addition to the traditional holiday baked goods we expect to find.

And it makes a great hostess gift!

Blackman Homestead Farm
4472 Thrall Road
Lockport,New York 14094
Phone/fax 716.434.7116