Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Niagara County Restaurant Celebrates 30th Anniversary by Featuring Local Agriculture & Wine

On Monday, May 3rd, Chef Carmelo Raimondi, the second generation owner of Carmelo’s in Lewiston, NY, will celebrate his restaurant’s 30th anniversary by hosting a very unique open house event.

For decades, Carmelo’s Restaurant served classic continental cuisine to Lewiston's residents and many visitors. But a trip to Italy and a growing appreciation for Niagara County's agricultural bounty has inspired Chef Raimondi to adapt his cooking style over the last few years. Today he utilizes his talents to provide his customers with a fresh and delicious farm-to-table approach.

For those who may not be aware, Niagara County is home to more than 800 farms. Prime soil allows farmers in this region of New York State to grow a tremendous variety of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the area’s loamy earth, when combined with the unique climate created by the proximity of the lake, make it an ideal area to raise stone fruit and grapes. Dairies and livestock farms are also an important part of Niagara County’s agricultural profile.

“We’re planting seeds here,” says Chef Raimondi, who has adopted a mission statement for his restaurant: “Our philosophy is to source the best ingredients from the Niagara Region and surrounding area. Carmelo's is a showcase for farmers and the food that they raise and grow. When developing our menu, we believe that eating the freshest seasonal ingredients heightens your awareness of the bounty our region offers and our remarkable four-season weather. It is always an adventure, and we hope that you will enjoy the taste sensations of this season, while looking forward to the next.”

Monday’s open house invites customers, farmers and foodies to experience live cooking demonstrations featuring local food prepared by Carmeloa and a few of his friends, who just happen to be some of our area’s best chefs. Each chef will prepare a a recipe which illustrates how simple preparations give the best results when using fresh, flavor-packed local food.

Local wineries Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, Eveningside Vineyards and Leonard Oakes Estate Winery will be on-hand to sample some of their best wines, and Guest of Honor, Eric Hahn, will speak about the importance of buying local.

Eric Hahn is the president and founder of Locavore Food Distributors, a Detroit-based food distribution company that markets all locally grown and produced foods from Michigan. His company distributes to schools, restaurants and grocery stores throughout Michigan and Chicago. Locavore Food Distributors works with more than 150 farms and local food producers in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin. Through his visits to WNY and his friendship with Chef Raimondi, Mr. Hahn is convinced that great economic opportunities exist for our region’s farmers.

You can read more about Carmelo Raimondi and his local-centric efforts here and here.

We ask that you join us in celebrating the promise of spring, the bounty of Western New York and the success of Carmelo’s, now in its 30th year.

425 Center Street
Lewiston, NY

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just Vino And Pinot Noir

You may remember that I could not contain my excitement after my first visit to Just Vino. Since then I’ve enjoyed many delightful evenings with friends in their warm, cozy wine bar.

Now in their second year of business, Jeff Borsuk and Ken Wood continue to celebrate their theme night events, by hosting a Pinot Noir tasting on Wednesday April 28, 2010. The evening's feature wines are:

2007 Freedom Run Artisan Collection Double Gold American Fine Wine Competition
2007 William Selyem Flax Vineyard
2006 Domaine Serene Evenstad Reserve
2005 Albert Bichot Pommard
2005 Sea Smoke Southing

In true Just Vino fashion, a specially selected antipasti plate will be offered to complement these fine wines. The event is from 7:00pm - 9:00pm at a cost of $50.00 per person. For reservations please call, email or stop into Just Vino.

Just Vino
846 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14202