I was welcomed by Mike Greco and must say that after a few minutes of Q&A and a couple 'apps', Encore elevated from a hidden gem of a bar to a prime-time restaurant find. Owners Dale Segal, Joe Gugino and Jon Mckissock, along with GM Mike Greco and Head Chef Chris Daigler have a combined experience of over 75 years in WNY restaurants (Hutch's, Oliver's, Shogun, Steer... etcetera).
If I were to categorize Encore, I would say it is a hipper version of Mothers. Those I have talked to rave about Encore's sushi and I definitely agree. I like Papaya, Kuni's & Seabar for sushi and I am compelled to say that the rolls I tried Tuesday easily rank up there as some of Buffalo's best- no question (can you say all you can eat sushi special on Tuesday nights?!!!!).
Encore's menu has many staples, but they take pride in preparing a separate page of nightly specials.
Chef Chris started me out with the Ginger and Lobster Rangoons. I have to admit, I rarely order ginger anything. Other then cleansing the palate between sushi offerings, I tend to stay away from ginger. I really liked the presentation and was pleased that the ginger was quite subtle. The rangoons, paired with Kimchi and soy glaze, were cooked to perfection and were delicious. Chef selected a model dish to start my dining experience.
Next up, the Housemade Gnocchi. This is definitely a dish I would order as a main course if offered. I rarely see gnocchi without red sauce. The dish was combined with peas, roasted mushrooms and mixed in a truffle cream sauce. The taste was simply exquisite. Chef's technique for preparing the Gnocchi was excellent. I am heading back to Encore soon and being a creature of habit will be sure to order this dish again!
When Mike brought out the next selection, I immediately thought of Stonehenge. The Asparagus Spring Rolls were very appealing to the eyes and also most tasteful. Prepared perfectly, there was a pleasant hint of lemon (my brain thought summer) in the Goat Cheese Fondue. I would not think lemon would compliment asparagus; very savory.
I actually asked to choose the entrée and went with the Pasta Bolognese (I saw a gentleman at the bar enjoying). It was hearty, had a nice little kick to it and the sauce was not too sweet (I am impartial to a pork based sauce). This dish is prepared with a nice balance of pancetta, beef, pork and veal. I was very happy with the choice.
Encore is a cool, hip space that has something for everybody. I love the semi-hidden booths and the lively energy upstairs (seats 120). The food is delectable, distinctive and is starting to catch on. They cater to the theatre goers at Shea's (dinner specials), and are also open for lunch. They plan on remodeling the outside patio in early April.
Destinations like Encore make Buffalo special. I can't believe it has taken me two years to discover this treasure. Enjoy!
Lunch -Tues thru Fri 11am 2:30pm
Dinner- Tues thru Thur 5pm-10pm .... Fri & Sat 5pm-11pm
492 Pearl Street
Buffalo, NY 14202