Brick Oven Bistro & Deli is the type of neighborhood spot we should all be so lucky to have in our own backyard. Though they opened their doors one year ago this month, I must say I did only have my first taste until just last week.
As the saying goes, it’s all in the details, and never is that more true for me, than when dining out. All too often new restaurants can overlook elements that can really impact your overall dining experience – details that truly have nothing to do with what’s on the plate in front of you. So, when we sat down on a busy Friday night at a table in the bar area, I was not sure what to expect. I had heard rave reviews about the food, but like I said, that can take you only so far sometimes.
After we were seated, I was pleasantly surprised to find that as our foursome earnestly got into conversation, we could actually hear one another. Though there was not a seat left at the bar, or in either dining room for that matter, we found that we could communicate quite easily over the buzz of the crowd and the overall energy of the restaurant. That was quite reassuring.
First came our drinks. By default I am used to ordering bottled beer, as we all know how unclean either the glasses, or the lines, can sometimes be at a place we’re not yet familiar with. So after my first Heineken, and after our dining guests (who also own a few bars around town) proclaimed that their draughts were the cleanest tasting beers they’ve had out in a while, I switched things up. Something as simple as keeping on top of those “little things”, such as cleaning tap lines, will help to keep people interested and frequenting an establishment for years to come.
Now to the food. As the name implies, a portion of their menu is designated to their wood-fired, brick pizza oven, which happens to offer both regular and gluten free housemade dough. The pizza selection starts with a ubiquitous (but also personal favorite) Margherita, with hand pulled mozzarella or a Classic Pepperoni with charred pepperoni. Then things get much more adventurous with a Beef on Weck pizza which consists of house roasted beef, Swiss cheese, horseradish aioli and finished with a kimmelweck crust. Then there’s even a Hot Pepper pizza with stuffed hot peppers pork sausage, marinara, and mozzarella. The pizzas were quite good, absolutely demanding a return visit to sample some of their other creations, and also to repeat some new favorites as well.
Brick Oven Bistro & Deli also offers what sounds like an amazing Pasta Fagioli with housemade stock and fresh herbs, as well as an appealing Beet Salad with arugula, orange, fried goat cheese, finished with a walnut vinaigrette. Rounding out their enticing starter selection are a generous Antipasti platter offered in two sizes, and a Fried Eggplant with hand pulled mozzarella, herb infused olive oil, and basil salt. There are also numerous entrees to choose from, all served with a gluten free pasta substitute or a vegetarian option, which is always nice to see so clearly stated on a menu, especially as a first timer in a place. Everything from Manicotti with housemade crepes and stuffed with a herb ricotta, to Beef Short Ribs with pappardelle and mushroom cream, to Gorgonzola crusted heritage pork, and the list goes on with Half free-range Chicken to Veal Saltimboca, Vegetable Pappardelle pasta with lemon herb cream to Veal Parmesan… there really is something for everyone. The most expensive item on the menu being a 16 oz. NY Strip Steak (served with garlic bread, potatoes, caramelized onion, and mushroom sauce, served with complimentary mixed greens or pasta fagioli), for only $18 really speaks volumes to again, the attention that this father and son team gave to making sure every detail was looked after, ensuring that this will be the “go to” neighborhood spot for years to come.
Finally, the hours are the last component that one can really appreciate from an establishment such as this. To offer not only lunch and dinner service, but for a new restaurant to speak to the underserved, local brunch crowd I think is completely commendable. And to offer a brunch menu with offerings ranging from a Watermelon Salad (feta, watermelon, mixed greens, cucumber, & balsamic vinaigrette); Breakfast Caesar (classic Caeser, homemade dressing & crouton, house cured bacon, finished with poached egg & shaved Parmesan), to The Brick House (2 eggs, home fries, butter toast & sausage or house cured bacon); Breakfast Pizza (omato ricotta, scrambled eggs, sausage, tomato, onions & mozzarella); and The Hangover (breakfast burrito w/ scrambled eggs, cheese, caramelized onions, hot peppers, home fries, sour cream & sausage)… I, for one, can not think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!!
Brick Oven Bistro & Deli
910 Abbott Rd
Buffalo, NY 14220