Author: Caitlin Hartney

Caitlin Hartney

Caitlin has covered local food and drink for Buffalo Rising since 2015, having previously written for Artvoice, the Public, and the Buffalo News. She works full time in marketing communications and is earning her master's degree in history at University at Buffalo, the latter of which occasionally informs her writing. Most importantly, she likes the word "moist" and doesn't care who knows it. How else do you describe a great piece of cake?

To get your hands on some of the best cocktails in the Buffalo, you might have to cross its limits—but just barely. At Black Iron Bystro in Blasdell, where the city butts up against rural-suburbia, Joe Graziano manages a cocktail program of tremendous merit—one that could hold its own among its most reputable downtown counterparts. In fact, save for the extra miles and minutes required to get there, you wouldn’t realize Graziano operates far removed from the epicenter of Buffalo’s cocktail market. The trappings of a polished, urban bar aside (the superficial is easy to replicate), what makes his program…

Read More

In response to the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy of separating immigrant children and parents at the U.S. southern border, Buffalo media and promotions company Rise Collaborative has teamed up with Tipico Coffee and a host of other local businesses for a multifaceted fundraising blitz to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its mission to put an end to the practice. The fundraising effort offers anyone outraged or grief-stricken by images of screaming babies being ripped from the arms of their parents and children sleeping on concrete floors an avenue to take a stand against government-sponsored inhumanity. “We know…

Read More

Maybe it’s our blue-collar roots or our fondness for drinking heavily on the cheap, but beer- and liquor-loving Buffalo has long lacked a vibrant, thriving wine scene. Sure, $6 pours of nondescript pinot grigio and over-oaked chardonnay are commonplace, but they are designed for affordable inebriation at the expense of palatability. On the other end of the spectrum, there have always been high-minded strongholds for the archetypical money-dropping wine drinker. But their atmospheres are too often stuffy, or their menus too unapproachable and/or stolid for the everyday, unpretentious sort of consumption necessary for widespread appeal. That may be changing. Or,…

Read More

For workers downtown, there is no shortage of lunch options. But eating at restaurants every day can take its toll on your physical and financial well-being. Enter the idea of meal prep, which supposes you have the time, will and energy to prepare and portion out large batches of food to sustain you for a week of healthy eating. For some, meal prep is a Sunday ritual as second nature as brunch or new episodes of Westworld. For others, it’s necessary evil. And for many more, it’s an entirely foreign or aspirational concept. For all of the above, there’s Feature…

Read More

Downtown has a new quick-service breakfast and lunchtime destination that stands to be the first of its kind in the neighborhood. Open as of late April, Two Wheels Bakery & Café’s primary differentiator is its dedicated gluten-free kitchen, where owners Susan Adamucci and Lisa Biggs turn out a rotating selection of baked treats like scones, cupcakes, quick breads, and whoopee pies, as well as savory, substantial fare like wraps, salads, and quiche. Save for the doughnuts and bagels—specialty items the owners source from The Baker’s Daughter of Buffalo—nearly everything at Two Wheels is made in house, including two daily soups…

Read More

Sited at Marble + Rye’s sunny space on Genesee Street, the brunch is a team effort between the popular three-year-old restaurant and two other prominent local food and drink businesses that share a common vision and aesthetic: Butter Block, a pop-up patisserie famous for its nostalgia-inducing homemade “Pop Tarts,” and Remedy House, a European-inspired café hailing from the Five Points neighborhood. At brunch, each participant comes together to play to its morning strengths. Marble + Rye provides the physical space and helms the cocktail and beer programs, Butter Block has ownership over all things edible, and Remedy House manages the…

Read More

10 p.m. is the new 5 p.m. Or at least that’s the idea behind the reverse happy hour deals cropping up at some of the city’s best restaurant bars—the sorts of places that usually charge somewhere in the range of $9 to $12 for a cocktail. Sure, it’s just incentive to get you in the door, but it is also a great opportunity to drink well (in some cases, really well) on the cheap. Lloyd Taco Factory (Buffalo and Williamsville locations) The Deal: Five dollars gets you anything off a short list of drinks and a special bar snack menu.…

Read More

Apparently, it is de rigueur to spend the last days of the year reflecting on what you ate and presenting your annual review in a digestible little package. And I am nothing if not a slave to trends. But before we get to the meat of the matter, let me preface this roundup with a caveat. The following list represents some of my favorite bites and sips of the year. But favorite does not necessarily equal best (although some of my picks would certainly be in the running). Favorite has an emotional component to it. To declare something “the best”…

Read More

Last week, Remedy House—Buffalo’s much-anticipated, highly Instagrammable, sunlight-soaked new coffee shop—began operation in the historic Five Points neighborhood (see background). Open at 6 a.m. daily, Remedy House offers an impressive coffee and espresso program carefully designed by co-owners Andrew Trautman and Justin Smith. The program was largely informed by Trautman’s years of experience as a barista and running pop-up espresso bars around the city. Among its many virtues are the quality of its ingredients. At present moment, Trautman and Smith source their beans from Propeller Coffee, a small-batch specialty roaster based in Toronto, and their cow’s milk from Tea Cup…

Read More

If you find yourself inside Black Rock’s Ukrainian-American Civic Center on any given Friday evening, you’re bound to hear her name even before you see her. It will be spoken reverently by the bartenders urging you to order something to eat and by club members singing her food’s praises. Soon enough though, Mariya Hanypsiak (who everyone calls Pani Marie or “Pani,” for short) will no doubt emerge from the serviceable kitchen, apron clad and smiling, to deliver steaming plates of stuffed cabbage, pierogi, and fish fry to hungry, thankful guests. “Pani” is the Ukrainian equivalent of calling someone Mrs. or…

Read More