Just 30 minutes east of downtown Buffalo and 1.5 hours from Toronto lays the hamlet of Snyder, an upscale neighbourhood with tree-lined streets with homes, restaurants, and businesses. Snyder is part of the town of Amherst in Erie County and part of Buffalo, New York. Along with two dining companions, we are visiting Tabree, a restaurant anyone familiar with the fine dining scene in Buffalo will have heard of, quaintly nestled next door to the Snyder Public Library.
Executive Chef Bruce Wieszala, a Buffalo native, spent a decade in Atlanta honing his culinary skills where he worked at Emeril’s, the James Beard award-winning JOËL, Woodfire Grill, and Restaurant Eugene. He has competed on Iron Chef America as sous-chef to challenger Chef Linton Hopkins. He also appeared on the Food Network’s Good Eats.
After returning to Buffalo in 2008, Wieszala honed his skills while working in several area restaurants including everyone’s favourite, Carmelo’s in Lewiston, New York. Wieszala’s commitment to sourcing local ingredients from nearby farms and suppliers (i.e., Oles Farm, Painted Meadow, Benbrook, T-Meadow, Dan Tower, Flat #12, Nickel City Cheese, Native Offerings) is well known.
The French cuisine inspired menu features an array of items from salads to meat and fish entrees and, most surprisingly, sandwiches —from steak to lobster roll. Perusing the menu, my eyes were drawn to the hors d’oeuvres with foie gras, grilled octopus, and meatballs. The menu’s diversity no doubt suits a variety of taste buds. The wine list features a great selection of French, Californian, and Argentinean Malbec wines (available by the glass). In fact, you can order a glass of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s 2013 Jolie-Pitt & Perrin Cotes de Provence Rosé Miraval to accompany your meal.
Charcuterie boards are one of chef Wieszala’s specialties. Offered in two sizes, large and small, the board includes cured sausages and meats, a pork terrine, and pâté brûlée. Accompanying the meats are shaved pickles, house-made fruit preserves, and mustards. For vegetarians, a fine selection of cheese boards are available.
Oles Farm Squash Blossoms – housemade ricotta stuffed, tempura fried with san marzano tomato crema. Simply mouthwatering and light in the tasting.
Crab Cake, Fennel served with Apple Slaw, fresh and delicious.
Lobster Roll – Tom-Kat brioche, lobster, Boston Bibb, pickled ramps, citrus, mayo served with frites.
Swordfish with charred tomato, roasted fennel, red potatoes, caper berry & raisin salsa.
Chocolate Ganache Torte with hazelnut, sea salt, and whipped cream (gluten free). Explosion of flavour burst from the first tasting of this incredible desert. The final finish to the meal does not disappoint.
Deconstructed Strawberry Cheesecake with mascarpone and strawberry sherbet. An inventive take on the traditional cheesecake.
Tip: While in the neighbourhood, visit Farmers and Artisans market and bakery for locally and regionally grown produce. Run by Julie Blackman, a sixth generation member of Blackman Homestead Farm. The market offers a wide range of cheese selections, in house baked breads and pastries,chef prepared foods, pastured meats and eggs and fresh Seafood.
Price: Hors d’oeuvres and salads, $7-$21; sandwiches, $13-$20; entrees, $18-$40.
4610 Main Street, Snyder, NY 1-716-844-8477
Farmers and Artisans (www.farmersandartisans.com)
4557 Main St. Snyder, NY 1-716-633-2830