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Local Restaurant Week Returns

Chef Mike Andrezjewski heads Local Restaurant Week, which runs October4-10.

More than 200 restaurants offer $20.10 menus all next week

Get ready to chow down. Local Restaurant Week is back, October 4-10.

Headed by Sea Bar owner Mike Andrezjewski along with Peter Longo (president of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association), Daniel Garvey (treasurer of the New York State Restaurant Association) and Vincent McConeghy (of, Local Restaurant Week has been a successful event since its inception in March 2009. Local Restaurant Week is presented twice a year in the spring and the fall; this October will be the fourth time that the event will take place. Patrons are encouraged to choose from more than 200 of Western New York’s best independent restaurants, where they will dine on special offerings for only $20.10.

But why choose when you can go to as many restaurants as you’d like to? Each one has a different and delicious special offer.

Local Restaurant Week started in Manhattan as a way to bring in more tourists, stimulate the economy, and promote local food culture, and was eventually widely accepted by the local community. The concept then spread to Chicago and Los Angeles. Buffalo’s Local Restaurant Week uses the same basic format that is used in those larger cities. However, Mike Andrezjewski points out that Buffalo’s format is slightly more in-depth in terms of the local community because the food culture of Buffalo is so prominent. The local food community in Buffalo is very tight-knit; everyone works together to help each other and word of mouth helps restaurants flourish. Andrezjewski emphasizes that any restaurant that wants to participate is welcome. Each participating restaurant creates their own special offer that suits them.

Chad Zappia, the general manager of Empire Grill (1435 Hertel Avenue), says that during Local Restaurant Week the restaurant’s number of customers often doubles, especially on week nights. “Local Restaurant Week helps to get the names of restaurants out there,” Zappia says. “It gives customers a chance to try different dishes and different restaurants. Especially with the state of the economy, it helps to motivate people to try new places so that they will keep them in mind for special events in the future.”

Empire Grill’s special offer includes soup, salad, and your choice of steak, pasta, or seafood, along with a selection of wine.

Participating restaurants include local favorites such as My Tomato Pie, Dock at the Bay, Toro Tapas Bar, Amici Ristorante, Cole’s, Encore, Sample, Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, Trattoria Aroma, Falletta’s Resturant, Fuji Grill, Buffalo Brewpub, Sole, and many more. Your first stop could be Mike Andrezjewski’s own Sea Bar for a Sea Bar Surfboard including sashimi, three nigiri pieces, maki roll, sesame noodles, and chef’s choice—all for $20.10.

For a complete list of participating venues, visit

Local Restaurant Week is made possible through the support of the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, Key Bank, Vineyard Brands, Lactalis Foodservice, Citadel Broadcasting, and Channel 7 WKBW TV.

jill greenberg

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