Chef’s Restaurant has ended its pizza experiment after two months.
Owner Lou Billitier Jr. announced the closing of his Chef’s Garage Pizza takeout pizza operation Monday on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
He cited reasons including complaints from customers at Chef’s restaurant that they couldn’t get the pizza, and a desire to avoid competing with existing pizza operations in the city.
“The restaurant is coming up on its 91st anniversary of being a fine Italian food-dining establishment. I didn’t want to mix the two businesses,” Billitier wrote. “Chef’s Restaurant has had a winning formula for almost an entire century, one that my family is proud of and one that we will protect. I didn’t want to compromise our brand; the decision to end the pizza venture was a rather easy choice.”
Customers have until July 19 to redeem any Chef’s Garage Pizza gift certificates, he said.
800 Maple, sister restaurant to Siena and Rocco’s, reopened Friday after a $150,000 dining room renovation. “New finishes, new colors, new surfaces,” including new carpet and new wood flooring in the bar, said partner Chuck Mauro. “The dining room has been completely transformed.”
There’s new landscaping greeting patrons outside, too. “It just needed freshening up,” said Mauro. “It’s a good thing that a place gets beat up, that means it’s been busy. So we just decided to bite the bullet.” Work was completed during a four-day closure.
The menu at the 110-seat restaurant didn’t change, remaining focused around the restaurant’s wood-burning oven and rotisserie. A new menu will be coming after the restarted restaurant is back up to speed, Mauro said. “By the second week in August, we should have that in effect.”
Reborn: Mom’s, the beloved Niagara Falls family restaurant, reopened last week at 8881 Buffalo Ave., Niagara Falls, site of the former Eddie Jay’s. Gary Wilcox and partners bought the name and fixtures of the Niagara Falls Boulevard restaurant that closed in December after a 58-year run. Then they hired many of the same people, and asked them to make many of the same dishes the same way.
Opening set: Blood and Sand, one of the most-anticipated restaurants of 2014, will try to open for the public July 24. “That is our target date,” said Joshua Miles, an owner of the restaurant, at 333 Franklin St.
Executive Chef Edward Forster will lead the kitchen, with Scott Crombie, who also formerly worked at Mike A’s at the Lafayette. The drinks brigade will be led by Jon Karel.
Forster has unveiled a few dishes from the small plates side of his menu, ranging from $8 to $15. Two are tartine, or topped toast. On has cantaloupe cured like pastrami, then bruleed, its surface caramelized with a torch, served with radishes on a layer of fresh housemade cheese. Forster said ideally the cheese will be made several times a night from a mixture of whole milk, buttermilk and heavy cream for a fresher, softer curd.
Another tartine will offer a terrine of Painted Meadow Farm rabbit terrine, pistachios, green mustard and Armagnac-apricot mostarda. There’s also an egg with potatoes.
New ownership: Garden Park Café, 3525 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, has been taken over by Frank Provenzo and his brother Peter, who plan to open the last week of July. They previously owned Provenzo’s, and currently have Prospero, on Pennsylvania Street by Kleinhans Music Hall.
The focus will be on “traditional Buffalo specialty foods” like eggplant Parmesan and a “monster” fish fry, with every dish on the menu under $10. It will have full bar and a patio; call 635-0837.