Starting today, Sabres season ticket holders have a much better chance of enjoying their game.

That’s because The Archer opens at 286 Main St., former site of the City Grill, offering antelope, bison and quail on a menu aimed at fans of white tablecloth fine dining and pregame bar eats alike.

Joshua and Gladys Archer are the owners. She’s an ex-pat, 1995 Hutch-Tech class president, and he’s got 20 years in restaurant kitchens. They met working at the Athenaeum Hotel at the Chautauqua Institution.

“We’re going to go just a notch more upscale” than Pearl Street Grill, Archer said. “Not get too pretentious.” The bar will be more casual, with fine dining on the mezzanine level, he said.

The game starts at lunch with a venison sausage ($15), and three soups and house-baked bread ($10) for the chilly. Dinner entrees include almond-crusted Great Lakes walleye ($28), Texas quail stuffed with spinach and feta ($24), and antelope steak with mushroom sauce and garlic mashed potatoes ($35).

The soft opening, which is a terrible term considering how hard it is, starts at 11 a.m., for lunch, with last seating at 10 p.m. The grand opening is Saturday. Check out the menu at, or call 768-4661.

Sabres fans note: There’s a full bar.


Restaurateurs from Bosnia have turned Tonawanda’s former Sal’s Pizzeria into Balkan Dining (687 Kenmore Ave., 834-0462), offering a variety of grilled meats stuffed into freshly baked flatbread, plus a bevy of Eastern European treats.

Senad and Amela Soteli opened it Friday. The Sotelis have been in the United States for 13 years and moved to Buffalo from Iowa six months ago.

There are only five tables. While I waited for takeout, “Zvezde Granda,” “American Idol” Serbian-style, was on the widescreen television. People were tucking into stubby skinless beef rolls called cevapi ($7.99) and other sausages of various calibers, some drinking glasses of salty-sour yogurt beverage ($1.50) between bites. I was offered sour cherry cake, torta ad visanja ($3), as part of the grand opening.

The pita – a Bosnian specialty called burek elsewhere – comes in meat, cheese, spinach, mushroom and potato varieties. The pastry holding the fillings had the supple tenderness and just-barely-enough-tensile-strength of handmade phyllo. A light meal for $4.99.

They make the burek themselves, Amela Soteli said, along with the bread, yogurt, and cevapi sausage mixture. “We thought, there’s no Bosnian place where you can go and get that food,” she said. “It’s unique.”

On weekends they also have Bosnian musaka, zucchini casserole with ground beef and eggs ($6.50); teletina sa krompirom, or veal with potatoes ($9.90); and gulash, stewed beef tenderloin over mashed potatoes ($6.99). Cash only.

(Check out"> for the Balkan Dining menu and photographs of food. Hat tip to Erin McPartlan and Alan Bedenko.)


Anticipated: Sato, offering Japanese curry, ramen, sushi and more upscale casual fare, is going into former O3 space at 739 Elmwood Ave. It’s from Satomi and Joshua Smith of Grand Island’s Serene Gardens. It should open in January, Joshua Smith said.

Hiring: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que started hiring last week as it prepares to open at 301 Franklin St. in February.

Closing: After 58 years of serving the needs of the LaSalle neighborhood of Niagara Falls, Mom’s at the Mil-Pine Plaza lost its lease and will close.

Closed: Greyside Grille and Flappy’s Pub, 5700 Seneca St., West Seneca.

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