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Family-Friendly Rochester Recommendations?

I can second Dinosaur BBQ. Delicious food but there can be a long wait at popular times.

I have heard good things about Gate House as well.

If you might be in the mood for something more gourmet-ish (and the kids are pretty mature for their ages or at least able to act like it for a few hours), there is an outstanding "small plates" (tapas) gastropub called Good Luck Restaurant. It is a wonderful experience. Look at their online menu if you are curious:

As Indy noted, Abbott's custard is fabulous. Famous all over the region. Truly exceptional.

Niagara Falls for Foodies

All of the above (Sun, Blue Monk, Resurgence, Martin Cooks) are in Buffalo. I've yet to have a noteworthy meal in Niagara Falls (American or Canadian), Niagara-on-the-Lake, or Lewiston.

Niagara Falls for Foodies

Bistro Europa has closed but it will reopen as "The Black Sheep" in a new location (Connecticut Street) soon. This reopening is much-awaited. I find that Tabree is not worthwhile, but I second most of TeacherFoodie's other recommendations, especially Sun Restaurant.

Also Blue Monk on Elmwood for European pub food and a great selection of brews on tap. Resurgence Brewery on Niagara Street for ales brewed in-house (practically while you watch) and some snack options in a beer garden setting. My foodie friends also rave about Martin Cooks, but I haven't been there yet.

[Oops--looks like I'm answering an old post. Oh well.]

Is there anyone here from western New York?

I love Miss Hot Cafe, especially their lunch special of braised pork (it's nicely-marbled pork belly, perfectly cooked bok choy, and hard-boiled egg). They have fun appetizers like fried jellyfish for the adventurous diner. The service sets some people off but it doesn't bother me that servers tend to either not speak English well or else are fluent but brusque. It's a "different" place and you either love it or hate it.

Is there anyone here from western New York?

I know that Seabar's has a good rep, but my friend who is a sushi connoisseur likes Kuni's the best. It's off the Elmwood strip. For wine and food pairings, I would try Shango on Main Street in North Buffalo.

Is there anyone here from western New York?

Some currently hot places are Sato, Sun (Burmese) Restaurant, Dino BBQ, Blue Monk, Martin Cooks, and Resurgence Brewery.

Noteworthy Indian restaurant in Western New York

My friends rave about Taj Grill on Delaware (North Buffalo?), but I haven't had time to go there yet.

Best pizza in Buffalo

And of course La Nova gets the most press because Jay Leno flies in to go there (much as Obama stopped at Duff's near the airport for wings). That contributes to its being among the most expensive pizzas in the area, though not necessarily the absolute best (I do like it, especially their mushroom pizza with sesame crust).

Best pizza in Buffalo

My favorite "neighborhood pizza" is La Portas in Williamsville (Klein & Hopkins, in the Dash Plaza). They do an excellent white and many other varieties. It is a good place to pick up some wings, boneless or otherwise, and a salad too.

mexican food [Western NY]

El Ranchito in Clarence is Number 1 with me. El Palenque on Niagara Falls Blvd in Amherst is my second choice.

La Tolteca, a distant third, but still a good time.

Cantina Loco and Don Tequila are popular urban hang-outs, but I think it's mainly for the bar scene.

Avoid Gramma Mora's, Moe's, and Cozumel at all costs.

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

Also, Ulrich's Tavern has closed but will reopen under new management. A shame, that.
And Bistro Europa will close sometime in March or April, to reopen in expanded form.

The Hollow Bistro and Brew, Clarence

I've never even noticed the Hollow Bistro, but recently I ate at the new Mexican restaurant in Clarence, almost across from the high school. It's called El Ranchito. It was marvelous and very reasonable. Most authentic Mexican food in Western New York. Of course, that's not saying much, but it's head and shoulders above the nearest competition (La Tolteca). Highly recommended.

best chicken wings in Rochester?

DinOsaur BBQ if including barbecue-sauced wings. Moist, flavorful, perfect size . . .

Buffalo - Rehearsal Dinner

I like Bing's for catering. They're in Amherst, right on the outskirts of Buffalo, and they do catering all over Buffalo. Especially good for mouth-watering appetizers, like crab cakes.

More expensive and trendier (with a guarantee of outstanding food) would be Torches for either catering or the rehearsal dinner. On Kenmore Ave, towards the Northern part of Buffalo. Highly recommended.

BTW I have not heard good things about Templeton Landing (mentioned by another respondent), and I haven't heard of the other places, except for Pearl St. Brewery, which is the go-to pub after sporting events. So that would be OK if you want a very casual ambience.

Trader Joe's coming to Amherst, New York!

TJ's is coming to Amherst, one of the most affluent of Buffalo's suburbs. Home of the North Campus of the University of Buffalo.

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

I'm sure they're all good, but I always go to the one on Transit in Williamsville (7018 Transit). That one is North of the one in Lancaster/Depew.

Casual & quick late lunch in Buffalo

From the Martin House, it's an easy walk to Sweetness 7 Cafe on Parkside near the Zoo. They make luscious crèpes, with or without meat. Great tea (London Fog) and coffee too. It's nouveau hippy. With ten people you should be OK unless it's crowded. Bon appetit, wherever you go!
The Darwin Martin is magnifcent. The Martins' summer home by FLW is Graycliff. It's right on the Lake, South of Buffalo, but has not been restored as meticulously yet.

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

For hot dogs and other grilled foods, I would recommend Ted's over the other local chains named above (Anderson's Louie's). Ted's uses local Sahlen hot dogs, as do most of the others. However, their grilling set-up is "bigger and better" than the others. Also, Ted's has the best onion rings anywhere.

I don't care for beef on weck, but I'm sure that for this (and other hot "sliced meat" sandwiches, as well as for chorizo and Italian sausage), Charlie the Butcher's is the best choice. Near the Airport on Wehrle at Cayuga.

Anderson's has its strong points, mainly for the frozen custards and shakes. For meals, I do go there often with my family because of the variety they offer. They have "something for everyone" (I often opt for soup), especially finicky kids who want something bland. But bland doesn't do it for Chowhounds.

Great Road Food between Niagara and Poughkeepsie area?

I've read that Moon Star is good for Chinese in Binghamton.

Buffalo (area) Fish Fry w/ actual fresh fish?

Hayes Seafood House, attached to Hayes Fish Market on Main Street in Clarence, is one place where you can make sure when you order that the fish they fry for you is fresh. Best variety and quality of fish and seafood in the region. As a dine-in experience it is no-frills. Still, the prices are high and the service is not always pleasant.

There is virtually zero commercial fishing for New York State markets from Lake Erie. It's all sport fishing in NY; only Ontario and to lesser extent Ohio still have Erie-based commercial fishing.

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

"Residential house" type eateries of Buffalo are fine if you want to feel like you're in a time warp, but I'm sure you will find their food very unremarkable. In this category: Schwabel's. Eckl's, Creekview.
Much more memorable in the "old-style" category is Ulrich's Tavern in the downtown. They have good German food and pub fare.
If the OP doesn't have the Cheesecake Factory or Hard Rock chains where they live, these are bona fide destinations for Canadians and other international tourists in Buffalo/Niagara Falls. Few Canadians hit the Galleria Mall (which is indeed open Labor Day, no problem) without sampling the Cheesecake Factory.

Buffalo (area) Fish Fry w/ actual fresh fish?

Fish fries are out of season now. They're traditionally on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent. I don't go in for it, but locals seem to like McPartlan's on Wehrle in Cheektowaga. Out of season I'm not sure whether they have it.

Western Canada Hound Looking For Buffalo Recs

Buffalo won't have world-class bbq until Din-O-Saur opens in October. Until then, you will find very good bbq at Kentucky Greg's in Depew (near the airport). Also fairly good (still better than Canadian—no offense but I've tasted your bbq) at Famous Dave's, a small chain-restaurant located just off Walden Ave. near the Walden-Galleria mall.

I am not a fan of either beef on weck or wings, so I'll let others guide you in that department.

One food stop that's popular with Canadians and does a somewhat homogenized version of several ethno-regional U.S. cuisines is the Cheesecake Factory, at one end of the Walden-Galleria mall. Killer desserts. Expect long waits on the weekends.

Shango specializes in Cajun/Creole and they do it pretty well and give you a fun experience, It's across the street from the University's South campus. Chester's on Transit in the suburb of Amherst does a more casual Cajun; it's a down-homey bar. Their blackened shrimp kills.

I would warn you to avoid all Mexican and Tex-Mex places, except perhaps for Lloyd's Taco Truck (you can find their location each day on Facebook--also consider hunting for Frank's Gourmet Hot Dog Truck using Facebook). For a true US guilty pleasure, head for Ted's for foot longs and burgers. Their onion rings must be sampled.

The true gems of the upscalish Buffalo dining scene are the ones that have little to do with US regional cuisine: Seabar for sushi, Bistro Europa, and Trattoria Aroma.

Enjoy your trip. If you are looking for a casual meal in the Niagara Falls area, choose the Hard Rock Cafe on the US side rather than the Canadian side. There's a big difference.

Rochester, NY local candy?

Wegman's sponge candy would be an authentic Rochester sweet, and I'm sure Wegman's will ship it to you wherever. My favorite flavor is dark chocolate coating/orange-flavored filling. Children seem to like the milk chocolate best.

I think that Abbott's custard is also based in Rochester. A little harder to ship and serve because of its frozen state.

Best wishes!

Buffalo weekday lunch? Family occasion

I've been to the Hotel Lafayette lounge/bar and it was poorly run, sad to say. I haven't been to Mike A's Steakhouse, but people seem to like it on Yelp.

Buffalo weekday lunch? Family occasion

Hi, neighbors: Most restaurants of the "Hutch's" type in Buffalo are indeed closed for weekday lunch.
Here's what I can recommend, all in central/downtown Buffalo:

Trattoria Aroma, 307 Bryant Street in Elmwood Village. Fine Italian food; quiet and comfortable.

Bistro Europa on Elmwood. Creative Continental cuisine; may not be the most comfortable or quiet place since it is small and can get crowded.

Seabar, 475 Ellicott Street. Buffalo's best sushi.

I hope that you all enjoy the tour and lunch.

Buffalo, NY

If you want atmosphere (good food, but atmosphere primarily) in a private room then I would recommend the historic Roycroft Inn in East Aurora (about 20 minutes Southeast of Buffalo; easy to reach on the 400). The Roycroft was central in the development of the Arts & Crafts movement in American culture. The architecture, with dark wooden beams and chapel-like features, is a fun/romantic setting for a family occasion. I am not sure of the cost per-person but they probably have an option in the $75 range. The event I attended was a bit large; maybe that's why I noticed some people were less than satisfied with beverage/wine supply. However, I had no complaints and I thought that overall it was charming.

Lebanese/Middle Eastern in Buffalo?

Pomegranate at 4125 Transit (South of Main St. in Clarence) has nice basic Persian/Iranian dishes. They also have a convenient counter at the Walden Galleria mall Food Court. Highly recommended. http://www.pomegranateny.com/

For Lebanese, I recommend Byblos out in Getzville/Amherst (270 Campbell Blvd). It is upscale and comfortable, with lots of Lebanese entrees. It is a trifle dark inside at night, which makes me sleepy, but the service is very attentive and friendly. http://bybloscuisine.com/

Blue Monk's food: how is it? (Buffalo)

I think people mainly go there for the Belgian-style ales, but they have an excellent reputation for food also.

Buffalo question

Gosh, this is probably too late, but I would not recommend Bistro Europa for two 80-something diners unless they are remarkably spry. It is rather cramped and can be noisy. You may have to park far away as well. Also, reservations are a MUST for the weekends. Other than that, it is a tip-top restaurant for Buffalo in terms of food. I've lived and traveled extensively in Europe and I go to Bistro Europa to reminisce. It is a good value too.