See You at Blue Cave

One of many many causes that I really like the Buffalo is the plethora of mother & pop fashion eating places. I are likely to gravitate in direction of the common-or-garden, ethnic-oriented eating places, a few of that are discovered off the overwhelmed path.

In different phrases, “genuine – a slice of Buffalo life.”

I used to be lately exploring downtown by bike, with a buddy, once we determined to make a last cease at a comparatively new Italian eatery referred to as Blue Cave. The restaurant occupies the previous Casa Azul – the blue “transport container” constructing – on Genesee Road, simply across the nook from the Theater District.  

Mario and Pamela

Whereas sitting on the bar, ordering drinks and a few dishes, I met Chef/Proprietor Mario Bianca – a local of the Siracusa area in Sicily. I quickly realized that Chef Mario met his spouse Pamela, a WNY native, whereas residing in Virginia. The couple moved to Buffalo in 2018, with plans to ultimately open an genuine Italian restaurant, impressed by the meals and tradition of his homeland. At Blue Cave, all the pieces is comprised of scratch, together with the desserts. 

After I write about eating places, I are likely to showcase the general expertise, as I’m not a meals critic. However being half Italian and consuming Gramma Nunciato’s sauce each Sunday for a big a part of my life, I really feel the necessity to specific my opinion of the delicacies at Blue Cave. My evaluate? Heavenly. Delectable. Savory.  In case you are into scratch Italian meals, you could give Blue Cave a attempt.

Chef Mario has 25 years of expertise within the restaurant business. He labored his method up, from dishwasher, to server, to supervisor, after which GM. Now, he’s taking all of that have and working a primary charge restaurant, serving up delicious dishes the likes of caponata, arancini (Sicily’s favourite road meals!), tartar di salmone, gnocchi bolognese, rigatoni alla Norma (quick pasta, eggplant), and filetto di cernia (pan seared grouper).

The arancini (Sicily’s favourite road meals!)

We tried a number of of the choices, and I used to be shocked to search out that the grouper was top-of-the-line fish dishes that I’ve had, in current reminiscence. It was off the charts. I’m very choosy in terms of sauce, which is why I sometimes don’t exit to Italian eating places. There are solely a pair in Buffalo that I completely take pleasure in. Now, I can add Blue Cave to the listing of favorites – not only for Italian meals, however meals usually.

Pan seared grouper, saffron risotto, on prime of crispy pancetta and mushrooms

Chef Mario plans on altering the menu each 6 months and ultimately each season. He additionally plans on organizing a wine pairing dinner quickly, and Sunday brunch beginning within the spring.

I requested Bianca what impressed him to decide on the title Blue Cave. “The minute I walked into the constructing for the primary time, I assumed ‘La Grotta Azzurra’ – English translation, Blue Cave.” Mario opted for the better pronunciation.

As for the decor, it’s not usually that you just discover an Italian restaurant (in Buffalo) inside a up to date setting equivalent to this. On a heat summer season night, it’s an inviting, brightly lit beacon. I would recommend, nevertheless, that because the colder climate approaches, dim the lights and put some candles out on the tables and on the bar. That can go a great distance in direction of making for a cozier meal.

My last tackle Blue Cave? Chef Mario is a real, passionate, and heart-centered man. He effortlessly infuses these traits into his culinary creations. The meals is a house run, in my e-book – I’m really planning on heading again for dinner later this night, to introduce a pair extra mates to Chef Mario and his beautiful dishes. Possibly it’s time to attempt the braciole? Or the spaghetti con bottarga (lengthy pasta with cured fish roe)? Selections, choices, choices. A minimum of the hardest determination – the place to go to eat – was straightforward to make.

Blue Cave Restaurant | 128 Genesee Road | Buffalo, NY 14203 | (716) 259-8145 | Menu | Reservations

Full bar | Gluten free pasta obtainable upon request

Hours: TUES-THUR 5pm -9:30pm, FRI & SAT 5pm-10pm

Meet the Blue Cave crew

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