Guess where I ate today! Bambino Bar and Kitchen
While my mom was attending the Scinta’s concert in North Tonawanda, my dad and I went to dinner at Bambino Bar and Kitchen on franklin in the city. I’ve been on a kick lately, trying to visit new restaurants while they’re still “new.” Having opened early this year, and having had much written on it since their opening, I wouldn’t consider this to be too new, but nonetheless, I was happy to get a chance to review it. Since there has been a lot written about it, it gave me a chance to better plan my menu and to get a feel for the place.
I went with high expectations, being the second restaurant by Noel Morreale who gave us Fiamma on Hertel. The building (former home to Duo) is beautiful. In the shell of a large brick home, the interior gives an industrial/urban yet warm and inviting vibe. The first floor is made up of the bar and a few high tops. We were seated on the second floor, which had an open area that allowed us to look at the bar patrons, along with the third floor above us. We were first greeted by…well I suppose I’ll call her the waitress assistant (WA). She offered us water, sparkling or still. I chose the San Pellegrino, being one of my favorite beverages ($5 for the large bottle). Just as the WA left with our water order, the waitress came to take our drink order. Normally I would not discuss the intricacies of ordering beverages but in this case it was an important and tasty part of my meal. When I ordered an iced tea, our waitress recommended I try the house-made Arnold Palmer. I applaud her for this recommendation as this was the most delicious AP I’ve ever had. Okay, enough about hydration, I’ll get to the food.
Our WA brought us fresh bread and poured olive oil onto a plate for dipping. There was a noticeable lack of seasoning in the oil (no herbs). However the bread was good, and came in handy to soak up sauce from our entrees. Both my father and I ordered a Caesar Salad ($8 a piece) which had a great dressing that coated the salad perfectly without making it soggy. When taking our order, our waitress recited a very impressive list of specials, in great detail. I had already known what I wanted 30 seconds into the soliloquy, but was intrigued by her knowledge of this list, down to every ingredient and every manner of preparation. Even though the restaurant prides themselves on wood fired pizzas, the Pulled Pork Risotto sounded more tempting. Served with peas and fresh mozzarella, I detected no “mushiness” which is often present in risotto. The sauce it was served in had a heavy red wine taste, which was enjoyable to me, but others may be expecting a different flavor. My sole complaint was a few pieces of hard, un-edible pork, whether they were bone or simply overcooked meat I’m not quite sure. Choosing an old standby, Dad ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs. He enjoyed the sauce and the meatballs. I tried a bite of meatball which had a great flavor, that I can’t quite put my tongue on as to what it is, but it was good.
Overall it was a great night. The check was not overly outrageous for the amount and quality of food we received. Half my plate remained at the end of the meal, which the WA boxed for me which made for very tasty leftovers. I hope to return soon, when I can try one of the pizzas which sounded so tempting on my last visit. I intend on visiting other newer restaurants in the city soon, so, there’s something to look forward to!