Update: This restaurant is closed as of March 2016 and may reopen under a new owner.
The guys at Butterwood are at it again. Elegant setting, great menu, cool drinks and quality service. This time it’s Brioso in the new Wyndham Garden Hotel in Williamsville. Can people become bored with excellence? Probably not. Clearly, somebody in the group knows what they are doing. Often a hotel restaurant, in their eagerness to appeal to the masses, gets real vanilla. Butterwood seems to have decided that mass appeal doesn’t have to be dull -good for them.
For those of you not up on the local food scene- Butterwood got its start as a dessert wholesaler/retailer in the quiet hamlet of West Falls. Last year they moved to the big city and opened up Butterwood Sweet & Savory at the Lafayette Hotel. (See our review from October)
Their latest venture, which opened earlier in November, is Brioso by Butterwood. Brioso, Spanish meaning high-spirited, lively, zestful and/or proud might be interpreted as a lofty goal. In this case, judging by the quality of the surrounds and the menu, it seems more like a promise.
Enter Brioso via the posh Wyndham lobby through a handsome reception section, pass by a delectable dessert display (of course) into a bar area that is suitable for a few beers watching the Bills, or a glass of Pinot before dinner.
Just beyond you enter the tastefully decorated dining area with warm colors and appropriate copper-topped tables imported direct from Mexico. Note the napkins folded to match the Aztec inspired Brioso logo.
The restaurant theme, as per the name, is “spirited southwestern/South American”. Spirited not only in flavor but imagination as well. We’ve listed some of the menu items, but those of interest are simply too many to list here- check out their menu online. If you are on the delicate side no worries, they have a couple of non-spirited items for you too. Truly amazing is that they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner…in style.
Just a few menu items of interest:
Shrimp Cerviche (marinated in oragne and lime juice, tossed with Jicama, carrots, avacado, tomato & red onion, horseradish “sphere”) $13,
Ahi Tuna Crudo (Avacado mouse, passion fruit-Habanero Mojo, Yuca Frtes) $12;
“Bacon & Eggs” (pork belley chicharrones, charred corn salsa, ranchero poached egg, “Bloiddy Mary” pearls, Maple-black pepper crema)-$10.
Under Bocadillos, Burritos & Bultos:
Red Snapper “Americano”- fried red snapper, scorched mango mole, red chili sofrito, grilled pickles – $14;
Shaved Rib Eye- saffron – Aji Amarillo steak sauce, pepper jack cheese, drunken onion rings, smoked bacon on the southwestern house weck roll -$13;
Hugos Dog with Choriso sausage, red onion piccalilli relish, rocoto pepper sauce, spiced rum mustard -$10.
Moqueca (Brazilian Fish stew) – $32;
Roasted Pork Loin stuffed with pork belly, roasted plantains comes with sweet potato tamale and three bean succotash, scorched mango mole – $25;
Short Rib “Rajas”- Malbec braised short ribs, pablano chili cream with chorizo con papas, chimchurri, sweet pepper slaw- $24.
While we were there primarily to photograph and gather some information, we did manage a few bites – “I’ll be back” (must use the Arnold accent).
As we mentioned Brioso has a full bar, a nice list of beer by the bottle, and eight quality options of craft beers on tap. An extensive list of wines is avaialble, a healthy selection of South American, but also popular California and European bottles. I counted about 15 available by the glass. For the more adventurous, Charlie Bordonaro, their accomplisheed mixologist, has developed an exciting list of cocktails- Bees Knees, Cuarenta Y Tres Martini – popular in Puerto Rico , Smoke & Choke, Mojito to name just a few.
Facilities: Brioso also has a conference room attached to the dining area that can accommodate 24 people and access to the hotel conference room that can handle much more. Both have all the tech features required by businesses in the 21st century.
Butterwood seems to have the formula for hotel restaurants perfected, and they look like they’re heading north. Next stop Niagara Falls?
5195 Main St, Williamsville NY 14221
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