Hidden in plain sight on Transit Road is The Amaretto Italian Bistro. I say hidden because it is oddly positioned in a double building, disguised as something else. My point is that the street view is unimpressive. Four feet in the door – the crowd, the smells, the happy people, the simple charm – wait a minute!
It is Restaurant Week and the place was packed, particularly for a Tuesday. Reservations were running late so we gladly waited at the bar. A small space seating maybe 10. My three favorite vodkas were front and center- good sign. I chickened out and went for a beer. Nothing on tap, but they have an impressive array of bottles. I started with a Southern Tier IPA, my companion jumped on the $20.13 wine special- a Fontella Chianti DOCG 2010 – a nice selection for sipping before dinner, and pairing with the menu.
Dinner for One for $20.13 Includes:
(Tax and Gratuity Excluded)
1. House or Caesar Salad
2. Choice of One Entree:
Maple Salmon, Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Crème Fraiche
Sirloin, Truffled Polenta, Foie Gras Butter, Red Wine Glace
Chicken Breast, Butternut Squash Veloute, Roasted Potato
Gnocchi, Bean Ragout, Greens, Sausage
3. Fall Dessert Trio
The meal started with a fine basket of bread served with their house-made pesto sauce. You can buy a bottle to go for $6.95- we took three.
This was followed by an amuse-bouche of blue Maytag cheese with truffle mist, on a waffle chip. Nice touch. Who doesn’t like a free gift from the chef?
We tried both salads, House and Caesar (with anchovy). Both were good. The house had a nice combination of roasted red peppers, fennel and red onion with a vinaigrette dressing.
For entrees we ordered :
Gnocchi with bean ragout, greens, and sausage. The gnocchi were browned which added to a nice texture and flavor. This is a nice dish without the heavy garlic one might expect. My companion thought the gnocchi were a little doughy.
Sirloin with truffled polenta, foie gras butter, red wine glace – Everything here was outstanding. The steak was flavorful and cooked to perfection, the truffled polenta was in cake form, with a subtle truffle flavoring. The glaze and foie gras butter were a perfect match to the steak. Not mentioeed on the menu was grilled zucchini with an excellent smoky grill taste.
Dessert – The fall trio pumpkin panna cotta, apple sorbet, molasses cookie with whipped cream and a raspberry. I could have done without the doily on my plate, but all the eatable stuff was great. If all that isn’t enough they also brought out a complimentary chocolate truffle. (Thank you!)
Final thoughts: Don’t judge a restaurant by its’ cover (duh). Nothing fancy here but good food and simple charm.
7170 Transit Rd (Near Main St)
Williamsville, NY 14221
Monday -Saturday: 5pm-10pm
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