The Carte Blanche Facts
61 Buffalo St, Hamburg, NY 14075 / 716.649.2101
Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 4pm – 10pm, Friday & Saturday: 4pm – 11pm, Sunday: 10am – 2pm
Carte Blanche’s Facebook description reads: “Chef Andrew Murtha’s clean slate — a chance to design his own restaurant and menu from scratch.” If you’ve been to Carte Blanche since they opened in June 2016, you know that Murtha has certainly refined himself as a farm-to-table chef in our community and has put Carte Blanche and Hamburg on the map as a go-to upscale dining destination. I was so pleased with a dinner I had here in August and couldn’t wait to get back, so when they announced the start of Sunday brunch, I finally had the perfect excuse to squeeze this baby back on my calendar.
I am a morning person. Sure, I enjoy a good sleep-in, but there are days I physically spring out of bed to start my day. I’m the kind of person who gets the slit-eye, ‘you are f****** crazy’ look at least three times per week. And when I’m excited about something, I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve.
As you may have guessed, I’m mostly excited by food and brunch, so when I know I’m going to a place like Carte Blanche, I can’t contain my morning-person-ness. Call it brunchers intuition, but I was right on. Carte Blanche’s brunch was everything I wanted it to be and more.
I say “and more” mostly because of, *drum roll please*, The Plateau. What is The Plateau, you ask? It’s a raw oyster (6) and shrimp cocktail (3 jumbo) combination! Obviously, our shellfish scene here is not overwhelming by any means being that we’re not near the ocean, so to find raw oysters and fresh shrimp cocktail on a brunch menu is an exciting feat. Not to mention, their oysters have now blown me away TWICE!
For my entree, I chose the Corned Beef Hash and my boyfriend Rob chose the Wagyu Benedict. The corned beef hash showcased tender, fatty cubes of brisket, mixed in with crispy potatoes and sauteed onions topped with two poached eggs and a thick slice of homemade rye bread. Whenever I mention that the eggs were poached perfectly, I feel like it’s a ‘duh’ moment, but there are PLENTY of restaurants that do not take care in cooking their eggs perfectly. I won’t mention names, but they are out there and you usually won’t find me at them.
No brunch menu is complete without a benedict, and while the classic benedict is available to you at Carte Blanche, there’s nothing I love more than a spin on the classics. Murtha’s wagyu benedict certainly did the trick in that respect. First off, you know you’re at a good place when you don’t even ask for a temp and they bring you a stellar med-rare. Second, the aforementioned skillfully poached eggs. And lastly, the hollandaise. Oh lawd, the hollandaise. You know when it’s lemony, buttery, and velvety all at the same time? The word divine explains it all.
All of this spectacular brunch food combined with a well-executed, classic bloody mary and a mimosa with fresh-squeezed OJ? I am wholeheartedly looking forward to my next trip to Carte Blanche. I won’t let myself skip getting the chicken and waffles that Andrew Galarneau wrote about in his recent article, Indulge in the new Buffalo Brunch. If following my food-ventures to Hamburg hasn’t yet convinced you to make a trip down there, I hope that this article did!