Cutting Edge Meets Classic at Tappo

The Facts:

338 Ellicott St | 716-259-8130

Mon – Thurs 5-10; Tues – Friday 11:30am – 2:30pm; Fri 4:30-11; Sat – 5-11; Sun 3-9



If you can’t find something you like about Tappo then you’re just not trying – great space, open air bar that spills onto the sidewalk, fine Italian food, lean prices, great views from the rooftop terrace. Maybe cutting edge is a slight exaggeration, but this space is pretty unique for Buffalo, and the food is classic Italian.

Starters: Crostini topped with sautéed mushroom, onion, basil and gorgonzola -as good as they sound ($6). Side of meatballs ($6). I know mama makes the best, but I’m not Italian- I thought these were pretty good.

Entrees: I ordered the Brasciole ($17) which comes with a dollop of ricotta and a side of pasta. My companion ordered the Basil Prawn Risotto. Both were excellent- nothing over the top. The story here is serve good, simple, traditional Italian food at reasonable prices in a great atmosphere. Home run!

Dessert: Ordered the Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar, served with sweet cream caramel sauce, to go ($7). Very nice. Sorry, no pictures.

Menu Items missed: Everything I saw coming out of the kitchen looked good. My top three would be the Chicken Cacciatore ($13), Goat Cheese Crespelle ($14), and the Orrechiette with tomato, beans, garlic, rapini and sausage ($14). They also had some good looking sandwiches for $8-$9.

Scene: Wednesday night and the place was hopping. Full bar, spreading to the sidewalk and tables were full by 8:00.

Service: Excellent- fast, friendly and knowledgeable. If I had a complaint, and it seems a little picky, is that the food came out a touch too fast.

Clientele: Energetic, mostly young to middle age.

Beverages: They have a nice selection of beer on tap ~ 4-5, the menu lists 9 beers by the bottle. The Brooklyn Sorachi ($6) is first-rate. They have a list of ~40 wines for $15 a bottle, about a dozen of which you can get by the glass for $5. The 2012 Primitivo Villa Sopita (Puglia) was pleasant. They also have a reserve list with 15 wines priced $40-$140.

Final thoughts: This is one of those “wow, Buffalo really is on the move” places. If you haven’t been- go. If you don’t have fun I can give you the name of a good mortician.


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