535 Main Street / Business District / Downtown
Price: $$ / Cuisine: Casual Italian, Herbs & Spices
Hours: (Kitchen) Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm
We’re not sure what it is, but there’s something about olive oil. Maybe it’s just us, but these days the thought of tasting different blends and types of olive oils seems more exciting than, well…everything, which is why D’Avolio on Main Street makes us so uncontrollably giddy. The Main Street location marks the company’s eighth establishment in Western New York, with their other locations in the Elmwood Village, East Amherst, Ellicottville, Lewiston, Williamsville, Niagara Falls, and Clarence (Williamsville is their only other kitchen). D’Avolio is best known for being a one-stop shop for expertly selected olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and various spices and now that they’ve brought their goodies *and* kitchen downtown to Main Street we have been officially #blessed.
We loved D’Avolio on Main Street so much the first time we visited that we went back a second time. First of all the location downtown is absolute perfection; centrally located in the middle of the new and improved Main Street amid all the hustle and bustle of this born-again hotspot. Once you’re done taking photos of Main Street and finally step inside D’Avolio you’re instantly greeted with a wall of their olive oils and vinegars lined up for your sampling pleasure. And they let you walk right up and sample them. As much as you want. As many as you want. With super fluffy Italian bread. Try to practice some self-control because their choose-your-own-adventure menu gives you the options of a salad, antipasto, sandwich, or pizza base and then mixing and matching any (or all, YOLO) of their offerings to create your one-of-a-kind dream meal. Drooling yet?
D’Avolio’s menu may seem pretty simple on the surface, but once you’re faced with deciding between more toppings than you’ve ever seen in your entire life it quickly becomes apparent that it’s anything but. The first thing you should taste here are those olive oil and balsamic vinegar samples. There is literally a wall of them so rather than list them all out we’ll just seduce you with a photo of the sample wall and tell you one of the options is White Truffle.
Their actual menu is chalk full of healthy options that taste absolutely amazing including two soups, Beans and Greens and the Soup of the Day ($2.95 for a cup, $3.95 for a bowl) as well as Seasonal Fruit ($3.95 for a cup, $5.95 for a bowl). You can also grab lots of different types of beverages from their Hot list of teas, coffee, and hot chocolate ($1.75), Cold list of teas, pop, and water ($1.25-$1.75), Beer list featuring Sam Adams Boston Lager and Peroni ($4.50 each), or their Wine list which includes several different types of wine for $7/glass or $17/bottle.
For the main course you are given the choice of a salad, antipasto, sandwich (comes with a cup of soup or a side salad), or pizza base for your meal ($11.95). From there you are given a whole host of options to customize your meal exactly the way you want it. These options include (but are certainly not limited to) Buffalo Chicken, Prosciutto, Basil Pesto, Red Pepper Aioli, Gorgonzola cheese, Smoked Gouda cheese, D’Avolio stuffed olives, Escarole, Quinoa, Soppressata, and many, many, many more. Each subsection of options as a specific number of toppings within it that you may choose for your delicious Frankenstein creation but you can always add extras for $1-$2 more.
The first time we came to D’Avolio on Main Street we didn’t know what to expect. We knew it was a pretty popular local store (I mean, this is their eighth location) and that their olive oils and balsamic vinegars had a devoted cult following, but other than that we were going in blind. On our first visit we were two of maybe five patrons in the whole place, on our second visit the word must’ve gotten out because the restaurant was packed.
We played it safe during round one and ordered…
Bowl of Beans and Greens soup ($2.95)
The soup was ordered solely off our waitress’s recommendation and we were so happy for her guidance. The soup was the perfect blend of flavors with the perfect consistency and texture. Keeping with D’Avolio’s theme, it seemed simple on the surface and was intricate and delicious once you got into it.
Custom-built sandwich with a side salad ($11.95)
The sandwich was equally fantastic (we did make it ourselves after all) and the side salad –as well as with all of their salads and anitpasto- came with a custom dressing made just for us.
When we came the second time we arrived with our A game. We ordered…
Custom-built Salad ($11.95)
Custom-built Antipasto ($11.95)
Custom-built Pizza ($11.95)
Custom-built Salad from the Healthy Options Menu ($11.95) – lettuce, chicken, almonds, mandarin oranges, D’Avolio Olive Oil, Vinegar
There is a bit of an art when it comes to making your own meal, and when you basically order the entire menu you can get really creative with your masterpieces. And creative we got. We mixed and matched toppings, ordered extras, put Pastrami Smoked Salmon with Crispy Prosciutto (+ $0.75), threw in some almonds, ordered a custom-blended orange vinaigrette salad dressing. It was wild. It was delicious. It was a lot of food and we had to take half of it home which made lunch the next day a treat. Especially if you’re looking for the lighter options of the build-your-own topping bunch, the Healthy Options Buffalo menu is a great place to look. Or if you’re not so into the choose your own adventure thing. Not everyone is you know.
D’Avolio on Main Street not only lets you taste different flavors but they also let you experiment with bases, toppings, “proteins”, cheeses, spreads, vegetables, and fruits you might have never thought of trying let alone combining. For $11.95 you can enjoy an entire meal made from a selection of hundreds of different foods hand selected by you, deliciously crafted for you, and if you do it right you’ll have enough to take home for later. And that my friends are what dreams are made of.
What is Healthy Options Buffalo?
RiverWorks is a member of the Independent Health Foundation’s Healthy Options Buffalo program. The Healthy Options program was designed to help our community make informed decisions about healthy eating, and as a result, help address the high rates of stroke and heart disease prevalent in Western New York. Through this program, the Foundation works with area restaurants to offer heart-healthy food options that are considered lower in fat, saturated fat cholesterol, and sodium. To learn more about the Healthy Options program and to check out more great participating Healthy Options restaurants visit healthyoptionsbuffalo.com.