Going downhill on skis or a snowboard may sound like fun but – it’s actually hard work, you guys.
After a day of extreme sporting on the slopes, you need hygge – the Scandinavian word for wrapping yourself in comfort, and in Ellicottville, the new West Rose is where you make that happen. Nothing crushes aches and pains like a warm bowl of fondue, steamed mussels, white wine and tossing witty ripostes into a cackling fire.
West Rose owners Brad and Caryn Rowell made names for themselves with their Village of Hamburg hit, The Grange, and Brad Rowell said the new Ellicottville restaurant is a chance to create a more fully-formed vision; one that’s specific to the Southern Tier vacation spot.
“When we decided on Ellicottville, it was really just for personal reasons,” he said. “We wanted to be a part of that community. So, we’re going to do things that we think are going to fit better down there (than in Hamburg).
The early menu standout at West Rose has to be its après ski menu, which features classic European dishes from Switzerland and Northern Italy, including fondue, mussels and a phalanx of artisanal sausages. The opening menu also featured hearty snacks, meat dishes, seafoods and wood-oven fired pizzas.
“We’ll probably develop different dishes throughout the next couple years that will become signature items,” Rowell said. “At The Grange, we didn’t necessarily have many dishes that we were like, this is going to be on the menu forever. Some dishes that have stuck around; it just really happened organically. We were just like, we can’t take this one off because people are coming here for it, and the next thing you know, we have a bunch of signature dishes.”
With West Rose, the Rowell’s also had much more control over the layout and decor than they had with The Grange.
“With The Grange, we had taken over Tina’s Italian Kitchen, and that was a little more dictated by the space,” Brad said. “But with this space, we were able to really make it our own.
“The back half of the entire building was torn down and rebuilt within the last two years, as well as the basement was completely dug out and rebuilt as well. So, half of it is a new building and the front was just the original building that was brought down to the studs and we rebuilt the whole thing.”
Designed by Caryn Rowell, the interior of West Rose is just as impressive as the food: a Southwestern color palette, terrazzo bar tops, open kitchen and a mural by local artist Julie Molloy. It’s a modern look, but the soft lighting gives the space that #hygge you’re looking for in a post-slopes hangout (and/or Insta spot).
“The Grange is a little more classic and West Rose is a little more Caryn’s vision of what you’d find Out West, like a ski town vibe,” he said.
Of course, it’s going to take a lot more than a ski town vibe, cheese and sausages to alleviate your mogul-induced pain, and there’s nothing like the restorative powers of a craft cocktail. Developed by Mary Bennett, also from The Grange, the cocktail program includes spins on classics, like the Last Word (gin, chartreuse, and cherry liqueur) and the Maple Leaf (bourbon, scotch, lemon and maple syrup). The beer list is modest, but brewery names like Bellwoods, Grimm and Two Roads will send beer geek hearts aflutter. The wine list is tailored to the menu and skews high-end.
Ski season doesn’t last forever, like the cold November rain, and Brad Rowell said the offerings at West Rose will change as winter skis are slowly replaced by summer golf clubs. He added that the seasonal nature of Ellicottville will present a challenge, but it’s one his team are ready to embrace.
“Whereas Hamburg is pretty consistent, we might have more peaks and valleys down there in Ellicottville, but I think it’s going to be exciting,” he said. “Ellicottville has been developing over the last 10 years into more of a year-round destination. I think we’ll be able to add to that as well.”
23 Washington Street, Ellicottville, NY 14731
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.