268 Main Street, Suite 101 | (716) 768-4661
TUESDAY – THURSDAY: 12-2pm, 4-9pm; FRIDAY: 12-2pm, 4-10pm; SATURDAY: 4-10pm
WEBSITE | MENU | SOB LISTING | SOB FEATURE
Clearing the entrance we brushed off the snow and were greeted by a lovely hostess, soft jazz music, and the smell of fresh baked bread. We were seated upstairs on the railing overlooking the bar and main street. A lone metro rider exits with his bike and rides off in single digits temps, and a heavy flurry. Do you see this in other cities?
The space has not changed dramatically since the days of the City Grill. The upstairs is a loft type space above the kitchen, cozy with lower ceilings. Downstairs has a smattering of tables, open windows to the kitchen, and a large circular bar.
The restaurant is the dream child of Chef Josh Archer and his wife Gladys. His work has taken him to fine restaurants and private country clubs in Chautauqua, Naples Florida, western PA, and most recently the Adirondacks. Gladys is a former school teacher and a native of Buffalo.
One look at the menu and you know you’re in for a dining experience. Don’t pigeon hole these guys. Yes, they have some different stuff on the menu, but they also have plenty for the more traditional members of the group too. I enjoy wild game, like most people, as long as it isn’t too gamey. I’m not a wild game enthusiast, but I do love to try new things, and much of this menu is just that. I’ll say it once- nothing we tried had a hint of gaminess.
House baked bread with a maple-cinnamon butter arrived at the table as we perused the menu. So many interesting items, and a few more questions than usual, it took us a while to decide.
We started with the Mohito Shrimp. Three shrimp that were nicely seasoned with a ting of mint flavor. This is my favorite way to eat shrimp, with a little char and smokiness to them. Make sure you squeeze some lime on them to really highlight the flavors.
We also sampled the Venison sausage – outstanding. Plenty here for a light meal, or to share with your date, the sliced pieces are served on a bed of cabbage. The sausage had a nice combination of herbs and grill flavor. Pair that with the sweet and sour of the cabbage, and you have a little taste of heaven.
My wife ordered the Walleye – almond crusted fried Great Lakes walleye served over a wild rice blend and grilled asparagus, drizzled with an amaretto cream sauce topped with fried parsnips ($28). Yes, it tasted as good as it sounds. If you know walleye then you know it is one of the best eating fish you’ll find. I don’t know why we don’t see it more, but they’re a fixture on this menu. The almond crust has a nice crunch, the amaretto sauce a perfect compliment, and the parsnip chips are oddly addicting (can I find these in a bag?). LOVED IT!
I order the Frenched rack of New Zealand Elk that comes topped with a bourbon au poivre sauce, served with garlic whipped potatoes ($36). Far as I can remember this is my first time eating elk. The flavor reminded me a lot of a lamb chop, similar texture with more meat. The sauce was light and a little sweet – enhancing and not the least bit over powering. Truthfully, the mashed potatoes were pretty average.
I really like how a lot of the dishes have flavors and textures that play off each one another – sweet, sour; salty, savory; crunchy, soft.
Some of the other creative menu items you’ll find at Archer:
- Nilgai Antelope – “native to the Himalayan foothills, this extra lean steak is served with a forest wild mushroom sauce roasted garlic whipped potatoes” ($35).
- Texas quail – spinach and feta cheese stuffed and baked, topped with a sun-dried tomato cream and served with spaghetti and Romano ($24).
- Wild Boar Tenderloin– grilled and served over apple, maple and bacon sauté; served over roasted garlic whipped potatoes ($24)
- Antelope Burger ($15)
For the Less adventurous they also have Grilled Chicken, Fillet Mignon, Tavern Steak, and Salmon.
Some of their starters: Lobster Bisque, Baked Vidalia Onion Soup, Seafood Cakes, Welsh Rarebit.
They also have a Light Evening Fare menu which includes wings, Chicken Sandwich, Bavarian Beer Burger, Bison Burger, Moroccan Chickpea Salad, and an Orchard Salad with Grilled Chicken.
The Archer has an attractive beer stock with several in bottle; on draft – Guinness, Stella Artois, Ithaca Flower Power I PA, Rusty Chain, Rohrbach Scotch Ale, Southerntier Live, and Buffalo Lager. Their wine list is not overly extensive but you can find plenty of good bottles. Some of the clever cocktail menu items ($10) – the Buffalo archer, Bear Trap, Cucumber Canoe, St. Kenichi.
The desserts menu is impressive: Cheesecake with sour cream frosting topped with fresh raspberry sauce, Island Blondie Brownie Sundae, Oreo and Bailey’s ice cream sundae, Khalua and Walnut Chocolate Cake and Mandarin Orange Carrot Cake to name a few.
The Archer is into wild game and aquatics, but the foundation of this place is a creative chef that knows how to combine flavors and prepare food. My biggest regret is there were only two of us and there were another 8 items I wanted to sample.
Read our first feature on The Archer, here.
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