1 Naval Park Cove | (716) 845-9173
Mon-Sun 11 am – 10 pm; reservations accepted
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Picture yourself on a deck by the river with 8o degrees and bright blue skies. Sip on your cocktail as the hot sun works to thaw the winter chill deep inside. The chatter of seagulls blends with the laughter of children from the park next door. A gentle breeze caresses the water’s surface as a small sail-boat glides down the channel.
Boston? London? Southern France? Miami? Close -The Liberty Hound, here at the center of civilization.
The Liberty Hound opened up in the spring of 2012 in a building it shares with the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park off Marine Drive. The restaurants and the inner harbor have received plenty of press over the last two years, but if you haven’t been in person you really don’t understand how great it is…with more to come.
This place is a wonderful example of what can happen when cooperation meets creativity. Thanks to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, the Naval Park, and City Hall for working this out, and all great things happening and soon to come. BRAVO!
Liberty Hound is owned by Mike Shatzel (Cole’s and Blue Monk) in partnership with Jason Davidson of Magnolia Events. With that kind of pedigree you would expect good things.
We arrived for lunch on a weekday and were seated on the patio immediately. As it was such a glorious day we decided to celebrate with a couple of beers. One Ommegang Witte and one Community Beer Works Rutherford B. Haze– $6.25 each.
Liberty Hound has a fine beer selection with a dozen on tap (~$6-$7)and another 10-12 local favorites by bottle. They have a full bar, and a healthy list of specialty drinks ~$8. The wine list might be a tad challenged with only about a dozen options.
We started by sharing the Crab Tostada – lump crab, crispy tortilla, guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, lettuce and cilantro – $11. You get two so it’s a good option. The flavor is outstanding. We were a little puzzled on the proper technique of eating this. I tried the fold-over method while my companion used silverware. Both were moderately successful, but the tostada itself was a winner. A free gift to the first person who can tell us how it’s suppose to be done.
For our lunch we went with the Tuna Sandwich – pan seared rare, Asian vegetables and ginger wasabi aioli – $13; and the Seafood Tacos – mahi, charred tomatillo sauce, pico de gallo, slaw and cotija cheese – $13. Both of these were excellent. The seafood was fresh and cooked to perfection. I’d be hard pressed not to order the tuna every time I went.
We skipped dessert in lu of the beers.
Menu Items of interest:
Under the Shared plates section (starters) they have a nice selection of seafood including mussels, clams, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, and Yellow Fin Tuna Nachos They also have a Pepper Dip served with warm bread.
In addition to those they have some good looking salads- wedge, Lobster Cobb, Crab Cake Salad, and a Market salad.
Bistro Burger – 1/2 lb. Sirloin burger, ale caramelized onions, melted brie and dijonaise -$12
Panko Chicken– Parmesan bread crumbs, sautéed spinach, tomatoes, provolone and garlic aioli – $12
Lobster Roll – Maine lobster, celery, onions and mayonnaise – $13
Pepper Dip Steak – NY Strip Steak, roasted peppers, four cheese blend, garlic bread – $14
Fish & Chips – “Liberty ale” battered cod, coleslaw and fries – $13
Cioppino – Mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari and cod in a tomato fennel fumet – $18
Moroccan Salmon – Moroccan glaze with broccolini and dried fruit couscous – $17
Sullivan Shrimp – Gulf shrimp over angel pasta with julienned squash, carrots, broccolini and tomato in a creamy garlic white wine sauce – $18
Steak Frites – Bone in 14 oz. Strip steak with habanero tequila lime compound butter, broccolini and frites – $22
I consider myself WNY frugal and naturally suspicious of “tourist” type spots. In some lesser cities gouging is a favorite pastime – not so here. Our meal was top notch – from the greeting to the check. The prices aren’t cheap, but in my opinion very fair. We paid a mere 25 cents more for the beer than they get at Coles. The menu is short, but well thought out – appropriately heavy on the seafood. They call it “contemporary harbor fare” – cool. Nice job Executive Chef Seth Weiss.
Our service on a calm weekday for lunch was excellent. Like all popular establishments they sometimes get slammed with people. Waits for tables can get long. Might I suggest you grab a beverage and enjoy the sun while it’s here. Remember – this place used to be a bunch of nothin’ next to a polluted canal.
*Parking can be an issue on busy days and nights. We parked easily on Erie St. toward Templeton landing and walked past the ships. There is also on-street parking in front of Canal Side on Prime Street. Other options would be a short walk from any First Niagara parking or take the metro.
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