The longer we spend in WNY, the more we find to love about the food scene. And what’s better, the innovative restaurateurs are expanding across the region and are popping up all over the map. After great experiences in the suburbs, we took to Hamburg a few weeks ago to experience for ourselves the buzz and hype of The Grange Community Kitchen.
Hype report: WORTH IT.
So, so worth it.
I want to launch right into the meal, but honestly the ambiance at Grange was everything. Bright industrial meets farmhouse chic – not sure how else to describe it. The space is entirely open, and laughter from the bar bleeds beautifully into light conversation over well-crafted plates at the wooden tables throughout.
Not to mention, we applaud the open kitchen – cooking with patrons eagerly watching can be intimidating. But Owners Brad and Caryn have teamed up to provide the confidence in execution under a watchful eye, as well as the vision to bring the farm-to-table movement front and center of the dining experience. After all, the magic happens in the kitchen.
The cocktail program was average, though we have heard many diners and foodies in Buffalo sing its praises. There were 4 of us dining that evening, and we had a nice assortment of cocktails from the list. I’m going to say that I’m a little spoiled by Scott’s foray into mixology and 3 years of craft libations in DC, so we are a little more particular about our cocktails. The stand out was my Festivus, while the others had the Krampus and Red Velvet. We always appreciate a rotating seasonal selection, and we are looking forward to heading back with the next iteration of the cocktail menu.
(Side note: we typically order a classic just to stack that up for comparison – we did not that evening, so jury is still out on the classic side of the menu – stay tuned!)
On to the best part – we ordered a bunch, as everyone at the table was starving and we’d heard so much prior to walking through the door. We started with Marinated Scallops, Steak Tartare, and the most exquisite seafood “toast” – sadly, no longer on the menu as they rotate with fresh ingredients. Scott is a tartare fan through and through, and continues to rave that this dish is one of the better tartares he has ever had.
Everyone gave us a hard time about our assessment of the pizza at Elm Street Bakery, but now I have a bit more insight and believe the magic in the wood-fire pizza is Chef Brad himself. Having created that scene at Elm Street first, Brad carried on with the tradition and the pizza at Grange, and I completely fell in love; I could easily take down a whole pie by myself. Seriously.
Though the pizza was the highlight for me, there is no knockin’ the Double Cheeseburger, which we ordered to share. Here is the crazy/wonderful thing about the burger: there is absolutely NOTHING special about it. It isn’t dressed up with toppings or reinvented in any way. It’s just good. Like SO good. The perfect amount of juice, cooked medium to perfection, and packed a heck of a lot of flavor in that patty. We’ve had some killer burgers in WNY (we’re looking at you, Marble + Rye and Good Luck) and this was no less.
Desserts arrived at our table in abundance, but the stand out was the homemade Swiss Cake Roll – which hearkened back to my addiction to them as a child. I grew up on Twinkies and Swiss Cake Rolls – didn’t we all? Anyway, it’s a signature and a must-try when you visit.
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times: a perfect evening is a metaphorical cocktail of service, atmosphere, and quality food. And this date night was one amazing cocktail.