I had the absolute pleasure of visiting the idyllic village of Lewiston, NY during my epic “Best of the Road” rally this summer. I was so impressed with the community of Lewiston—the people are friendly, outgoing and gregarious. The town is full of culture with a thriving art and music scene. And, the town sits right on the banks of the mighty and majestic Niagara River. The quality of restaurants for such a small town also thoroughly impressed me. Here are my top five restaurant picks you must try when visiting Lewiston, NY, located just below the iconic Niagara Falls.
Mangia Cafe and Bakery – When you step inside Mangia Cafe & Bakery you’ll feel like you’ve entered a formal, yet cozy colonial dining room. If it’s a nice day, enjoy the wonderful patio. The bakery case will draw you in with its assortment of goodies, like homemade cookies, sweet rolls, muffins, brownies, pies & cakes, and whole lot more. Everything I ate at Mangia’s was superb, including:
- The tomato tart with caramelized onions
- Salmon croquettes with freshly made tomato cucumber salsa, organic spinach and olive oil/lemon dill dressing
- Chicken Waldorf sandwich on multi-grain bread with fresh fruit
- Quiche with roasted red pepper and fresh fruit salad
The Brickyard is the place to go for some seriously tasty and huge portions of BBQ. All the meats are slow smoked to perfection using a nice blend of Hickory & fruit woods in an authentic wood-pit barbecue smoker. If you’re like me and want to try a bit of everything, check out “The First Timer,” which includes: pulled pork, 1/3 rack ribs, 1/4 smoked chicken, brisket, smoked turkey, and house rubbed Buffalo wings. Bring your appetite, or a few buddies, cause this platter will easily served 3-4 people.
Casa Antica was one of my favorite places in town. This family-run Italian restaurant prides themselves on a warm, welcoming atmosphere, and their authentic homemade dishes originating from various regions of Italy. If the weather permits, dine al fresco on their beautiful outdoor patio, often with live music. Like many Italians, they don’t want you to go away hungry, so bring your appetite, share, or be prepared to take home some leftovers. There are so many wonderful dishes to try, that you may have a tough time deciding. Here are some of the items I had a chance to try:
- Chilean Sea Bass: Served in a lemon caper white wine sauce. Over home made spinach fettuccine and fresh spinach.
- Veal chop Florentine: cut veal chop stuffed with perschutto asiago cheese and spinach. Topped in a balsamic reduction sauce with sautéed Portabella mushrooms and onions. Served over roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables.
- Arancina: Award winning rice balls are stuffed with aborio rice ground beef mozzarella cheese and snow peas.
- Risotto Asparaci e Capesante: Pan seared scallops served over a creamy risotto with sautéed asparagus and onions.
- Banana Peppers: Stuffed with Genova salami and pecorino cheese topped with our famous three cheese cream sauce.
- Involtini di melenzane: Breaded eggplant rollatini stuffed with ricotta baked and topped with melted mozzarella and marinara sauce.
Carmelo’s is where western New York chefs and foodies alike go to eat…partly for its “farm-to-table” philosophy—harvesting fresh local foods and presenting them to patrons in the most creative and delicious ways possible. Carmelo’s is fine-dining at it’s finest, with an amazing staff that anticipates your every need. During my visit they had a special menu created just for team “Road Bros” and our guests, which included:
- Road Bros Cocktail: Steam Punk hard cider/Hudson Valley Baby Bourbon
- Starters: Butcher’s Plate: assortment of T-Meadow cured meats; Farm Stand Salad: Peggy’s Herbs/David’s Asparagus/Coulter’s Strawberries
- Main Course: T-Meadow farm Suckling Pig: Carolina BBQ sauce (this was an entire roasted pig carved up at our table.
- Sides: Cayuga Pure Organics: Faro Risotto; Hurtgam Farm Braised Chard; Roasted Root Vegetables in port jus
Lewiston Village Pub was a big surprise for me…sure, they offer everything you’d expect in a pub, but for those like me with more discerning tastes buds, they accommodate us as well. From burgers to Lobster, Ahi to wings, they have something for everyone…including one of the largest selections of beer in the state of New York, with 40 on-tap. They also have a full bar, entertainment, games and much more to make for one hell of a good time while in Lewiston.
If you’ve been to Lewiston before and have visited any of these five restaurants, please post a comment below and let my readers and me know what you think. Or, if you have another local favorite, post their name and site below as well.
To see just how much the folks in Lewiston love their restaurant scene, watch the video below as they sing about their culinary prowess.
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