Dining out made simple

While Buffalo NY may not have the best winters, prayers must have been answered this year. Not only did we have quite the mild winter, but a spring season to boot! Taking full advantage of the nice weather we’ve had; I decided to go exploring, to see if I could find a restaurant that had great outdoor seating and a wonderful view so I could bask in all the sunshine we’ve had. Not only did I find a great place but have been back on two more occasions.

   Ricks on Main St., East Aurora NY is one of those places that surprises you. What first caught my eye was the structure of an architectural gem. Oak beams flank the ceiling while beautiful rustic stone style the walls. With an outdoor space appealing to the same character that flows indoors; you can’t help but thank the designer for a space that’s smart and charming. The restless creativity surrounding the space flows right through into the menu….and what a menu. Professionally trained chefs Rick Pohlman and Chris Gibney know how to entertain their audience with delightful and unexpected entrees. While I am not one for a large menu, to me simple is better, I enjoyed what I was tasting and found my way around the menu quite easy. And when the sun is shining, dine outdoors; the patio has a wonderful view of main street in East Aurora with all it’s quaint shops.

For me, ordering took but a moment once I zeroed an amazing citrus salad ($9.95); what is a citrus salad you may ask? Well I asked the same thing. It is a great and inventive way to spin  what can usually be described as a boring but healthy salad, and give it a face lift! Arugula and baby spinach are dressed up with cucumber noodles, pink grapefruit and orange slices, red onion, hearts of palm, fennel, spiced pecans and olives with a fruited citrus vinaigrette. It does come with cheese, but the chef was kind enough to leave it out for me. Next on my hit list were the crab cakes ($12.95) that are dressed in a pink remoulade and thai chili sauce.  Be forwarned they are breaded and lightly fried, but the crab is fresh and delicate. There are only two per serving though. For my main dish I ordered the laquered salmon (a very healthy dish!), a glazed carmelized atlantic salmon served with basmati rice (I opted out of the rice) and fresh vegetables. The glaze was textured and perfectly carmalized, giving the salmon a thin crust and robust flavor. If your looking for a healthy option to dine out on, this would be it. 

During winter months the red clam chowder is a fan favorite, with an array of spices, generous portions of clam meat and tender roasted vegetables styling the soup. There is a multitude of dessert options for those who haven’t filled their bellies to the brim. And while I am a big fan of there cakes, I was slightly disappointed in the creme brule. Normally my favorite dessert, this was slightly watery with a weak crust on top; not as rich and creamy as I’m normally used to (I even took a lactaid for the occasion). But with so many options, it makes eating out easy and comfortable. There is a little something for everyone. And if your looking for a regretless night of decadence, then you can’t go wrong with a pairing like citrus salad and laquered salmon (skip the rice). 

It’s a romantic meal with no remorse.

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