Executive chef Jeremy Gryzbowski has been serving up culture and class, seasoned with creativity, at the Old Orchard Inn on Blakeley Rd, East Aurora NY. This hidden gem is so far off the beaten path that I can promise you will be saying “I think we drove past it, we might be lost- turn around.”
Having started out as a tea room in 1931; converted from a hunting lodge built in 1901, the Old Orchard Inn is considered to be a truly historic company of Western New York. With most of its original detailing, stone fireplaces, and built in cabinetry, you might just feel as though at any moment Danny Kaye or Rosemary Clooney will come bursting through the door in song and dance. So while you wait cozy up to the art deco infused bar and grab youreslf a high ball.
Not only does the Old Orchard Inn have the class and charm of the Pine Tree Inn (Hollywood really knows how to stage a set); the food is the star of the show! The ingredients tell a story, and with every bite taken, you can just see the story unfolding before your eyes. It’s a melody of intense flavor; mussels that sing of rustic charm, or smoked gouda lobster dip crooning its way through a solo performance. You, my friend, have a front row seat to one of Western New York’s best performances. Shall I go on? Lets…..
Jeremey Gryzbowski brings the luxury and flare of 1940’s cuisine and the modern day necessity of family style dining and combines them for a truly unique experience. The Coq Au Vin ($$$) is an 8.0z chicken breast roasted in an herbed red wine reduction sauce, flavored with fennel, parsnips, mushrooms and shallots. Not only is it a twist on the original, but the chicken is so tender and the flavors so complex that you will be asking for an encore. If you’re more of a “Fiddler on the Roof” type, then you have to try the Shrimp and Chicken Jambalaya ($$). It brings all the cajun and spice of the Bayou- without the gaters. If that’s not enough to get your mouth dancing, then the New Zealand Rack of Lamb ($$$) will surely do the trick. Free range, grass fed lamb served with a demi glace sauce and mint jelly; it’s Mamma Mia delicious! No matter what entree you choose, all main dishes are served with family style portions of garlic mashed potatoes and greens. And any dish can be made to order; gluten free options are available upon request.
This restaurant is in a class all its own, with outstanding performances playing daily. Just follow the yellow brick road until you think you’re lost and that’s where you’ll find the Old Orchard Inn!