Food Porn: The Eights Bistro


UPDATE: The Eights Bistro has since closed.

We have been long over due to visit the Eights Bistro.  Even after the many positive reviews from friends and the fact that we can walk to the restaurant from out house, we somehow kept pushing back our first visit even though it was fairly high on our to-do list.  But last weekend Alli and I were thinking of going somewhere new for dinner and somehow The Eights just popped into our head and I’m glad it did.  We had a great meal but more importantly were introduced to the wonderful world of Burrata.

Quick Info:

Back in July of 2009, Alli and myself actually ordered a pizza in this exact location.  However, at the time it was Campieri’s and the menu was mainly focused on artisanal or “fancy” pizzas.  We enjoyed the meal but not the service and unfortunately never made a return visit before the ultimately closed their doors; then in the fall/winter of 2010 The Eights came to be.

The location itself hasn’t changed too much, at least from what I can remember, and I noticed a lot of art work on the walls (all of which is for sale).  I forgot how nice this building was, with their exposed brick and a nice long wooden bar, right now I am wondering why I don’t walk down there for a beer/snack more often.

There aren’t many vegan/vegetarian options in Buffalo, at least when it comes to restaurants.  Merge opened a couple years ago, Amy’s Place supposedly has some nice dishes but The Eights has some really creative options for those who don’t eat animal products.  I can’t say I’m the biggest proponent of vegetarian/vegan cuisine, my love of food that comes from animals is just too strong. But I set that fact aside and decided to take a walk in their world for this meal, at least for my entree.

We originally were excited to try their pizzas, but it was an appetizer, more specifically their Burrata (pictured directly above) that really stole the show.  We asked the waitress what the dish actually was (the description only says Burrata with many tomatoes) and once we heard the words mozzarella and cream used, we had made up our minds.  While it looks like a normal ball of fresh mozzarella it’s actually a shell of mozzarella that when broken open oozes out a delicious combination of mozzarella and cream.  The texture is velvety smooth and almost buttery.  The flavor includes all the richness you’d expect from mozzarella mixed with a wonderful sweetness from the cream.  Alli used the term “close your eyes good” and honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.  This is fresh cheese at it’s best.  If you love fresh mozzarella and and anything creamy, I promise you’ll love this.  And yes, you do get “many tomatoes” as the Burrata was covered with baby sweet tomatoes and then with a liberal dose of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and fresh ground pepper.  I could have ordered it as my entree and ate it with a spoon, I highly recommend it.

According to their facebook page they have just updated their menu, so unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to try out the vegan Pulled Pork or Philly Cheesesteak since they are no longer offered but I did get to try the vegan Roast Beef (pictured top).  They used seiten to recreate the beef and while the taste was pretty close to the real thing, the texture was a little weird.  The roll was toasted and crispy and the au jus had an OK flavor but honestly I’m not sure how it’s made.  Would I prefer to eat this over a real roast beef? Oh god no, but it’s a cool idea and I’m glad there are people trying this type of thing in Buffalo.

Finally we also ordered a Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Pizza ($14, pictured above) which was quite enjoyable.  The crust was closer to a flatbread and while thin and crispy wasn’t over cooked and the dough still had a nice chew.  The tomato sauce actually had some chunks of tomato throughout and, when combined with the basil, gave the pizza a bit of a sweet flavor.  The pizza’s are small enough for one person to have as their entire meal but also big enough to be split as an appetizer.

Their beer selection is pretty good as well, with a nice list of draft’s available.  The atmosphere inside is great for a date or even a happy hour.  I’m not proud that it took me almost an entire year to finally visit the Eights but we are glad that we finally did, hopefully they won’t have a similar fate as the previous tenant.  Main street is hard place to figure out, it has so much potential but it seems like people haven’t gotten it in their head that it’s becoming a good downtown option (like Elmwood, Hertel or Allen) to find dinner.

Photo Gallery:

The Eights Bistro on Urbanspoon

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