First Bite: Madonna’s Ristorante

In the four years since we started writing about food in Buffalo, 62 Allen has been the home of three different restaurants. Our visit to Fiddleheads was one of our first posts (note: also a really bad post) and we unfortunately never visited Atmosphere @ 62 before they closed their doors. So when Madonna’s opened last month and started getting some internet buzz, we knew that we’d have to take a walk through Allentown to visit.

The owners and operators of Madonna’s have also been running Cafe 59 for the last few years and since we’ve enjoyed our recent visits to the small cafe, we had some high hopes for the food. The restaurant has had some renovations but still has a very simplistic design; aside from a large painting in the dining room (above) the decor is fairly minimal. The majority of the restaurant is centered around the bar, which seats nearly twenty people and where the majority of the customers were hanging out during our Friday night visit.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual-Upscale Dining
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Location: Allentown
  • Price: Small Plates 4-9, Entrees 12-25

With no menu online, we weren’t sure what to exactly expect and went into the meal only knowing that we’d be ordering fried ravioli’s ($7, below..they’re one of Alli’s favorite things). After looking over the menu, Alli and I decided to order a bunch of their small plates to get a nice variety of their menu. The serving size of fried ravioli’s was quite large. For only $7 there was a large pile on to the plate, more than enough to share. They were lightly fried and not at all greasy. They had a nice crunch and were stuffed with plenty of cheese. We also ordered a side of meatballs ($4, below). The bowl was filled with three large, tender meatballs that were covered in a chunky and sweet tomato sauce.

We continued with an order of fresh mozzarella ($7, gallery) that was served with tomato pesto, cucumbers and basil. The cheese was fresh and had a really nice texture; it would be a great light snack for someone who wanted a healthier option. We also ordered the sausage sandwich ($9, gallery), which included a couple links of sausage covered in tomato sauce and melted cheese on a toasted roll. It was pretty messy and nearly impossible to actually pick up and eat with my hands, but after using a fork and knife could enjoy a couple bites. I thought the sausage itself was a little bland but served on a toasted roll with plenty of their sweet tomato sauce and melted cheese, it still was an enjoyable dish. Other menu options include pork belly and oysters, so there is really a nice variety.

Alli and I had a very nice meal on Friday, the service was good and our food came out within minutes (literally, minutes). The dining room was pretty small and could definitely use a little more decor. At the moment, the best way to experience a meal at Madonna’s would be to sit at the bar, enjoy a drink (their beer and wine list are impressive) and order a bunch of small plates to share with friends.

This area of Allen has been hard on new restaurants, we’ve seen both 888 Main (currently Coco) and 69 Allen (currently Gatur’s) go through several tenants over the years. We hope that Madonna’s finds their audience and succeeds in Allentown, its a nice option for a casual meal.

Photo Gallery:

Madonna's on Urbanspoon

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