This week’s Buffalo Foodie article is our good friend Kerry Quaile, a former Bar Manager of Vera Pizzeria and operating partner of the upcoming cocktail shop Queen City Shaken & Stirred. When Kerry left Vera back in April, we were nervous that she’d be joining her former Vera co-workers Zach Mikida and Jon Karel (who are the other partners of Queen City Shaken & Stirred) in Rochester to work at Revelry. Luckily, she’ll be sticking around Buffalo and will be running the daily operations at their store on Hertel Ave. I actually made a trip to check out their spot last weekend, I took a couple pictures and will have a full preview post up later this week. If you can’t wait, check out this awesome preview on BuffaloSpree.com by Christa Glennie Seychew.
Recently we realized that Kerry has been a podcast guest but we’ve somehow never wrote a Buffalo Foodie article with her. So here’s what Kerry had to say about her favorite places to eat, drink and hang out in WNY….
Right now, where are your favorite places to eat in WNY?
Kerry: I’d have to say that over the last few months I have discovered a new favorite restaurant to add to my ever growing list (of favorites). Lombardo’s on Hertel Ave. was a place where I always loved the wine list but I do have to say that over the past few months I have found myself eating there more and more. They have recently added a few things to the menu which add some spicy flair to their other Italian dishes. I love the option for half portions of pasta. I am always the person who wants to try everything on the menu and usually my eyes are much bigger than my stomach. Chef Obarka knows where it’s at with his portioning and options for small plates. I have to admit I am especially fond of the ricotta cavatelli and the grilled octopus. Their uova in purgatorio pizza is absolutely amazing as well.
Where are your favorite places to grab a drink after work or with friends?
Kerry: Man do I miss cocktails, especially in the summer when it is this warm and beautiful out. An impeccably made mezcal margarita or a negroni goes a very long way for me. I really enjoyed drinking at Hutch’s on Delaware. Tim Steven’s oversaw the amazing transformation of their bar program last year and I have to say, it was hands down one of my favorite places to grab a well made classic cocktail, beer, or glass of wine. The vibe in the bar area of the restaurant is cozy and makes for a very nice place to hang out with friends and grab a bite to eat and a cocktail.
If you had a friend visiting from out of town, where would you take them for a good “Buffalo” time?
Kerry: This answer could really go either way. If I am thinking I want to take someone out for a night on the town of delicious food and drinks I would have to go with Vera for cocktails, Tempo for dinner, and then maybe some fun and beers at the Blue Monk. If I am trying to show someone all the typical Buffalo must-do before you die things; then it would be a little different. The evening would probably end up looking more like wings and beers at Gabriel’s Gate or Bar Bill if said visitor was willing to make the hike followed by a sporting event. Hockey would obviously be my first choice, but if that is not in season then I am totally fine with showing off the Bison’s and of course ending the evening with a healthy dose of The Pink and a steak sandwich.
What are some food memories you have from your childhood?
Kerry: I had the wonderful blessing of having two parents that cooked as a child. I stayed with my mom during the week; and basically since I was born she made a very severe effort to feed me with as much organic and local food as possible. There was a pretty wide variety where I grew up in Philadelphia and my Mom had a plot in the community garden where she grew some vegetables as well. On the weekends that I spent with my dad I got to try a lot of dishes that maybe I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t seen as such a treat. My Dad was a very adventurous cook and he could get me to try anything at least once. I specifically remember the first time I ever had escargot. I couldn’t have been more than 6 or 7 years old and I absolutely loved it. After that it was my Mom and step Dad taking me for sushi on my birthday every year and lots of other food experiences that I feel very lucky to have had at such a young age.
What other types of cuisines/restaurants/bars would you like to see more of in Buffalo?
Kerry: In my opinion there can never be too many Mexican places. I am madly in love with well made guacamole, shrimp or fish tacos and of course margaritas. I think Buffalo could really use a little fuel injection into the Indian food scene. Other than that, there are so many exciting bars and restaurants opening in the next few months that I am sure none of us will even know what to do with ourselves or our stomachs when the time comes.
We’d like to thank Kerry for taking the time to write some kick ass answers to our questions. We’ll have a preview post about Queen City Shaken & Stirred later this week, I promise!
Photo is by Mary Mammoser Machnica at last year’s IN: Cocktail Throwdown.