Over the last month, I’ve brought you the progression toward opening of Buffalo’s newest waterfront dining spot – William K’s. Last week, I shared some of the updates on the construction and the involvement of the menu created by Chef Todd Lesakowski and his team. Today, I’m thrilled to provide you with some exclusive information – William K’s will be open for business on New Year’s Eve!
Last night, my wife and I attended the soft opening of the restaurant and got the first look at service and the first edition of the menu. The menu is broken down into four categories – Appetizers ($9-$16), Wood Oven Pizza ($16 each), Entrees ($28-$32) and For The Table (two large, shareable dishes from $45-$98). The appetizers include a half dozen of Matunuck Oysters ($16), Crispy Fried Smelts ($12), a Rocket Salad ($9) and a selection of house made charcuterie which changes frequently. The pizza options include a Parma with prosciutto, tomato and parmigiano reggiano as well as the Marrow (white pizza with bone marrow, smoked beef tongue and fresh horseradish) and the Pepperoni (blood sausage pepperoni, mozzarella and pepperoncini. Entrees feature a Prime New York Strip Steak ($32), Grilled Lamb Leg Fillet ($32) and there other options. The large, sharable dishes in the “For The Table” section presently include a 36 oz. Fire Roasted Porterhouse ($98) and a Fire Roasted Giannone Chicken with “Chalet Sauce” ($45).
My wife and I had a glass of wine at the bar ($9 each) and looked over the cocktail menu. Craft cocktails are $10/each and include the Beaubeaux (rye, Fernet Branca, Vida mezcal and fresh lemon), the Queen Charlotte (Averell Damson plum gin, Cocchi Americano and Campari) and several others. The wines by the glass selection offers an interesting variety not frequently seen in this format locally. They presently include my wife’s choice – the 2013 Boundary Breaks Ovid Line North Riesling from Seneca Lake. I opted to try a classic red from Sardegna – Cannonau di Sardegna. A small and well-composed draft beer list is also available. It presently features beers from Big Ditch Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company and more.
To start her meal, my wife went with the Mushroom pizza. It featured well-caramelized assorted mushrooms, thinly sliced potato, rosemary and Taleggio. The dough had a nicely crisp exterior from the wood oven and the rosemary went perfectly with the mushrooms. Both the mushrooms and potato offered nice texture, the product of good charring from the oven.
My meal began with the Grilled Spanish Octopus ($11). It was cooked perfectly – a nicely charred exterior while still tender inside. It was served with Greek potatoes, a green olive puree and preserved lemon. The herbs in the potatoes along with the olive puree paired classically with the cephalopod. I loved the understated citrus punch of the preserved lemon.
My wife chose the house made Tagliatelle ($28) which was served with Taylor Bay scallops, smoky broth and jalapeño. The pasta was cooked properly as were the scallops. The dish was not overly spicy as there were not too many slices of jalapeño.
My entrée was T-Meadow Pork 3 Ways ($32). The pork was served as a butter roasted loin, suckling confit and garlicky sausage. The loin was tender, well-seasoned and cooked properly with a nice pink blush. The confit offered a bit of crispy skin adorning the tender pork underneath. The sausage was as garlicky as promised which went very well with the pork. The garnishes of Apple Mostarda and Bok Choy Kimchi complimented the pork with sweetness and piquancy respectively.
The restaurant is still learning a new menu and fine tuning service. It is in the process of working out the necessary kinks and problems that all restaurants have as they strive to open. Luckily, the menu, the food and the service all show promise. They will continue to get better and when you enjoy Buffalo’s newest waterfront dining spot, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of experiences from a full sit-down meal to a drink and pizza at the bar. Buffalo is about to get another fun spot on the water. Go out and enjoy it!