New Faves, Old Faves

By Jann Wiswall

Oh, the aromas!

Strolling the streets of Ellicottville gets your tummies grumbling every time, as restaurants prepare their delicious selections for your dining pleasure. And some newcomers to the area now offer even more great selections for every age and preference in what is fast becoming a western New York dining destination.

Let’s start with the new kids on the block.

The Armor Inn, with its original location in Hamburg, N.Y., opens its second restaurant in the Village Centre plaza next to the Red Apple store on Mill Street, this Friday, Dec. 19. The family-friendly restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and is famous for its affordable, lip-smacking BBQ, along with steaks, seafood and more. The comfortable bar area is a perfect evening gathering place for adults to watch big-name, national blues acts on the stage. And a $5 late-night appetizer selection will keep your energy levels up all night long.

Cadillac Jack’s, while not technically new to Ellicottville, is opening in early January at a new location in the heart of the village at 24 Monroe St. Yes, you’ll still find your old favorites, like Hot-Lips mussels and a large selection of craft beers on tap, but you’ll also find some new favorites on its reenergized gourmet menu such as house-made duck confit, fresh halibut, chicken CJ and several new varieties of mussels. A larger selection of affordable wines will be offered in addition to wine and beer pairings. The restaurant’s soon-to-be revealed unique bar design will seat guests in a more intimate style. With the addition of a new patio, the second floor will feature indoor and outdoor dining.

Another new eatery to hit Ellicottville this year is Slopeside Bar and BBQ. Targeted to open in the next few weeks, Slopeside is just across from the Sunrise chairlift and the slopes of Holiday Valley (in the old Cadillac Jack’s location), and is an easy walk for skiers and boarders to find all sorts of BBQ options with signature sauces, as well as a long list of yummy appetizers.

Dina’s restaurant has just reopened to the delight of locals and visitors alike after a major expansion into the former gift shop next door. The beautifully redecorated new space at 15 West Washington St. can accommodate more large parties, as well as more bar and dining patrons. Dina’s, of course, is known for its fresh, healthful, creative menu selections for breakfast, lunch and dinner. How about starting your day with a tomato/pesto/cheddar-jack omelette, a pear gorgonzola salad or grilled salmon sandwich for lunch, and lobster ravioli or a filet mignon with crab cake for dinner? Then, treat your sweet tooth to a freshly baked slice of pie, cookies or other luscious dessert selections.

And last, but definitely not least, a French bistro is coming to Ellicottville sometime in late spring or early summer in the first floor of the Ellicottville Inn Condominiums building at 8–10 Washington Street. Ellicottville residents Victoire and Sylvain Girard plan to open an authentic French restaurant in the space, seating 40-45 people in the dining area and 16 more at a bar.

These new or newly reopened spots add to the vibrant restaurant community in this growing resort town, but rest assured, your old favorites are waiting for you to come back and visit!

Shall we start with burgers and beer? Pretty much all restaurants these days offer their take on America’s favorite sandwich, and Ellicottville’s restaurants are no exception. For casual eateries offering up luscious burgers, fries, sandwiches, soups, salads and appetizers, not to mention game-day specials, try the Gin Mill at 20 Washington, Madigan’s at 36 Washington and Balloons at 20 Monroe. Each offers heaping helpings of all those treats and their own specialties of the house, great beer and other beverage selections and live music to boot!

Need a coffee or lunch break? Stop in at cozy Katy’s Café at 10A Washington for a light or hearty breakfast, lunch or afternoon dessert or delicious beverage treat. For an old-fashioned diner experience, try DJs at 28 Washington for a down-home breakfast or lunch. Or, down the street at 38 Washington, you’ll find Coffee Culture, where you can sit by a fire both inside and out while enjoying a hot cup of coffee or cocoa and nice breakfast, sandwich and salad selections.

In a hurry? The Subway restaurant next door to Coffee Culture has reliably great subs every day for carry out or eat-in, and Tim Hortons up the road at the intersection of Routes 219N and 242 has both drive-thru and indoor service.

In the mood for pizza? Tim and Bonnie’s Pizza in the Ellicottville Square development on Bristol Lane off Fillmore Street offers up pizzas just the way you like them, along with soups, salads, wings and more. And they deliver!

For some folks, Ellicottville wouldn’t be what it is without its long-established favorite restaurants of all time. They’re still here and still offering their signature menu items that made them famous.

The Barn restaurant at 7 Monroe St. is located in one of Ellicottville’s oldest buildings (1895). Since 1963, it has been a beloved lunch and dinner gathering spot and is especially loved for its Hungarian stuffed peppers and blue cheese encrusted pork medallions. Over at 23 Hughey Alley, you can enjoy another long-standing Ellicottville eatery.

The Silver Fox has been serving up steaks, prime rib, seafood and an exciting wine selection for dinner for more than 40 years! And Tips Up Café, which has been open for dinner in its 32 Washington St. location for nearly 25 years, is known for its orange whiskey chicken, pesto pizza and Roman shrimp, and now features fresh new daily specials.

And at the other end of Monroe, at the corner of Martha Street, you’ll want to check out the gorgeous expanded digs of the Ellicottville Brewing Company, where you can tour the new, high-tech brewery, enjoy a light lunch or three-course dinner, host a large party and even take home a selection of EBC’s best brews

More interested in a ski-in, ski-out sort of dining experience? Holiday Valley has you covered, of course, with its wide variety of dining and bar options in many of its lodges, as well as John Harvard’s Brew House in the Tamarack Club, which features plenty of hot soups, sandwiches and entrees to warm you up after an exciting day on the slopes. And their kids’ menu can’t be beat!

Across Route 219, and walking distance from the resort, the Ellicottville Depot restaurant stands ready to offer up yummy après-ski pizza, wings, sandwiches and more in a self-described “funky setting with live music.” Please don’t ski/board across Route 219, though!