Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange

I have this theory I call the “Disney World theory.” That’s when your favorite thing is the last thing you did. When you just get off Space Mountain that’s your favorite ride until you get off of the Rock and the Rollercoaster and that becomes your favorite ride.

When I drove my son from Chicago to D.C. to Boston, his favorite school was the one we just visited (with a few exceptions, but that’s not what this post is about).

Remington Tavern and Seafood Exchange at 184 Sweeney St., North Tonawanda, is my new favorite seafood spot. So much so I have been there three times in the past month.

It has a very cool vibe and the tables in front by the canal are fun, too. The building is a late 1800s power house on the Erie Canal built by International Railway. The restoration really began in 2007, and it is the current site of this fine restaurant, and a few other businesses.

The bar is located in the middle of the seating area, so you are never very far from friends and diners. They have a seasonal bar menu (don’t you justlove that?) and I started my evening last week with a “Cucumber Cooler.” It was Hendricks gin, fresh lime juice, fresh cucumber and grapefruit bitters all in a highball glass. I liked it both because it had fresh lime and because it was not too sweet.

Our bartender also gave us a primer on the fresh oyster selection. That day they had several from Prince Edward Island and other northern climates. On our tasting plate were oysters called “Rocky Shore,” “Malpeque,” “Beach Blonds” and “Wallace Bay.” The “Beach Blonds” were the mildest of the bunch. Some were a little briny and others were sweet. They were all better with the two sauces. I loved the cocktail sauce with shaved horseradish on top. It was not as hot as I would have expected.

We ordered an appetizer from the specials menu. The stuffed spicy banana peppers were filled with ricotta cheese, extra virgin olive oil and fresh garlic. The filling was smooth and creamy with just the right amount of seeds remaining for the kick. If we have a criticism, it would be the plate and presentation. The plate was too small, because the peppers slid around, which made them difficult to cut. Maybe that lettuce garnish has a purpose, after all? Also, a piece or two of bread would have been helpful, too, as a way to cut the heat for those who do not prefer it. Overall, though, they were delicious.

I asked about the white wine selection and Melanie suggested a glass of Chateau Fantin Bordeaux Blanc from Bordeaux, France. She had me at France since I will be testing French wine in the French countryside next week. It was a smooth wine and a good value at $25 a bottle. I had never tried a white Bordeaux before and was happy for the experience.

We each tried a different entree. The sirloin steak sandwich ($16) with portobello, grilled onion and mozzarella was, as one companion said, cooked to perfection. The grilled chicken breast sandwich ($11) was served the same as the steak sandwich. She loved the caramelized onions and the fresh roll. They were both served with french fries, which had the right amount of crisp.

The grilled barbecue St. Louis ribs ($16 half/$28 full) were spicy and the sauce was generous. The fries were served with a vinegar aioli, which was one of my favorite bites of the evening. I love french fries with vinegar and this was a cool take on that.

20130629-084218.jpgI had one of the dinner specials: seared diver scallops served with a sun-dried tomato cous cous and arugula salad. The scallops were seared with some spice. They were perfectly cooked. My other favorite bite of the evening was the cous cous salad. It was room temperature, which was surprising. What a great idea on a sunny summer day!

When our server offered dessert, I forced my friends to go to the dark side with me. I think they are glad they did. We had an almond lace cookie cup ($8) with whipped cream and fresh berries and a hot fudge brownie sundae ($8) with peppermint stick ice cream. I burned my mouth on the brownie, but was able to sooth it with the creamy ice cream. The lace cookie cup had a lovely brown sugar flavor and the caramel sauce was a nice balance with the fresh fruit (blueberry, mango and strawberry).

If you go, know they do not accept reservations, so you should be ready to enjoy hanging at the bar. The vibe is very cool and I look forward to my next visit.

Have a yummy day!


#LewistonBest A Little Review of Best Of The Road


20120629-063717.jpgJuly 2, 2012: This just in: Hey Jude…great recap.  Folks can visit after this epic trip is over for more coverage.  Until then, don’t miss our updates on Cheers, Mike

Did last week happen? Did The Road Bros Mike Shubic and Brian Cox actually come into Lewiston NY and eat and play their way around town?

Lee Simonson (the volunteer organizer of the volunteers-not an oxymoron, if you think about it), Tim Henderson (the guide for the CBS camera crew, contracted by the Travel Channel) and I met with Brian and Mike Wednesday for lunch to discuss the schedule for the rally and the following day. As the Road Bros official guide I fine tuned the schedule (14 hours in five minute increments-the accountant in me) and did my best to get the Bros to as many places as possible given the time constraint.

Rally food at the Silo:http: // Haystack: seasoned rib eye steak with melted mozzarella and toasted hash browns on a hoagie roll with mayo; Haystack Sundae:
Thursday June 21, 2012 20120629-075751.jpgOrange Cat: Iced coffee with toasted marshmallow, caramel and chocolate Milano syrups; chocolate peanut butter brewed coffee

20120629-070338.jpgTommy George’s Villa Coffee Shop: mixed eggs, pancakes (with a smile), corned beef hash, Italian toast

20120629-070531.jpgMangia Cafe: Tomato tart with caramelized onions, with a garden salad and homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Salmon croquettes with freshly made tomato cucumber salsa with organic spinach, with olive oil/lemon dill dressing
Chicken Waldorf sandwich on multigrain bread with fresh fruit
Roasted red pepper quiche with fresh fruit salad


20120629-070931.jpgVillage Bake Shoppe: “Mile High” apple pie topped with caramel and walnuts, Hello Tracy cookie bar which is similar to a hello dolly but with a chocolate cookie crust, coconut and chocolate chips.


The First Timer: 1/3 rack ribs, 1/4 smoked chicken, pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey, and house rubbed chicken wings.
They had a flight sampler of 5 of our drafts.

Pyramid haywire hefeweisen
Flying bison 716 kolsch
Brickyard strawberry blonde
Leinenkugel summer shandy
Flying bison aviator red

20120629-071424.jpgApple Granny: crab and cheddar haddock, chicken wings, beef on weck and awesome blossom

20120629-071502.jpgThe “view” of Lewiston from the lawn of the Niagara Falls Country Club

20120629-071648.jpgHibbard’s: BBQ beef with coleslaw on a Kaiser roll, chocolate custard, black raspberry custard

20120629-071834.jpgMacri’s Italian Grille: Veal parm, gnocchi, mascarpone asparagus ravioli /oil garlic roasted pepper pine nuts and rolled lasagna filled with egg meatball mozzarella

20120629-071937.jpgAt Grandpaws Pet Emporium…even the pets eat well in Lewiston!

20120629-072058.jpgThe Lewiston Choraleers entertained and brought a tear of pride to this foodie’s eye…

20120629-072255.jpgDiCamillo Bakery: Peanut sticks, Romano pizza

20120629-072358.jpgD’Avolio: Mike sampled Milanese Gremolata Olive Oil mixed with Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar. Brian sampled Garlic Olive Oil mixed with Fig Dark Balsamic Vinegar. Brian also sampled Manzanillo (from Spain) Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
They both sampled the air popped popcorn drizzled with our White Truffle Oil and White Truffle Sea Salt.

They both went away with 2 party favors: Manzanillo EVOO & 18-Year Balsamic Vinegar

Manzanillo- Robust Intensity! A huge, green olive center coupled with strawberry characteristics balance the perfect amount of bitterness & the delayed, desirable pungent finish in this Intense Manzanillo!

Milanese Gremolata- Gremolata is a traditional Italian herb condiment consisting of fresh lemon zest, minced garlic, Italian flat leaf parsley and a hint of mint. The herbs and citrus zest are typically crushed together in a mortar to release their pungent essential oils.

Garlic Olive Oil- Actually gives off the flavor of slow roasted Garlic. Since garlic and olive oil are almost always used together in Mediterranean cooking, you can use this in just about anything. This is great to mix in with pasta or mashed potatoes, to drizzle of steaks before grilling or to just dip with bread.

20120629-072534.jpgHops N Vines: Mojito with freshly muddled mint


Casa Antica:
Veal chop Florentine: cut veal chop stuffed with perschutto asiago cheese and spinach. Topped in a balsamic reduction sauce with sautéed Portabella mushrooms and onions. Served over roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables.

Chilean sea bass:Served in a lemon caper white wine sauce. Over home made spinach fettuccine and fresh spinach.

Rissotto asparaci e capesante:Pan seared scallops served over a creamy risotto with sautéed asparagus and onions.

Banana peppers:Stuffed with Genova salami and pecorino cheese topped with our famous three cheese cream sauce.

Arancina:Our award winning rice balls are stuffed with aborio rice ground beef mozzarella cheese and snow peas. Two rice balls per order one in our house red sauce and the other in our Gorgonzola cream sauce.

Involtini di melenzane: Breaded eggplant rollatini stuffed with ricotta baked and topped with melted mozzarella and marinara sauce.

Upon ordering you will receive our complementary dips and breads: Our olive paste, eggplant caponatina, and spicy vegetable dip. These spreads are accompanied with our home made Italian bread baked fresh daily, homemade pizza bread and our garlic knots.

20120629-073026.jpgCarmelo’s: Dined with Rich Tilyou from T-Meadow Farm ( and Jonathan Oakes ( from Leonard Oakes Winery; and volunteers Leandra Collesano, Lisa Ohanessian, Zach Collister and Jude Russo Caserta (

TEAM ROAD BROS: Butcher’s Supper
Road Bros Cocktail: Steam Punk hard cider/Hudson Valley Baby Bourbon
Starters: Butcher’s Plate: assortment of T-Meadow cured meats; Farm Stand Salad: Peggy’s Herbs/David’s Asparagus/Coulter’s Strawberries
Main Course: T-Meadow farm Suckling Pig: Carolina BBQ sauce
Sides: Cayuga Pure Organics: Faro Risotto; Hurtgam Farm Braised Chard; Roasted Root Vegetables in port jus

20120629-073139.jpgWater Street Landing: Banana Cream Puff Pastry: Puff pastry dough, French vanilla ice cream, hand whipped cream, sliced bananas, baked meringue


Celebrating 2011 — a yummy year


The Foodie:

It has not even been a year since we started sharing a few minutes together every Thursday but we have done a lot of things this year.

As I wrote this compilation of the year I realized if I actually included all of the food I cooked, recipes I created, restaurants I have tried and wines I have tasted, I could write a column every day.

What fun this is!

This year:

We found inspiration from:

Emilia Romagna region in Italy
My mother
Pressure cooking

Things we celebrated:

Sabre’s Hockey Playoffs
Kentucky Derby
Grand Opening of Melloni’s
Lewiston Tour of Kitchens
Niagara Wine Trail Food and Wine Festival
Being family
Lewiston Art Festival
Peach Festival
New Year

Drink recipes we shared:

Mint Juleps

Food recipes we shared:

Rubbed Bourbon Ribs
Sweet Corn Ice Cream
Chicken & Tomatoes
Grilled Steak
Grilled peach pound cake
Tomato Puree
Tomato Sauce
Vegetable beef soup
Christmas Cookies
Turkey stuffing
Turkey sandwiches

Food we grew:

Garlic chives

Food we ate:

Parmigiano Reggiano
Prosciutto di Parma
Yancey’s XXX Sharp White Cheddar Cheese
Yancey’s Double Cream Cheddar Cheese
Steamed Clams
Artichoke French
Black Raspberry Frozen Custard
Rigatoni and meat sauce
Eggplant Rollatini
Rice Balls
Creamy Potato Bacon Soup
Chicken Fingers
Corned Beef Hash and Poached Eggs
Specialty Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Osso Bucco
Bone Marrow Salad
Soft boiled egg on wild mushrooms, arugula and creamy polenta

Drinks we tried:

Marjim Manor:
Jewel in the Crown
Appley Ever After
True Blue
Cat’s Meow
Black Willow Winery
Bare Cat Blush
Odin’s Nectar
Cabernet Franc
Trilogy Red and Trilogy White
Chateau Niagara
Cayuga White
A La Mode
Water Street Landing
Sea Breeze
Massaya Classic Red
Predator 2010 Old Vine Zinfande
Rock and Vine Cabernet Saugignon
Les Cigales de Montirius Cote Du Rhone
Orange Cat

Food and Wine People We Chat With:

Anne Macri, Gary Macri
Annie (Brennan’s)
Lewiston Tour of Kitchens
Carmelo Raimondi (Carmelo’s)
Kevin Robertson (Wine on Third)
Richard Schwertfager (DiCamillo Bakery)
Christian Willmott (The Nines Catering Company)
Aimee Loughtan (The Village Bake Shoppe)
Chris Connelly (Kinetic Kitchens)
Dan Gagliardo
Diane and Lou Melloni
Karen Fellow & Kim Lee
Kurt Minervino and Chris Salada
Margo Sue Bittner, Cindy Chanberlain, Jim and Kathy Baker
Michael Broderick and Robin Faulring
My mother and mother-in-law
My son
Tom Tower
Vinny Bevilaqua, Mike Ciulkowski

Places We Visited Below the Falls:

Casey’s Malt Shoppe
Lewiston Art Festival
Macri’s Italian Grille
My backyard
Orange Cat
Water Street Landing
Black Willow Winery
Chateau Niagara

Places We Visited Beyond the Falls

Eataly, (New York, NY)
Pizzeria Molto (Fairfield, CT)
Gina Tina Ristorante Italiano (Bronx. NY)
Bambino (Buffalo, NY)

Thank you for joining me on my food and wine travels. I look forward to 2012 and invite you to send me suggestions of places to eat, food to try or wines to drink.

We had a yummy year … cheers. See you next year!