Thursday, December 1, 2011 0

The Left Bank, Buffalo - A must-stop when nearby.

By kat in ,

Back in the beginning of August, I went on a mini road trip to Buffalo.

Midway through shopping, we stopped by McD's for some of these goodies. All this for $4. Yes you read that right, FOUR DOLLARS. OK with tax, it's still less than $5. Even though I've watched that Jamie Oliver video on how chicken McNuggets are made, I can't resist them. I blame my childhood. NOM NOM NOM NOMMM.

Then we had to exit the highway to get to our destination...

... and arrived at a quiet neighbourhood, just a few minutes drive from the border.

Except this restaurant is everything but quiet.

Ivan had made reservations for the two of us a week in advance, knowing how busy this place can get. And even with a reservation on a Wednesday night at 8:30 PM, we STILL had to wait half an hour before we were seated. I was quite impressed!

The Left Bank is separated into a dining area and a bar. The lights are very dim, creating a romantic and cozy ambiance. The candle at our table barely provided enough light for me to take the following pictures >_>. Laughter surrounded us as groups of couples, family and friends exchanged conversations while enjoying their meals. It made me feel happy and warm to be here.

Cute decor!

What really got me to come to Buffalo was in fact this restaurant. I have heard Ivan raved about it so many times, I just couldn't pass up this opportunity to try it.

Unfortunately, Wednesday night is Asian night at The Left Bank, which meant no daily ravioli (which Ivan loves). Having to drive all the way across the border to eat here, we didn't feel like having anything "Asian" so we decided to order a few appetizers and a pasta to share.

Warm bread served with olive oil with roasted tomatoes to dip.

Besides swearing by their daily ravioli (which is one GIANT ravioli stuffed with something different everyday), Ivan also loves their daily brushetta ($9), whose toppings also change depending on the day of the week. That day, it was miso chicken I believe.

It looks like a pizza but never mind that, it was delicious. A good portion of melted cheese, sliced tomatoes and miso chicken on every slice of crispy bread. What I hate about the usual brushettas is soft, mushy bread. No one likes soft mushy bread! Except in bread pudding I guess. However, I can say that I would order this again next time I come.

This is fried oysters with tomato-corn and jalapeno salsa and creole remoulade ($9). This meal had me stepping out of my usual boundaries because I am not a big fan of oysters. They usually have this organ taste of which I'm not fond. But these ones here surprisingly didn't have any organ taste! On top of that, the oysters were juicy. I think I've had too many oysters at Asian restaurants where the texture is meaty and sometimes overcooked. Never had I ate oysters this juicy.

What I also liked about this dish was that these one-bite wonders are covered with a great crunchy batter. The creole remoulade had a spicy kick to it, making sure that you won't be able to stop at just one bite.

Confession: I don't like artichokes. They just taste... weird. So when Ivan ordered this portobello mushroom with artichoke stuffing and port wine green peppercorn sauce ($8), I was completely like "Really?".

But it wasn't so bad after all. The portobello mushroom was soft and meaty like usual while that weird artichoke taste was nowhere to be found. However, the port wine sauce was a bit too tangy for my personal taste; it left a lingering after taste on my tongue which I didn't enjoy. Ivan liked it though so depends on your preference!

Carrot pappardella tossed with lobster, shrimp and calamari served in a shellfish brandy cream, with julienne vegetables, arugula and tarragon ($22).

This smelled wonderful. Truth be told, I never had a truly awesome pasta that I would crave days after before but this would probably be the closest thing to that in my experience. I had initially thought there would be small bits of lobster and shellfish in the pasta as most restaurants do when they say "seafood pasta", but there was an impressive amount of seafood in every bite. The seafood cream sauce brought out the flavours of the shellfish and deliciously coated every strand of pappardelle. We couldn't finish this dish so when I microwaved it the next day, gosh I didn't think it could be even more enjoyable. I think I even licked the plate clean.

Service was friendly overall but they somehow messed up our bill, adding a fondue to it though we never ordered one. But we didn't notice it till we got home and I was looking through my pictures T_____T... Oh well.

I can't wait to go back to this place to try their other foods, both dinner and brunch!! Remember to make reservations well ahead of time before you go! :)

The Left Bank
511 Rhode Island Street
Buffalo, NY 14213
(716) 882-3509

Monday to Thursday: 5 PM - 11 PM
Friday to Saturday: 5 PM - 12 AM
Sunday: 11AM - 2:30 PM, 4 PM - 10 PM

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Left Bank on Urbanspoon

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