I haven’t been posting a lot of restaurant reviews lately. The truth is, I haven’t been eating out all that much. The start of school, and a new weekly routine filled with new responsibilities, has cut back my focus on eating out, and shifted it to eating around the dinner table with my family.
That will all change in a couple weeks when Local Restaurant Week is upon us once again! I was invited to attend the Kick Off Celebration last evening for Restaurant Week (check back next Monday for my “Countdown To Restaurant Week” post) and it had me thinking about the last time I ate somewhere “new to me”. It was over the summer at Mulberry Italian Ristorante in Lackawanna. I can’t believe I didn’t sit down to write about my experience sooner!
The website for Mulberry touts the restaurant as, “offering the most authentic Italian cuisine this side of the Big Apple”. I’d say so. If there was one Italian place in Western New York you should check out, it’s Mulberry.
My boyfriend and I started our meal with the famous Mulberry meatball ($4.79 + $1.59 sliced alla parmigiana). You may be thinking, $4.79 for a meatball, but this isn’t just any meatball. It’s the biggest meatball you have ever had, and it’s absolutely delicious. Red sauce is something that will make or break an Italian meal for me, and the sauce at Mulberry is full of flavor & and was the right amount of sweet.
As our entrees, I chose the Chicken Parmigiana, and my boyfriend had the lasagna (which we were told ahead of time to order by friends, but actually it wasn’t on the menu). The meals came with a salad and bread and were very reasonably priced around $17.00.
As we saw other tables getting their food, we knew we were in for quite a meal. The portion sizes were incredible. My chicken parmigiana (see below) was a very large piece of chicken with a generous side of pasta. Pasta, for me, has a very small window of preparation where it is perfect. Not too al dente, and not mushy. They nailed the pasta, and it truly felt like a home cooked meal. I made it through about half of the piece of chicken before I couldn’t take another bite.
The lasagna, though, was the big winner of the night. The plate weighed a few pounds, and the piece was packed with meat, sausage, cheese and loaded with sauce. My boyfriend, who doesn’t shy away from finishing his plate of food, couldn’t even get through half of it, and our waitress wrapped up all the leftovers. She even offered to add additional sauce to our boxes for reheating, and I really appreciated this. So many times, I wished there was extra sauce when I warmed up leftovers. Another, great touch to our meal!
While we were stuffed, we opted to share a cannoli for dessert. My boyfriend makes pretty great cannoli’s, so I’m a pretty tough critic of them, but this one lived up to what I am used to. The filling was extremely tasty and tasted very fresh. The only thing missing were some mini chocolate chips.
The restaurant itself is smack dab in the middle of a residential area, with houses very close on both sides. They have a small parking lot, with additional on street parking. The walls are filled with photos of “celebrities” who have eaten there, (sports athletes to television personalities and politicians). There is an area for seating when you walk in, as well as the bar, and additional seating in separate areas. The decor is a little outdated, but it has the Italian feel to it. We were seated right near the front window, and really enjoyed our space. The entire staff was extremely friendly, and made you feel like you were a part of the family.
Buffalo has its share of Italian restaurants. For some reason, not enough people are talking about Mulberry. It’s THE place for Italian in Western New York, and worth the drive from the northtowns to check it out.
They are open Monday – Saturdays from 11:30am – 9:30pm. On Sundays they open from 3:00pm – 8:00pm. You can make a reservation by calling 716-822-4292, but walk ins are also welcome! Come from an Italian family? Think they make it the best? Odds are Mulberry will be among the closest you find to your family’s home cooking! Make a reservation, today!