Bambino & Organic 3 Cafe: An Overview

Over the last week, I’ve tried out a couple new restaurants in Buffalo: Bambino Bar & Kitchen and Organic 3 Cafe. Both left such positive impressions that I plan on revisiting each before I leave for school. In the meantime though, I want to spread the word about them! Also, due to lack of planning and my own forgetfulness, I only had my iPhone on hand when I was at Bambino and O3. So, the photos (especially in the dimly-lit Bambino) aren’t spectacular but I think they give off a good enough idea.

Having read about Bambino Bar & Kitchen on Buffalo Rising, Buffalo Eats, and Natalie Eats Buffalo, and their overall positive experiences with the restaurant, I knew that I wanted to try BB&K. So, a few nights ago, my friends Dana, Sean, and I headed there at around 7 PM. Upon walking in, we were immediately impressed: the atmosphere was dark and rich-looking without being gloomy – definitely upscale (I wouldn’t have felt comfortable being there in anything less than a tucked in button-down.), and the service was extremely pleasant. We had made reservations; without them, we would’ve had to wait for a table – for a weeknight, it was packed.

We were seated upstairs in the loft, adjacent to some seemingly superfluous TVs. I can understand why there were two at bar-level, but the three at loft-level (the outer two showing ESPN with one TV in black and white for some reason) seemed unnecessary and chintzy. Another note on the atmosphere: the loft became very hot and humid as our meal progressed; even with the patio door open, there seemed to be little ventilation. Also, while our waitress was nothing but accommodating, the restaurant seemed to be understaffed: we waited too long for our orders to be taken, and, later, for the bill to come to the table.

Simply put, the food was outstanding. Our meal was started off with a freshly baked loaf of white bread and a fruity olive oil. It was nothing spectacular, but benefitted greatly from being steaming hot out of the oven. Sean and I ordered the Margarita Pizza ($12) and were presented with something close-to-authentic and exceedingly delicious. The thin crust was topped with chopped San Marzano tomatoes, house-made mozzarella, and three pieces of basil. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in Buffalo, if not the best; in my opinion, it was on at-least equal terms with similar pizzas from Trattoria Aroma and Romeo & Juliet’s. The mozzarella in particular was flavorful and succulent. Meanwhile, Dana ordered the risotto special of the night ($17); it came with asiago, the same mozzarella, peas, and BB&K’s “Sunday Sauce” (essentially a tomato & meat sauce with a emphasis on the pork, which was visible and tender). The risotto was excellent as well: cooked to the proper doneness, not gooey and clumpy, and each of the intended flavors shone through.

Overall, we left extremely satisfied with our meal. The atmosphere, food, and service was at the very least good and often great. With the waitstaff bumped up a bit, nearly all of the night’s caveats would have been fixed. And, although it’s hard to complain about hot weather in Buffalo, we did end up forgoing desert in the humid loft of Bambino and instead headed over to Dolci on Elmwood to enjoy some gelato outside.

Later on in the week, my friend Avery and I decided to have lunch at the newly-opened Organic 3 Cafe on Elmwood. After an hour-or-so of shopping, we were looking for a place to have a nice lunch in an air-conditioned building; O3 fit the bill. O3’s interior is as modern as the exterior, due to the cool, muted colors and dark woods. Unlike other cafés in the Elmwood Village, we had a more formal sit-down lunch with a waiter at O3 – an unexpected but very welcome surprise.

After being served ice water from a pitcher with lemon slices, we ordered the Organic Turkey & Avocado Sandwich ($9) and the Roasted Turkey & Tomato Panini ($9.5). Both choices came with a side salad of organic greens, garbanzo beans, and sliced carrots with a nice olive-oil dressing – a nice touch, but not as inventive as the side salads we’ve had at Merge. The sandwiches themselves were fresh, healthy, and delicious.

Avery’s panini was served on house-made focaccia and topped with turkey, tomato, and a basil & red-pepper aioli – all organic, of course. It was a perfectly grilled panini, benefitting most from the absolute freshness of the ingredients. In a different variation on a turkey sandwich, mine was served on thinly sliced whole wheat bread, and topped with the same thickly-sliced roasted turkey, avocado, red onion, greens, tomato, and the same basil & red-pepper aioli. I’d definitely order it again.

So, in the matter of a week, I “discovered” two great restaurants / cafés that I’ll be absolutely sure to visit again; you should too!

Organic 3 Cafe on Urbanspoon

Bambino Bar and Kitchen on Urbanspoon


2 Responses to “Bambino & Organic 3 Cafe: An Overview”

  1. 1 natalie kreher July 25, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I love them both! Great additions to Buffalo 🙂 Nicely written reviews!

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