Downtown Buffalo on Franklin St., in a building that was once a restaurant called “Duo”, is now the home of a new and exciting place to eat: “Bambino Bar and Kitchen”. This 4500 sq foot building is impressive and at the very top is a wonderful rooftop bar that can make waiting for a table an easy experience for anyone, especially if if the weather is nice. We were given an hour wait at around 7:00pm Saturday night so we had a cocktail on the roof and really enjoyed ourselves. Having just recently opened, there were things about the restaurant that I would normally criticize heavily, but this time I will be forgiving. Although there were many negatives about this place that would normally prevent me from going back, the positives at this place were very strong, particularly the food. The limited selection for drinks on the roof was a negative for me. If you wanted a standard club drink or bad beer you were all set up there, but anything else and you were out of luck. I played it safe and had a Gin and Tonic and Nicole tried to order a Tom Collins (old school) which they failed at due to lack of ingredients. The bartender made a variation of one that was pretty bad. We ended up getting approached by the hostess telling us our table was ready. The hour wait had turned into about 25 minutes which was O.K. by me. Our friends had arrived and we all sat at our table.
It was time to order a real drink and I started off with a Southern Tier IPA and Nicole had ordered a beer that was made with artichoke liqueur which was strange. She loved it as it resembled more of a Belgian style beer in taste and sweetness. The drink selection on the menu consisted of local and regional beers along with really authentic Italian cocktails. The food menu was very diverse and they had some really different choices. From bone marrow appetizers to wood-fired pizzas and other entrees, there was plenty to choose from. With pizza being my specialty, I’m always first to try a restaurant’s pizza. I ordered the Prosciutto pizza and Nicole had ordered the Potato Pizza. We started off with a Caprese salad that was out of this world. Whats so great about a Caprese salad? It’s just mozzarella cheese and tomato right? Bambino Bar and Kitchen makes all of their mozzarella cheese, homemade, in the restaurant. It was amazing. I had low expectations for the pizza mainly because I’m so picky. I expect a lot from a pizza, in fact, I’m a pizza snob. I actually feel that its arrogant to put a pizza on a menu that is sub par. Its embarrassing to me. Wood-fired pizzas are the latest craze. Everyone is doing them and most places I have been do them terribly. Not Bambino. Both of our pizzas were made with incredibly fresh ingredients and bursting with flavor. They were absolutely delicious.
The only major problem with the place was the service. Again, this is a new place. Our server seemed to be the most experienced and we often saw her directing a very young staff which often took her attention away from her own tables, one of them being ours. By the time we sat and finished eating, we had been sitting there for over 3.5 hours. This wasn’t because we were getting multiple drinks and really soaking it all in, in fact, we passed on ordering desert because we didn’t want to end up waiting another hour. The service was excruciatingly slow and everything took forever but because the place just opened, there will be kinks, but the food is outstanding and I highly recommend coming here if you are ever in Buffalo, NY.
Buffalo, NY 14202