by Steve Ambrose
Tucked away in a neighborhood not usually known for its culinary prowess (outside of Ilio DiPaolo’s, that is) is one of Western New York’s best restaurants. The Black Iron Bystro is a gem tucked away in Blasdell, NY. From the moment you lay eyes on the painted exterior and walk through the lit up entry, you feel like you belong in New York City.
If you have ever been to Brooklyn you will know exactly what I mean in comparing the ambience and vibe you get immediately. The terms “hipster” and “foodie” are thrown around almost as insults these days, but when I had my first Black Iron experience, I embraced both ever so tightly.
When you sit at the recently expanded and renovated bar and watch the bartenders craft cocktails, it is mesmerizing. I hate to even call these guys bartenders because of the detail and performance in which they create a drink.
I hate to call Owner Bryan Mecozzi and Chef Steve MacLean chefs in the same regard. The way that they operate in the kitchen and carefully mix flavors and ingredients to create culinary masterpieces is a way in which a musician plays a solo. They carefully, yet creatively select ingredients on the same flavor scale to both surprise and please your palate in a way not often experienced.
The truth is, the people at Black Iron Bystro are rock stars in a band. They play such a unique, creative, fun, delicious, engrossing, enjoyable, and pleasing sound with their food, drinks, and service!
Let me walk you through our menu, which is by far one of the best that we have had to date at any event!
The fifty lucky Buffalo Dinner Club members got to choose one appetizer, one entrée, and one dessert, with one complimentary drink as a bonus!
The starters could have been meals themselves with the amount of flavor and beauty each dish offered members. I chose the jerk shrimp nachos and I cannot begin to describe the feeling I got when I was eating them. Blue corn tortillas served with smoky shrimp and a black bean con queso was literally orgasmic.
The people around me eating these nachos were heard muttering “oooo”, “oh my god”, “seriously?!” and I don’t blame them. I wanted this to be a never-ending bowl where nachos would just replenish!
The other starter options were Garlicky Escargot – escargot with parmesan cream, garlic confit, and English peas or the Mushroom Tartine – sautéed mushrooms on olive toast with herbed ricotta! No matter what people got, I did not see any empty starter plates.
Black Iron Bystro and Chefs Bryan and Steve outdid themselves when it came to creating a perfect main entrée menu for the BDC!
Our Members got to choose from the following entrée options:
- Pork & Udon Noodle – Gingered Mushroom Broth/Sprouts/Egg
- Game Hen – Squash Puree/Greens/Roasted Fingerlings
- Sous Vide Steak – 8 oz. Ranch Filet/Cranberry-Bourbon Compote/Smoked Carrots/Garlic Whipped Potato
- Scallops – Bacon & Orange Marmalade/Black Sticky Rice
I was lucky enough to get to try each dish and maybe it was the many delicious Lockhouse Distillery cocktails or just the sheer flavor of each plate, but I can honestly say that every single entrée was made to perfection.
The meats were cooked to a T, scallops were so tender, and noodles were so slurp-able that if you have not yet had dinner at Black Iron, you really need to do your taste buds a favor and get there immediately. If someone had to recommend which entrée to choose, I would not be able to fairly decide which of the four was better, they were that good!
I am not much of a sweets person, but how could I not partake when the dessert options sounded so tasty? We got to choose from:
- Lemon Bars with Blueberry Whipped Cream and Shaved Chocolate
- Madeira Flip with Spiced Bitters, Banana Stout Syrup, Whole Egg and Fresh Nutmeg
Our sweet tooths were more than happy with us after dessert (which most of the people were even too stuffed to eat)!! There literally could not have been a more perfect ending to an already indescribably delicious meal.
The food was not the only star at our event on Wednesday December 13th! The Buffalo Dinner Club is extremely excited and happy to be working with our good friends, the uber-talented folks of Lockhouse Distillery. They joined us for our event and brought in their full line-up of locally crafted spirits!
Our members got a first hand education from Lockhouse’s very own Casey Yates and they got to sample every single spirit! We love having them and will continue to work together at future events so our members can not only eat local, but drink local, too! Thank you Lockhouse and Casey for the wonderful evening and your huge contribution to making it so successful and enjoyable to our guests!
I am so glad I discovered Black Iron Bystro last year because I, like most, would have never come across it in my daily travels. It is way too cliché to call it a hidden gem because it seems to thrive off of the mystery, but it is such a beautiful mystery that you need to try it for yourself. Bryan Mecozzi and his staff are absolute rock stars when it comes to the hospitality industry and I am lucky to be able to call them friends!
Black Iron Bystro is located at 3648 South Park Ave, Blasdell NY. It is available to book private parties of 20-50 people on Sundays and Mondays. You can also book private lunch parties as well! Call Bryan Mecozzi at (716) 240-9830 and tell him you heard about him through the Buffalo Dinner Club!