Side Dish: Lafayette Hotel

June 16, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM EDT

By WKBW News

June 16, 2012 Updated Jun 16, 2012 at 3:37 PM EDT

BUFFALO, N.Y. ( Buffalo Spree) The restored Hotel Lafayette is, according to some, ushering in a new Golden Age for downtown Buffalo. It has transformed the feel of the city blocks that surround it, and once you step inside it is impossible not to be swept up in the sense of change and renewal that inhabits every inch of its majestic lobby.

Adding to the building's style and grace is the latest from chef and restaurateur Mike Andrzejewski. Chef Andrzejewski was part of the team that brought Buffalo its first Asian-fusion restaurant, the popular Tsunami. In recent years he has opened the urban and and contemporary downtown eatery Sea Bar, as well as the exciting, tequila-flavored Cantina Loco. This past week he opened the doors of Mike A@Hotel Lafayette, a well-appointed fine dining restaurant located on the first floor of the Hotel Lafayette. Its luxe bar, located across the hall, is open as well, mixing modern cocktails that rival the best in town.

The vision for the restaurant, according to Andrzejewski, is to provide impeccable service and remarkable food that pay homage to the hotel's history. The restaurant's chef, Edward Forster, is a Buffalo native who has returned from cooking in some of the best kitchens in the country. He has been charged with the task of bringing Andrzejweski's re-imagined menu to life. Take for example the thoughtfully interpreted classic, Veal Oscar. In Forster's dish the milk-fed veal is succulent and flavorful, perfectly augmented by dollops of luxuriously thick Béarnaise. The tarragon typically accompanying this sauce is represented in two ways, with fresh leaves carefully placed upon the dish and also with a pliable green wave of tarragon flavor, woven through the plate. The veal demi-glace, asparagus, and crab retain their original form, anchoring the dish. Edgy? A bit. Delicious? Absolutely.

Chefs Mike Andrzejewski and Ed Forster recently took the time to talk to Buffalo Spree magazine's Food Editor Christa Glennie Seychew about the restaurant and its menu. They also prepared the Veal Oscar dish mentioned above. Reservations for the new restaurant are highly recommended. Mike A @Hotel Lafayette

391 Washington St., Buffalo 14203
Hours: Su-Th, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.