Storm­ing Crab to re­place Joe’s Crab Shack

The Buffalo News - - TASTE - (Send ques­tions to [email protected] buffnews.com)

“I’m go­ing on 80 years old,” said Molisani. “I never thought I could come out of this alive. It’s a dream come true.”

Ca­jun seafood on Maple: Storm­ing Crab, a Ca­jun seafood spe­cial­ist, is re­plac­ing Joe’s Crab Shack in Amherst.

The restau­rant at 4125 Maple Road will be the fifth lo­ca­tion of a restau­rant con­cept started in Clarksville, Tenn. There’s cur­rently one open in Syra­cuse.

Presently, the goal is to open by the end of April, said Jay Weng, a mem­ber of the own­er­ship fam­ily. The fam­ily that started Storm­ing Crab hails from Lake Charles, La., and each site is over­seen by a fam­ily mem­ber, Weng said.

On of­fer are seafood boils – as­sort­ments of crab, shrimp, mus­sels and more – cooked in bags with sea­soned but­ter. Plas­tic gloves and bibs are is­sued to din­ers.

There’s also seafood by the pound op­tions, and fried seafood bas­kets.

The build­ing is un­der­go­ing some $500,000 in ren­o­va­tions and dé­cor in­stal­la­tions be­fore it opens, Weng said.

Storm­ing Crab in­te­ri­ors are fes­tooned with wooden pil­ings and rope, like the restau­rant just hap­pened to sprout at the end of a fish­ing dock. “The con­cept makes you feel like you are in a beach area, like down in Florida,” he said.

The restau­rant will have about 125 seats, and a full bar. It’ll be open seven days a week for lunch and din­ner.

“Just come visit, and you’ll see the dif­fer­ence,” said Weng. “It’s the taste of the south.”

Hot dish: This Fri­day, skip meat in style and treat your­self to a lit­tle old­school Ital­ian in Ni­a­gara Falls.

At For­tuna’s, 827 19th St., shrimp scampi ($23) is one of the ven­er­a­ble restau­rant’s pitch-per­fect sautéed pas­tas, with lay­ers of fla­vor built in the pan.

Fat shrimp are cooked long enough to con­trib­ute fla­vor but not to the point of vul­can­iza­tion. Then there’s a salad worth of green­ery, chopped scal­lions and pars­ley, along with an un­flinch­ing dose of gar­lic.

The acid of white wine and lemon is smoothed out with but­ter, blan­ket­ing the en­tire pro­ceed­ings.

If shrimp isn’t your speed, I’d also sug­gest the ala mari­nara ($18), tomato sauce with an­chovies and tuna over your choice of pasta.

READ­ERS ASK: Can you tell me what’s go­ing on with Lin­guine’s, the Deside­rio restau­rant that was sup­posed to re­open in Bow­mansville?

A: Yes. “Late spring, maybe the end of May, or June,” said chef-owner Vin­cent Deside­rio.

Con­struc­tion on the ex­panded build­ing and park­ing lot at 5354 Ge­ne­see St., Bow­mansville, is nearly fin­ished.

“There’s a lot of peo­ple wait­ing, and they’ve been wait­ing pa­tiently,” he said. Deside­rio and his wife, Linda, built a sub­stan­tial au­di­ence in 20 years of run­ning a restau­rant shoe­horned into a spot next to a cor­ner gas sta­tion.

In De­cem­ber 2017, they closed, and se­cured a spot a few hun­dred yards down the street. This time, it’ll have its own park­ing lot. “There will be a plethora of park­ing, es­pe­cially when you com­pare it to the old lo­ca­tion,” he said.

He just ap­plied for a beer and wine li­cense for Lin­guine’s, which usu­ally takes a cou­ple months to come in, he said. “The kitchen’s built out, but they still have to put the hoods in,” said Deside­rio. “I have the feel­ing that it’ll come in at the same time.”

The menu will start off with “all the stan­dards we had be­fore,” he said.

Plus, he has to train a whole new staff. Hir­ing and train­ing starts in three or four weeks, he said, so if you have restau­rant ex­pe­ri­ence, stop by Lin­guine’s to fill out an ap­pli­ca­tion.

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