Saturday, July 25, 2009



The construction of the United Building 1929 - in the foreground you can see the corner where the Hotel Niagara stands and in the background you can see the Hancock Building.

Photo Courtesy of the Niagara Falls Public Library's Local History Department - submitted by JB

80 years later... June 2009



Consumer Review: LaBruschetta

The restaurant being reviewed LaBruschetta, 9400 Niagara
Falls Blvd, Niagara Falls, NY. They are closed on Mondays and open
from 4PM to closing (usually around 9PM) except Fridays when they are
also open for lunch.

The d├ęcor is Italian and the menu features American and Italian
cuisine. There is a full bar and the service is friendly and
efficient. Lighting is subdued and light opera plays in the background
while you eat. Parking is plentiful and the building is handicapped

Recently I took some out-of-state visitors and some family members to
dinner on a Thursday evening. One of my guests was a former chef at
Buffalo’s exclusive Park Lane Restaurant, now closed. He is a stickler
when it comes to fine dining and I was concerned as to whether he
would enjoy the meal. Since I was footing the bill I thought I might
have an edge up in that regard. Myself and my guests enjoyed a
selection of the dinner menu, with all meals including either the soup
of the day or a crisp dinner salad, and fresh Italian bread and
butter. The salad was delightful with various greens, garbanzo beans
and tasty croutons. I had the (8) cheese ravioli & (2) meatballs
($16.95) in a tasty meat red sauce. One of the diners had a nightly
special of stuffed haddock: a filet stuffed with mushrooms, spinach,
crab meat and sun-dried tomatoes. She proclaimed it delicious! Two of
our tablemates had the eggplant parmesan ($14.95) which featured giant
portions of what was described as the most tender eggplant parm
they’ve ever eaten. One diner was a blooming vegetarian and declined
the meat sauce and it was suggested to try the dish with Alfredo
sauce. She did and said it was scrumptious! One had the stuffed
manicotti special (wonderful!!) and our other guest had the house
specialty, which is mostaccioli with veal parmesan ($16.95) and
couldn’t believe the size of her plate of food. Other than myself,
everyone took home half of their meal to be enjoyed the following day.

Two of my guests were literally world travelers, having just returned
from Australia and New Zealand with an upcoming trip to the Galapagos
Islands next on their itinerary. They proclaimed their meal at
LaBruschetta’s as “the best meal of fine dining they have ever had.”
Believe me, that is saying a lot!. (By the way: the former chef raved
about it as he finished his eggplant parm the next day, too)

The owner, Dante Cipollitti, began as a meat cutter and manager at the
old Great Bear Market. He had previous establishments on Niagara Falls
Blvd in Wheatfield, and at the former Crown & Anchor location at 29th
St & Pine Ave, in the city, both of which were called, Dante’s. He
puts out a terrific product and should anything not be to your liking
he will make things right.

The restaurant offers a large and varied menu of steaks, seafood, and
Italian dishes. Other than nightly specials, two of the seafood dishes
include LaBruschetta’s Fish, which is a 10-12 oz filet lightly
broiled, topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese ($13.95). They
also have on the menu Baked fish Florentine, a 10-12 oz filet with
fried greens and mozzarella ($13.95). On Fridays they offer one of the
best fish fries around featuring a large filet (baked or battered),
your choice of potato (try the parsley potatoes - their specialty and
a break from french fries), cole slaw, bread and butter, and a
wonderful dinner salad ($8.95).

They currently are offering Early Bird Specials from Sunday thru
Thursday, from 4PM-6PM. The portions are a bit smaller than their
usual dinner fare, but they are “normal” portions for the “normal”
eater, and will certainly fill you up. The EB specials all feature
your choice of soup or dinner salad, bread and butter and even a scoop
of ice cream as dessert!

Entrees offered for the early birds are:

Chicken parmesan with ziti ($8.95); Veal parmesan with ziti ($9.95);
Chicken cacciatore with rigatoni ($7.95); Mostaccioli parmesan with
meatballs ($8.95); Spaghetti with meatballs or sausage ($7.95);
Fettuccini Alfredo with spinach $8.95); Open steak with parsley
potatoes ($11.95). No substitutions or coupons or other combinations
with any other specials are allowed with the Early Bird Specials.

On a recent Wednesday evening I tried the Veal Parm Early Bird and
thoroughly enjoyed it. No short cuts here as the only difference from
the regular dinner menu was a smaller plate and portion. However, the
portion was enough to satisfy and certainly worth the $9.95 price.

Although I have never had a bad meal at LaBruschetta, as with any
eating establishment, stuff happens. Should you ever have any issue
with the food or service you should always attempt to alleviate the
problem with your server, and if that doesn’t work, ask for the owner
or manager. A good restaurant will always make things right.

LaBruschetta is the place to take your out-of-town guests, or a place
to enjoy a fine meal at a reasonable price. Check the “specials” chalk
board at the entrance for some real gourmet treats, which change nightly.

For a real bargain, try the Friday fish fry or their Early Bird Specials.

They do accept reservations at 297-6222.

Yegotta DeGasse

(The reviewer, from the Czech Republic, writes under the nom de plume
of Yegotta DeGasse and was a former pantry chef at the Hotel St.
Moritz in Lake Placid, NY; a former line cook for Howard Johnson’s
Restaurant; and has prepared meals for parties from 4 to 400)


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fire at Robert Hall Clothes - 1977

(Click on photo for larger image)

(click on photo for larger image)
Robert Hall Clothes - an anchor store of Haeberle Plaza... January 27, 1977*

*Thank you to Marty Shimmel for his keen eye and keen memory in helping to correct the date of this fire (photo was mistakenly noted as January 22nd, but in fact was the 27th, right before the Blizzard of '77 hit!)