Life is a Combination of Cupcakes and Pasta!

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On every refrigerator, overshadowed by some silly magnets, photos of our furry friends and occasional family recipes from mom and grandma, lies an old sticky note telling you to “Take That Dream Vacation NOW”.

Mine goes something like this:

1. Go to a locals-only Italian town.

2. Learn how to make pasta from scratch.

3. Drink Red Wine. Lots of it.

So when I heard that The Pasta Peddler was moving to Hertel I took it upon myself to pay the store owners a visit and give them a warm “Hello Hertel” welcome.

And boy, am I glad to have done so!

What started as a hobby almost twenty years ago in Eric’s father-in-law Mike’s basement, has come a long way to become The Pasta Peddler we know today – proclaimed by many as the finest artisan pasta available in Buffalo.

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This is only one of the many feathers in his cap, for his wife offers a delectable selection of cupcakes and other baked goods – Wait For It – at the same store, making the location on Hertel a joint venture between The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets.

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What makes them unique though are their future plans, as the owner very enthusiastically informs me about the possibility of a not-for-profit winter market (thanks to a big and spacious retail space), and a pasta-making class in the near future which hopefully would involve some wine drinking as well!

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He already had me when he used two of my favorite words in a sentence: Wine and Pasta. But throw in some Buffalo knick-knacks scattered around the store, a tiramisu flavored cupcake aptly named “Hertel”, reclaimed wood counters from Buffalo Reuse, a la monferrina pasta machine (its like the Hermes of pasta machines), the fact that he is a fellow NoBo resident and Buffalo Believer, I am more than happy to buy pasta from him for the rest of my life! And I am sure, so are you.

So stop by the store and show them some Buffalove! Do not forget to try the raviolis and the dark chocolate salted-caramel “Blackbird” cupcake, you will thank me later.

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The Pasta Peddler and Blackbird Sweets are celebrating their move to Hertel with a grand-openeing on September 27th, 2014.

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A Taste of Italy with a Touch of Buffalo to Boot

So I really love where I live (but I bet you knew that already).

But for me, it just keeps getting better. On the heels of the announcement from St. Margaret’s about the proposal to convert the former elementary school into high end apartments, I had the opportunity to step inside the corner building across the street to learn of its future as well.

GinosRight now it’s just a clean, empty space, but come October the once home to Gino’s Bakery at Hertel and Saranac will become Salumeria Belsito, an Italian eatery and bar.

I’m sorry, did someone say capicola? On the corner of my street? That’s a match made in Italian meat heaven if I do say so myself.

A gentleman by the name of Michael Petrillo is joining the movement taking place in Buffalo. Enamored by Buffalo’s latest unique restaurant gems such as Mes Que and Butterwoods in the Hotel Lafayette, and driven by a lifelong desire to be a positive part of the Buffalo community, Michael is setting out to provide as-fresh-as-it-gets Italian food in an atmosphere that’s authentic and approachable.

The idea for this salumeria came from a restaurant in Baltimore that Michael visited during his time living there. Similarly, Michael’s restaurant will feature a precision hand-crank slicer, but will also boast an old school deli case, a fine cappuccino maker and very traditional décor (sorry, there won’t be any pictures of Tony Soprano or John Gotti on the walls).

At its base, the menu will offer an impressive selection of Italian charcuterie, fresh bread, cheeses, paninis, Italian wine and Buffalo beer – and it will continually evolve to cater to its patrons. But most importantly, Michael hopes to deliver an experience, not just of eating and drinking, but tasting, learning, talking and enjoying.

He anticipates the restaurant being referred to simply as Belsito, named after the small town of Montemaggiore Belsito in Italy where his paternal grandmother’s family is from. He hopes it will bring some of the same charm as that small town as well. In talking with Michael, I get the sense that he wants nothing more than for the people of Buffalo to enjoy his restaurant, to share great times with each other, and to hopefully tell a few people to stop in as well. With this being at the corner of my street, he’s got one customer already.

Stay tuned, more details and pictures coming soon.