The Archer Grilled Meats & Aquatics

For the last year, The Archer Grilled Meats and Aquatics has been bringing a diverse menu to downtown Buffalo, offering casual fine dining and a wide array of wild game. Owned and operated by Chef Joshua Archer and his wife, Gladys, the Archer brings Buffalo diners updated pub fare while also offering game such as elk, antelope and wild boar. On a recent evening, Gladys and Josh invited some of the staff from What’s Going On In Buffalo? for a wonderful meal.

signThe Archer, located at 268 Main Street in Buffalo, is situated in a spot that has housed a few restaurants over the years. Taking advantage of a space with a large bar and dining room, it serves lunch and dinner and also can host private parties and banquets upstairs.

On arrival, we were seated in the upstairs banquet room and we began to take a look at the menu. The menu starts with a selection of Pub Fare ($8-$12). It includes familiar items like wings ($6/half dozen & $12/dozen) and chicken fingers ($7), as well as some less seen fare such as Naan pizza ($8) and Welsh Rarebit ($9). Next up is a selection of four appetizers ($7-$9) and Light Evening Fare ($9-$18) that includes an array of burgers and salads. The entrees on the menu are divided into four categories – Aquatics ($24-$34), Pasta ($15-$16), Grilled Steaks ($22-$38) and Wild Game ($26-$100).

The Archers brought us a wide variety of their dishes, showing off a nice cross section of the menu. We enjoyed Black & Bleu Clams Casino ($9), Saratoga Chips ($3) and a special of the evening – Frog’s Legs ($10) – as our appetizers. For our entree, we enjoyed the Wild Game Mixed Grill for Two ($100) which was doubled to feed the four of us.

While we were awaiting our appetizers, this homemade sunflower bread arrived:

Bread

The bread was freshly prepared with a nicely crisp exterior and a soft, chewy interior. We were off to a good start.

Not long after we started in on the bread, our appetizers began to arrive. First up were the clams:

Clams

The clams are cheesy take on classic Clams Casino. The clams were dusted with Cajun spice and were topped bleu cheese. I was surprised how well the cheese went with the clams. The clams were cooked properly and their flavor was enhanced, not masked, by the savory cheese

These were the Saratoga Chips:

Chips

The potato chips is claimed to have been invented in Saratoga Springs, New York in the 1850s. Today, Saratoga Chips are seen in restaurants in upstate New York and are typically a housemade chip that is often served warm. These chips were cut to a nice thickness to allow for a crispy, yet chewy chip. They were dusted in a housemade blend of ranch-style spices. They were delicious and we couldn’t stop eating them.

Next were the Frog’s Legs:

Frogs Legs

The frog’s legs were panko crusted and deep fried. They were served with a Sriracha sour cream. They had a nice crispy exterior and were tender on the inside. The spicy sour cream offered some nice heat that paired well with the mild meat and crunchy breadcrumbs.

After our appetizer plates were cleared, we were all served a salad of mixed greens with our choice of dressing:

Salad

The greens were fresh and went very well with the dressing that each of us ultimately selected – housemade poppy seed. The dressing was redolent with poppy seeds and was both sweet and savory. Unlike many examples where the dressing is a thick mess, the consistency of this dressing was perfect to top the salad.

After our salad plates were cleared, it wasn’t long before the big platter arrived:

Mixed Grill

Clockwise from the top right, our Wild Game Mixed Grill platter featured North American Elk, Nilgai Antelope, Venison sausage and Wild Boar Tenderloin. The platter also had asparagus and broccoli, along with mashed potatoes, wild rice and red cabbage. The elk was seared very well and had a delicious spice crust that made the incredibly lean meat quite flavorful. The meat was rich with only a mild gamy flavor. It was served with a slightly sweet and rich Bourbon au poivre sauce. It was another touch that elevated the flavor of the elk and made it my favorite protein of the night.

Like the elk, the antelope was seared well and cooked to a nice medium rare. Its exterior wasn’t spiced as aggressively as the elk and had a slightly more gamy flavor. The antelope was served with an earthy mushroom sauce that provided a nice depth of flavor.

The venison sausage was made with both ground venison and pork. It featured ingredients typically seen in Italian sausage like fennel seed, garlic and red pepper flakes. The sausage was very flavorful and went incredibly well with the sweet and acidic red cabbage.

The wild boar featured a rich pork flavor. It was cooked more than the other meats and was less moist. It was served with a bacon apple chutney. You can never go wrong with pork on pork and this chutney proved this mantra. Its sweetness complimented the rich pork flavor well.

The vegetables were cooked to a nice al dente and seasoned properly. The asparagus was a favorite of the table as it was flavorful and seasoned in a such a way that the vegetable and not its seasonings were the star.

As if this weren’t enough, the chef thought that we should try one of his most popular dishes from the Aquatics proportion of the menu as well. This was the L’Aragosta ($34):

LAragosta

As the name means in Italian, this dish featured a delicious sautéed Canadian cold water lobster tail tossed with spaghetti in a Sherry and roasted red pepper pesto cream. The pasta was cooked perfectly to an al dente more typically seen in Italy than the United States. This is how pasta is supposed to be cooked. There was an abundance of lobster and the rich cream sauce was packed with flavor. I can see why this dish is so popular – it was delicious.

When we finally finished this delicious platter of food, as well as the pasta, we were pretty full. Luckily enough, we each had saved enough room to try some of the items from the Archer’s dessert menu. From the dessert menu, we selected the Oreo & Bailey’s Ice Cream Sundae ($8), Mandarin Orange Carrot Cake ($7) and the Cheesecake with Sour Cream Frosting ($7). We also opted for the dessert special of the evening – Housemade Cream Puffs with Ice Cream & Chocolate Sauce ($5).

This was the carrot cake:

Carrot Cake

The cake was rich and moist. I was expecting an abundance of orange flavor, but what arrived was an understated orange flavor that complimented the carrots and cream cheese frosting rather than competing with them.

This was the sundae:

Oreo Sundae

The sundae featured vanilla ice cream topped with crumbled Oreos, a shot of Bailey’s, whipped cream and Andes candies. The sundae delivered on both the cookie and chocolate fronts. The cookies and candies offered a nice textural contrast to the ice cream. The Bailey’s shot permeated the sundae but complimented the other flavors. Another good dessert.

These were the cream puffs:

Cream Puffs

The cream puffs were light and airy. Paired with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, this was a classic dessert.

Last, but not least, was the cheesecake:

Cheesecake

The cheesecake featured a sour cream frosting and was topped with a fresh raspberry sauce. The sour cream frosting was light and not dense which allowed it to pair well with the rich cheesecake. The acidity of the fresh raspberry sauce cut through the rich cake and frosting.

We had a wonderful meal at The Archer and were quite impressed by the wide variety of well composed dishes coming from Chef Archer’s kitchen. The Archer would be perfect for lunch, dinner or just drinks. It would also be a great place to hold a private party or banquet with a unique second floor space conducive to entertaining. A big thank you to Gladys, Joshua and their staff for showing us a wonderful evening and feeding us some terrific food. If you’re in the mood for pub fare, wild game or just drinks before a Sabres’ game, The Archer has got you covered.


 

Check out The Archer for all your party, and banquet needs. They are located at 268 Main Street, Buffalo NY, 14202. Call for reservations at 716.768.4661, make sure to check out there new dishes, and New Years Eve menu! 

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