Over the summer, Nicole and I went with my family to San Francisco to visit my sister. My favorite place that we visited while vacationing there was called The Alembic Bar. What made this place special was that they made top notch old school cocktails, and they did them correctly. You didn’t have some “Joe Schmoe” bartender with average skills behind the bar, you had a true professional. One of my favorite drinks is a Sazerac, a drink that up until now was impossible to get here in the city of Buffalo. I say “up until now” because that has finally changed. “Vera Pizzeria” has brought old school cocktails and impressive pizza to the Elmwood Avenue area.
We arrived to the restaurant at about 7:30. It was a full house, but nothing so uncomfortable that we couldn’t wait. We were given a wait time of about 20 minutes. That was no problem for me because I was focused on getting to that bar. The cocktail list was impressive offering a wide variety of drinks and a variety of different whiskey. I didn’t see the Sazerac and was starting to get bummed out, but we decided to ask just for the hell of it. The bartender (who all wear vests and sport mustaches) confidently said he made them and was almost excited to do so. He had all of the essential ingredients including the Sazerac Rye Whiskey and the Peychaud’s Bitters. He made a generous sized cocktail (almost doubled the size of the Sazerac I had in San Francisco) with one big ice cube in the glass. It was perfection, and all while giving me the history of the drink. I couldn’t have been more happy.
|Earning my trust before making the Sazerac with a few key ingredients. P.s. I tipped more than one dollar, contrary to what that stray bill on the bar makes it seem like.|
We were seated a bit earlier than the estimated time and pleasantly, we had great seat by the window. While we waited, instead of the standard bread basket being placed on our table, we were happily surprised with a bowl of Greek olives.
|The Sazerac makes another appearance. Clearly I’m obsessed.|
The selection of pizza was fantastic. With all of the pizza competition in the area, you really have to be one step ahead and offer something truly special. Vera Pizzeria did just that. It was difficult to choose, so Nicole, our friend Kristina, and I each ordered a different pizza so that we could try them all. Nicole ordered the Porchetta Pizza which was red wine braised pork shoulder, oil cured olives, fresh herbs, and Fontina cheese. This pizza was superb. The pork was cooked perfectly, so incredibly tender and juicy. I was jealous of her dish.
Kristina ordered the House Made Sausage Pizza which was a San Marzano Tomato Sauce with house made Italian sausage, Fennel, and shaved Parmesan. It was fresh, very tasty, and slowly grew increasingly spicy with every bite.
|House Made Sausage|
I ordered the Fig Jam and Prosciutto pizza which consisted of Bosc Pears, Arugula, Truffle Oil, Fig Jam and Prosciutto. It was the perfect blend of flavors ending with the sweet, but not overly so, flavors of the Fig Jam. It was different and exciting.
|Fig Jam and Prosciutto|
This was exactly was Buffalo was missing and now we have it. Top notch pizza, classic cocktails made by professionals, and a great atmosphere – “Vera Pizzeria” is a class act. Bravo.
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