The Grapevine Restaurant is located at 2545 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Amherst, NY 14228. It has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember, though we haven’t been in a few years or more. This restaurant offers take-out, dining in, as well as catering services.
The Grapevine Restaurant considers themselves in the “ new American casual” category of dining and I would have to say that I agree! The Grapevine has been upgraded and changed over the years but, my opinion of most of their food and atmosphere continues to sing high praise!
The atmosphere at The Grapevine Restaurant
As a kid, I remember visiting The Grapevine for dinners out with my family and feeling as though we were fine dining! The entire restaurant is decorated with intricate details that do not overwhelm the senses. There are large fish tanks that sit as live decor around the entire establishment which is a fun and beautiful atmospheric detail! The fish tanks are also soothing which helps set the relaxing mood.
The staff are quite knowledgeable about the menu items and are quick to help with any questions about the menu that you may have. They are also very kind and offer a great service!
My most recent visit to The Grapevine was mainly scheduled around a shopping trip with my husband while our son visited his aunt. This was a frigid winter night and we had finished our shopping. We arrived at The Grapevine only to see the parking lot nearly empty, even though the restaurant was open. Entering the restaurant we were cheerfully greeted and quickly sat at a table next to the banquet area.
As we were sat, I asked our waitress if we were the only two customers in the restaurant and she confirmed! We felt like VIPs! Our drink and food orders were taken and placed quickly and my husband and I began to relax into our dinner out together as the only two people in the place!
The food at The Grapevine
The food at The Grapevine has always been nice. Even as a kid I always ordered the eggplant parmesan (as it is one of my favorite meals)! But, I could never eat the spaghetti that comes on the side. My recent visit was no different. I am not sure what kind of tomato sauce The Grapevine uses but it is not well seasoned, it is an unappealing consistency and simply doesn’t taste good. The spaghetti noodles are usually overcooked, not flavorful and combined with the sauce, simply doesn’t taste good.
However, the eggplant parmesan was always flavorful, crispy, yet tender. I do have complaints about this particular portion of eggplant parmesan. While the eggplant was flavorful, tender, and crispy, the batter or breading on the eggplant had a seafood taste to it as though they also use it to batter their fish products. I also find that while their tomato sauce isn’t tasty, they only gave a dollop of it and a dollop of mozzarella cheese on the top of the eggplant.
I do recommend this dish, but I recommend that the restaurant step up their game. Improve the batter or breading by using ingredients cohesive to the flavor of eggplant, not seafood, use a better-tasting tomato sauce (for all tomato sauce dishes) and use more of it on the dish itself.
Now, I ordered the eggplant parmesan dinner out of nostalgia but I also ordered the lobster mac n cheese! Now, this was a meal worth ordering! The macaroni was perfectly tender. The cheese sauce was perfectly cheesy and seasoned appropriately. The lobster was tender and delicious! Then the entire dish is topped with seasoning and breading.
My husband ordered the Buffalo Chicken Flatbread. He was thrilled with the flavors and the crispy crust. This flatbread consists of Buffalo chicken, bacon, crumbled bleu cheese (which my husband requested to not be added) mozzarella cheese, etc.
My final recommendation
I definitely recommend visiting The Grapevine Restaurant. However, I also feel there are some areas the food could use some tweaks and improvements. I hope the restaurant chefs change the tomato sauce and eggplant breading more than anything else. The roasted pepper and gouda soup was out of this world! Consider making this “soup” into a “sauce”! I feel that it would pair much better with pasta and eggplant than their current tomato sauce. And finally, redesign the breading for the eggplant parmesan to compliment eggplant, not seafood.