Winging it: Elliewood channels Buffalo delights

FOOD- THE DISH- Winging it: Elliewood channels Buffalo delights


Wing lovers and Corner regulars may recall Dish reporting on the Buffalo Wing Factory and Pub on Elliewood Avenue as far back as November 2003 and hinting at a Spring 2004 opening.

Why the delay? Well, let's just say that transforming a dainty, 125-year-old house on a historic street into a 140-seat eatery and 32-tap pub with 20 TVs and plans to expand next door took longer than everyone anticipated.

After several visits to the drawing board and to Board of Architectural Review meetings, a versatile veranda design by Bruce Wardell Architects achieved a winning balance of historic integrity and indoor-outdoor functionality.

"We wanted to create a viable dining space that would also preserve the vitality of the street," Wardell says. He also wanted to enhance the pub's "night life presence."

So instead of heavy glass windows and walls, the new front dining pavilion is enclosed on three sides with fixed translucent panels, which can be lifted in good weather. On cool nights, the closed panels give passersby a shadowy glimpse of the animated scene within.

For the uninitiated, Buffalo Wings have nothing to do with the magnificent beast whose milk makes the moistest mozzarella in the world, and everything to do with the city of Buffalo, New York. Legend has it that this now ubiquitous national dish was born at the Anchor Bar, a now pilgrimage-worthy restaurant in Buffalo owned by Frank and Teresa Bellissimo.

The most popular myth of gastronomic origins credits "Mother" Teresa (Bellissimo) with the divine invention. Late one Friday night in 1964, her son Dominic brought some friends by the restaurant for a snack. Teresa, who was in the middle of making chicken stock, took a bunch of wings (which, up until this moment of thrifty genius were used only for soups), stuck them under a broiler, sprinkled them with hot sauce, and served them with celery sticks and a bowl of their house blue cheese dressing. History was made.

Founded, owned, and operated by brothers Osama and Belal El-Attari since 1990 (this is their sixth location), the Buffalo Wing Factory and Pub is the "home of the Flatliner," a hot sauce the owners say is the spiciest sauce on earth.

"It's hotter than police pepper spray," Osama says. The timid have milder choices like "Torrid Zone," "Fire 'n Ice," and "Spicy Crab." All sauces are made from scratch from secret family recipes, and all wings are prepared fresh (vs. frozen) from chickens within three days of their kill date.

In addition to wings and fingers, the varied menu features a selection of chicken breast and signature sandwiches (pulled pork; gyro on pita), subs, and 100 percent Angus burgers. Salads, chili and brew-friendly appetizers fill out the eat-in/carry-out options.

Restaurant manager Kipp Anderson says doors (and panels) will open on September 11.

Weekend temptations at Kluge Farm Shop

What could be more enticing than a weekend drive in the civilized Albemarle countryside culminating in a delicious gourmet meal? As the leaves prepare to dazzle us with their autumnal extravagances, the Kluge Estate Farm Shop is already wooing visitors to the vine-rich hills south of town with its new Saturday and Sunday brunch.

Available from 10am-2pm, the $16.65 brunch consists of a frittata (Italian omelet) selection, a fresh fruit salad infused with ginger and mint, and one of Serge Torres' perfect breakfast pastries (brioche, almond croissant). To start the day off with a tickle, brunch includes a specialty cocktail made from Kluge Estate's award-winning sparkling white wine made in the méthode champenoise– which they've dubbed "SP"– or a glass of berry lemonade.

If you do brunch on September 11 or 18, you can sip and nibble to the jazzy sounds of the Charlottesville Swing Orchestra.

The Buffalo Wing Factory and Pub has plans to open this weekend.