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By: Tony Farina
I’ve been an investigative reporter most of my adult life, but sometimes it is nice to try something different. William Cowper perhaps put it best in his 1785 poem “The Task” when he wrote, “Variety is the very spice of life, that gives it all its flavor.”
And in this case, flavor is indeed the right word as I posed as a restaurant reviewer for a night to sample the food offerings at the new Niagara Falls eatery, Steak Stone & Sushi at 1340 Military Road. And I must say, I came away very impressed.
Johnny Chi and his brother Eric decided to open their new restaurant, complete with outdoor patio, and welcome a broader audience beyond their very popular Lockport restaurant that has been satisfying the appetites of diners for the last five years.
“It is another opportunity to find us easier,” said Johnny as he prepared for last Thursday’s grand opening which I attended with Mike Gawel and his wife Michele. There was a good crowd on hand, some games and musical entertainment, and first class food.
Steak, sushi and fresh oysters were in high demand, and Mike and I tried strip steak served on an 800-degree hot rock that allows you to cook your entree to your liking right before your eyes with no oil or butter to intrude. Michele went for the shrimp and we were all quite satisfied, thanks not only to the outstanding food but to the warm and gracious hospitality of our waitress, Joanna Angelo.
“We’ve got about 25 people on staff,” says operations manager Tevye Maslowski. That’s a nice number for a new place in hard-pressed Niagara Falls that not only features a unique eating style but also a bit of a sports bar flavor with plenty of big screen televisions for easy viewing.
Johnny Chi has been a chef for 10 years and it is easy to see he takes his profession quite seriously, a magician with a knife and fork as he demonstrated how to make the most of the hot rock experience. Sort of like a heart surgeon at work, exercising great care.
It may be some time before I do another restaurant review, but I will certainly go back for seconds at Steak Stone & Sushi in the coming days. If 10 stars is the best, I would give this new Niagara Falls eatery nine stars and invite readers to give it a taste. And the moderate prices are appetizing, too.