BY NORBERT RUG
Another Saturday night out for my wife Donna, my buddy Ed and I. This time we went to The Dockside Bar and Grill. This is a historic building right along the Erie Canal that has been converted into a casual dining restaurant. It is near the Gateway Harbor area of North Tonawanda. They have ample parking in a lot across the street from the restaurant.
Built in 1890 it was once used by the New York State Canal Authority to unload barges and store mule feed. According to their website, the dining room has the original floor but is the only thing that is old fashioned about the place.
I understand that where we dined was a two-story addition to the original building completed in 2015. I would call the décor steampunk industrial. From the newel posts on the stairway that were made of 4X4 square tubing to the railing which was made up of steel channel with re-rod spindles, the place looked old yet modern. The wall lighting was made up of pipe fittings, the restroom had dimpled steel plate in the walls. The ceiling fans were unlike anything I have ever seen.
The canal side of the building is built entirely of glass doors that open up to the patio. They all fold up at one end. Three quarters of the wall was open to the outside. This brought the outside in. Even though we sat on the side of the restaurant farthest from the opening, we received a nice breeze. The second floor looks like it has the same floor plan as the first floor but has a balcony vs a covered deck. The impressive thing was the lack of insects. I don’t know if it was due to the season or not. Bugs are the main reason I hate dining outdoors.
On to the menu. The appetizers run the gauntlet from Chips & Salsa, featuring House fried Corn Tortilla Chips & served with Pico de Gallo (6.00) to Chicken 20 Wings (15.00) featuring your choice of Hot, Medium, Mild, BBQ, Sesame Soy or Garlic Parmesan to 12 raw clams (12.00). They also serve a fish fry daily.
Our server, Yllka was tableside quickly to take our order. Donna and I selected the Cornmeal Fried Catfish that was served with Garlic Spinach & Creole Fried Rice (18.00). Ed selected a special, a Bourbon Glazed Salmon with crisped kale, grilled potatoes and onions.
When our orders arrived my mind was blown. They were plated beautifully. This showed me that the chef takes care with every meal that leaves their kitchen. My compliments to the chef. Donna’s and my dinner had a decent sized piece of fish on top of the rice and spinach. It was extremely moist and tender with an excellent taste. The rice was very flavorful with what tasted like bits of sausage in it. The garlic spinach had the perfect amount of garlic. Donna pronounced her meal the best she has had in a long time. I have to agree.
Ed’s salmon was perfectly cooked, not raw but not overcooked either. It had the fatty fish flavor that a dish like this should have. Salmon is one of my favorite fishes and properly cooked is a bit of gastronomic heaven. The potatoes and onions were delicious but I just don’t understand the mystique surrounding kale. He said his meal was first-rate and we agreed, before we even left the table, that we just had to return.
My only problem was the noise, oh the noise. It was very difficult to converse without shouting due to the high noise level. I realize that it is next to impossible to control the noise level in a place like this but if you wanted to have a conversation while eating this wasn’t the place to be on this particular Saturday night.
I give it a 9 out of 10 spoons but only because of the noise level.
The Dockside Bar and Grill:
153 Sweeney St.
Kitchen Hours: Bar Hours:
Monday: 3pm-11pm Monday: 3pm-1am
Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 11pm Tuesday – Thursday: 11am – 1am
Friday-Saturday: 11am-1am Friday-Saturday: 11am-2am
Sunday: 12pm-11pm Sunday: 12pm-1am
Norb is a blogger from Lockport. His blog is WhyWNY.home.blog