I liked the butcher board at Restaurant Kolumbia enough that I knew I wanted to return for their $9 bar menu. F. and I shared the beef on weck, and the moules frites (mussels and fries). Beef on weck is traditionally a sort of pub food in Buffalo, NY. A weck is a kaiser roll usually topped with salt and caraway seeds. In this case it was topped with poppy seeds though I noticed that another friend, S., had sesame seeds atop his. The beef was very juicy though there was a remaining taste of what I think might have been wine, and there was also a very small quantity of red peppers. The beef could have used a little bit more salt and pepper – though I think this is personal since my dad’s awesome roast beef has a salt and pepper crust. It also came out with a saffron aioli – the color of mustard, but the flavor wasn’t very noticeable to me.
The mussels were the real winner here. I think F. ate more than his share *hands on hips*, but I may think that because they were so good. The sauce was creamy and garlicky – awesome for dipping the fries. The “best on K” fries were okay. They were shoestring fries that hovered between McDonald’s style and the strange crust of Burger King fries. But they were perfect for mopping up the mussel sauce.
I also sampled some of the watercress salad that H. had. It was nice and peppery from the cress with a nice balance of sweet from the fruit. Though I think the challenge that it and most raw cress dishes face is a certain toughness being mostly stalk.
Our group also ordered five items from the butcher’s board – venison pepperoni, duck salami, smoked trout and salmon, fresh kielbasa and rabbit and foie gras terrine. The venison pepperoni was on the bland side. Ditto the duck salami, which was really fatty and not very gamey. Fresh kielbasa was good, but not as amazing as my first experience. The rabbit and foie gras terrine was great, the key being to ensure bites of rabbit and foie gras together. The smoked trout and the other fish were much better this time, with a far bolder cured flavor.
I love the decor of the place, and I happen to like the lunch dining room server who smiled at me while he was getting drinks at the bar, and who served my group last time.