Tonawanda News


May 4, 2009

NORTH TONAWANDA: From Madison Avenue to Sweeney Street.

If miso glazed seabass with sushi rice sounds like a mouthful, that’s the idea, long-time Manhattan Chef Scott Rossi, 43, of Queens, said.

“Seabass is my favorite dish of all time,” he said from Buffalo’s City Grill, 268 Main St., April 23. He and his wife Jenny took over the popular eatery in November, moving to East Amherst from New Jersey with their two school-aged children.

The couple relocated on the heels of developer Tony Kissling’s latest plans on the Erie Canal in North Tonawanda, to include a new restaurant.

Sometime in the next eight months, Rossi’s “signature dish” will be on the menu there and residents can try it for themselves.

The culinary power couple plan to begin splitting their time here, to run the anticipated “15-Mile” restaurant on Sweeney Street later this year.

Part of the overhaul of the long-dormant Remington Rand building, it’s perhaps the most exciting project here in years and comes at a time when others like the Dockside Inn (across the street from Rand) and Crazy Jakes on Webster Street are already putting the downtown area back on the map.

The restaurant is planned to become the first evidence of the roughly $20 million set to convert the former 184 Sweeney St. hulk into more than 80 apartments, workspace for small businesses and numerous other creature comforts. The entire project is expected to be completed sometime in 2011, Kissling says.

The Rossis’ combined experience includes running operations at Boston’s Park Plaza, the U.N. Plaza’s Millennium in New York and the Roosevelt Hotel on Madison Avenue to name a few.

But the new restaurant is planned to be something totally different, with a global flair around the edges of a familiar plate.

Even as they seated guests, answered phones and coordinated with kitchen staff back at City Grill recently — headquarters for the pair’s newly-formed SJR Culinary Ventures and City Grill 2 Inc. — each still managed to get excited when talking about food.

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