Restaurant Review: Chill 443

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By: Jamie DePetris

Food Critic/Expert

I had an awesome double treat this week! I got to try an amazing new place with my amazing foodie friend Val.

When I asked Val to come with me to try a restaurant and do a review, she said “heck ya”, and was just as excited as I am and has the same passion as I do for good food.

We chose CHILL 443, located at 443 Main St., Niagara Falls, in the newly renovated  Wyndham Garden Hotel.

What a classy, fun, upbeat place to hang, drink, and chow!!

We were greeted by Margie, the bar supervisor, who greeted each and every guest as they entered (you don’t see that happen much these days).

Normally I don’t talk a lot about the bar aspect of a restaurant but it is a MUST for this place. Here the bar is the equivalent of an adult retreat with its own in-house cocktail specialist Phillip, the bar manager (I actually wanted to call him Dr. Phil of Alcohol).

Val and I got an education on each fantastic drinks we had. Phillip’s knowledge of the history and understanding of alcohol was as refreshing as the cocktails he designed for us.

As per Phillip’s recommendation, I started with a Whiskey Sour (Rittenhouse Rye, Egg white, lemon juice, simple syrup and peach bitters), topped with to die for brandy soaked cherries. So delicious!! I’ve never drank whiskey and this was great (and let me tell you that’s all I need. . . another “favorite drink”!!).

Val joined in with a suggested Blackberry Gimlet that was served with fresh muddled blackberries, Lockhouse Gin made right here in Buffalo, lime and Simple syrup.  Val opted for light syrup and it was fresh, flavorful and very tasty.

 

The Whiskey Sour and Blackberry Gimlet.

 

Between Phillip and Val I got a biology and history lesson as they shared their knowledge of food and drinks. So our next drinks were “Classic Cosmo’s”, Citron Vodka, Lime, Orange liquor, and topped with Cranberry juice. These we sipped throughout our dinner.

On to the food!!

We started off with the Jumbo lump crab cakes which were suggested by Margie.

 

The JUMBO crab cakes.

 

Truth be told, I hesitated. I love crab cakes and am usually disappointed because they can be all bread, with only a little bit of crab and salty as hell. I really didn’t have high expectations.

Not only did these meet my expectations, but they surpassed them!! These were truly only made up of “fresh” Maryland lump crab topped with freshly made mango salsa that had mango, avocado, green & red peppers and red onion. It had a nice little kick to it.

Val was even saying, “wow so fresh, presentation is beautiful, huge portions and actually healthy to boot.”

We literally felt like we were on the Maryland shore.

We shared two meals. First was the Seared AHI Tuna on jasmine rice served with charred green beans, a citrus soy glaze, scallions and sesame seeds. The tuna was cooked perfectly and it was delicious.

Second was the Blackened grilled Salmon topped with that fresh mango salsa and the charred green beans. Salmon was fresh and cooked and seasoned perfectly.

 

Seared AHI Tuna and blackened grilled salmon.

 

We ended the meal with two mini cheesecakes topped with fresh mango and mango sauce.

 

Two mini cheesecakes topped with fresh mango and mango sauce

 

Wow was that exactly what we needed alongside of our “Philthy Martinis” (Muddled Olives, Olive juice, Titos Vodka, Blue Cheese stuffed Olives) that Jocelyn made for us.

This place is an excellent place for happy hour seven days a week with great specials and extremely attentive servers / staff.

It is a great place for breakfast, lunch, dinner with families or just to get out and have fun.

Another plus, they don’t jack up their prices for the tourists. LOVE IT!!

CHILL 443 has cemented a permanent place in my heart and I will be here often for happy hour, snacks and (of course) to try new cocktails.

Don’t forget to tell them Jamie & Val sent you!!

 

Two AWESOME members of the staff.

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