Dining at D'Avolio's Kitchen

Carly Schul

D'Avolio Olive Oils and Vinegars is becoming Western New York's newest local treasure. After visiting the Lewiston location for taste testing of the oils and vinegars, I decided to try the newest addition to the D'Avolio's stores at the kitchen in Williamsville.

After visiting the Lewiston location I went on the website to read the story about Mama D'Avolio, the owner's grandmother. In May of 1935 Erma D'Allesandro D'Avolio arrived in Niagara Falls and settled on Elmwood Avenue in the heart of Little Italy. She brought many recipes from her home in Collarmelle, Provence of Aquila, Italy.

After sitting down and eating, owner Dan Gagliardo came around and talked to the customers. Gagliardo stated "D'Avolio's is a family owned business. Me my wife and three daughters all work at the stores. Most of our recipes used at the kitchen are all family recipes and we stress that we are a family owned business and we are proud of it."

Customers have a large selection of over 50 of the boutique's hand-crafted extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

This locally owned business has over 32 different vinegars and 27 different oils, all available for tasting. The first store was opened in Dan's home of Lewiston on Center Street, and because of its success, four new locations have opened over the past few years. Lewiston is a small town, so word travels fast. I have noticed the logoed bottles in many friends' and families' homes.

The Lewiston location has also been wonderful because it's a small town and there are many familiar faces, but with the recent popularity of Artpark concerts, shows, and events happening throughout the summer, it has been great for business. Center Street is a great location with a variety of shops and restaurants for the customers.

The newest location is located in Williamsville. This store allows customers to come in, sit down, and eat. Customers have a carbon copy of the menu, allowing each person to choose what ingredients they would like. Sandwiches, pizzas, salads and antipastos are all priced at $9.95. When recently visiting a restaurant in the NCCC Culinary Institute in Niagara Falls, I noticed a display of D'Avolio oils for sale.

There is a wide selection of toppings and ingredients such as 11 different cheeses and meats, 5 different sauces and 28 fresh veggies to choose from. D'Avolio's also offers a fresh soup of the day or their famous greens and beans.

I filled out my menu, ordering the greens and beans and the steak and cheese pizza after hearing some of the other customers rave about it. It was delicious! I must say my favorite part of the meal was the homemade focaccia bread that was served with my greens and beans, which is made daily.

When it came to service, the staff was very friendly and attentive. The atmosphere was cozy. Customers will be able to tell this is a
family owned restaurant. The owner and two of his daughters were behind the counter, cooking and serving.

While waiting for my order I noticed some of the Weight Watchers brochures and the health benefits of the oils and vinegars. I asked the owner about the brochures.

"Weight Watchers is one of our best forms of advertising because in the beginning of each meeting they talk about D'Avolios and pass out the menus informing all their members of the benefits the oils and vinegars can bring to them."

Owner, Dan Gagliardo also told me a little bit about D'Avolios' affiliation with Independent health. "Being affiliated with Independent
Health has helped with expanding our business because they inform customers of the health benefits as well as the 10% discount they receive because they are members."

My experience at D'Avolios was very enjoyable. There was a variety of items to choose from and I like that the business stresses the
health benefits of their products. Everything is reasonably priced and you get great portions.


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