Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

October 25, 2013

That's Mericana

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@lockportjournal.com
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A new dinner option will be available in Lockport starting in November thanks to one Medina restauranteur’s success and ambition.

Mericana, found at 80 Main Street in the Ulrich City Centre, is nearly complete. The owner, Mike Zambito, currently owns and operates Zambistro on Main Street in Medina.

Zambistro is open for lunches and dinners, but the restaurant in Lockport will only be open for dinner, and there will be a few other differences as well.

Whereas the Zambistro website promotes “seasonal flavors and bold ingredients” and a “spin on upscale comfort food,” Zambito said the Lockport experience will be more regional.

And by regional, he meant the entire North American region.

“We’re looking to feature diverse North American cuisine,” Zambito explained. “We’ll have regional favorites, and we’ll focus on using as many ingredients from North America as we can.”

Zambito said Mericana’s menu will likely try to cite where each main dish item comes from. For instance, he said lobster may be from Maine, wine could be from California and from the Niagara Wine Trail, and beef and calamari could be from other traditional hotbeds. Different types of quesadillas and tacos will also likely grace the menu, as south of the border is still North America, Zambito said.

The restaurant will feature a “fine dining” atmosphere, Zambito noted, but a “fun menu” that is supplemented heavily with local ingredients, too. It will also feature a full bar, unlike his Medina business.

There have been several prior tenants at the Ulrich City Centre, and Zambito recognized that restaurants are not easy businesses to open and keep running. He noted, however, that through Zambistro’s catering business his new venture may be a step ahead of the game.

“We kind of have a good reputation in Lockport as it is, and we have a good clientele already,” he said.

As for Zambistro, the chef called that “my baby” and still planned on spending plenty of time at his original location.

“We’re not changing a thing here,” he said. “We have a great group here.”

Zambito said the excitement with Mericana comes from the fact that it will allow him to experiment in the culinary arts in a way that Zambistro does not.

“We’ll be able to do some things there that are a bit different,” he said. 

Zambito had originally hoped to open Mericana before Halloween, but a delay in acquiring some necessary permits pushed the date back.