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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Hilltop Restaurant and Bar
(previously Manhattan’s, previously The Big Tree Inn)
4206 Lake Ave., Lockport

For a place that opened May 12th, they seem to have it all going on. I had reservations for 2 on a Saturday night and 20 minutes later changed them to reservations for 3 due to a dear friend joining us. This was accomplished without any problems. Parking is a bit limited and we had to park on the street. There was one handicapped space left right at the front door. Unfortunately I forgot my handicapped pass.
It had been years since I was there in fact we never visited when it was Manhattan’s.The hostess quickly whisked us to our table, distributed the menus, told us our servers name and seated us. They seem to have a dedicated water server because they quickly arrived and filled our glasses. She stopped by frequently during our meal to top off our water glasses.
They have an interesting menu all the way from sandwiches and burgers to steak, chicken, fish and sea food. When the waitress arrived, she explained the specials which included giving us the prices. Must restaurants fail to tell you the prices of the specials instead preferring to surprise you when you get the bill. When my friend asked if one of the specials was gluten free the waitress said she would check and left. She quickly returned and assured him it was.
We started with the Poutine Fries, which are Crispy French Fries topped with Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheeses Smothered in a Savory Brown Gravy with Shaved Beef for $7.99. The three of us split this as there was enough for a meal for one on the plate.

He and I both opted for the fish special that was a 7 oz. pan seared Australian Sea Bass served over a scallion potato pancake, black pepper, sour cream, and a Mediterranean Relish served with soup or salad. He opted for the soup and got the Manhattan clam chowder. I got the salad with honey lime vinaigrette and blue cheese crumbles. The salad was a field greens salad which is always nice.

My wife opted for the Mikey C’s Crab Roll which is Spicy Crab Salad on a Hoagie Roll with Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Crispy Onions. She also got the spicy pasta salad as her side and it was nicely flavored for $8.49. She said she would get this again and even brought some home.

One nice thing is they post their daily specials on their Facebook page daily.

We had a favorite waiter at another restaurant and had noticed him missing the last 3 times we went there. Patrick is now working at Hilltop and it was a joy to see him. He came over to our table to say hi. The food was prepared excellent, service was attentive without hovering and the prices were reasonable.

The only two things I could find wrong were the parking and the noise level. It was full house with a few loud parties and with the hard walls and floors it made the dining area noisy.

For a fairly new restaurant they did an excellent job and we are looking forward to going again. I give it a 9 out of 10 but only for the parking and noise level, both something they had little control over.

Norbert Rug is a dining critic for East Niagara Post. His column, Lovin' Spoonful, runs every other Wednesday. Contact him at

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  1. They do a great job when you order for take out too!

  2. "The food was prepared excellent..." Yikes.


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