Friends Open Train-Themed Restaurant
Aside from the antique train carnival ride in the front window, when one enters the newly opened The Station Bistro the most striking feature may be the row of crisp white with black design, hand-etched vintage ceiling lamps. The lamps, original to the building, are very similar to those found in an old train station.
The shiny exposed ductwork which hangs from the ceiling and the round tables with wooden barrel cores are more unique accents that add interest to the room. A hanging locomotive with lights attached to the underside originated in a Springville pharmacy.
The original wooden floor, refinished with a shiny gloss continues through a tunnel-shaped opening that frames the Tunnel Room, a long dining room that allows patrons to sit away from the bar. A piano situated in the back corner of the room and a guitar propped against an adjacent wall are there for customer use.
“Customers are free to pick it up and if I like their music, I’ll buy them breakfast,” says Emily Tingue. “We will have acoustic music from time to time. Duos and trios can contact us.”
The shelves in the room hold coloring books for the kids and vintage reading material for the older customers. Wi-Fi is available but she doesn’t encourage her customers to use it.
“You may be given a Mason jar with heavy cream to shake your own butter if you’re caught on your phone,” she says with a half serious tone in her voice. Work on the newly remodeled building has been done by her uncle Roger Tingue.
“He sanded the 120-year old floor. With help from my boyfriend, Rodney Ehman, they built the back bar with wood from my barn,” she adds. “They did most of the interior work along with a crew over 25 working days over a period of four months.”
The electrical work was done by Michael Gerwitz.
“I’m a home-grown country girl,” she says.
She grew up next door to her grandparents’ farm in West Valley, New York and is the seventh generation to live there. As time went by, she found herself purchasing an estate from a family member on the same road.
“Four generations live on that road, my grandmother Agnes Gerwitz, my mother Linda Gerwitz Lund, myself and my two children, Aleah and Atticus.”
Having grown up in the kitchen, her love of cooking and baking goes back farther than she can remember.
“My grandma always had chocolate chip cookies on the counter and my grandpa would stick a couple in his pocket for out in the field. My mother makes homemade caramels, fudge and pies. So, when I bought my farm, I started raising pigs and I took it all the way back to rendering, making shortening which I use in my pie crust as well as the eggs from the Muscovy ducks that I raise.”
By acquiring a home processors license about nine years ago, she has been able to make and sell cookies, pies, fudge, jam and jelly. After three years, the roadside stand from which she sold was converted into a tiny Airbnb, a rental unit available for overnight guests.
“I found four-leaf clovers all over that property so I decided that was what I was going to name it, Lucky Day Homestead.”
After many years of working in Ellicottville managing businesses such as Ellicottville Brewing Company, The Silver Fox Steakhouse and Adventure Bound, she was ready to move on to her next business venture. In the Fall of 2018 Emily was given the opportunity to recreate a local building with another founding family in the village, The Ehmans.
“As Robert picked up his pies for his family Thanksgiving, that had been rolled and cooled on an antique butcher block that I had purchased from him years prior at an estate auction, he explained his vision of reconstructing his old country store into a small town bistro with a historic Steam Engine theme,” she says. “After chatting with friends and family, we all came aboard, spouting ideas and gaining excitement.”
“We decided to make The Station Bistro our hub for traffic. We will lead up to the Homestead for private events, special parties, weddings and events that we may cater direct from farm to table. Our gardens will provide much of the options for our guests as well as will supporting farms. We hope to be one of the first restaurants in the area to have local farmers raise and grow specifically for our menu.”
“These are sister companies offering a unique experience, coordinated by a team that I am honored to have at my side.”
She requested the assistance of long-time friend Rebecca Schmitt for the cafe and catering venture, as she has a strong knowledge of unique culinary creations and has spent years in the service industry as well as spending her childhood in the gardens and greenhouses of New York. She has also spent many years in the restaurant industry in Ellicottville and exemplifies a strong talent of building dishes straight from the vine. When calling The Station Bistro to book a party or cater an event, Becky will assist in developing a mouth-watering menu.
Representing and building a relationship with locals for produce, meats and goods, Emily requested the assistance of her friend Quincey Widger to execute the agricultural division and local foraging.
“Quincey is locally known as the ‘Fungus Goddess’, guiding groups through local trails and private terrain to find the most luscious edibles that are naturally sourced,” says the business owner. “She will be involved in our menu options and seasonal goods that will be available for our guests on and off the menu. We are thrilled to be a part of this adventure together and hope to share this experience with our guests.”
“The Station is a collaboration of many hands. Not one would have been efficient without the other,” says the businesswoman. “I am grateful for all of those who have taken a part in bringing this to fruition, and igniting a spark back into our little town.”
Many delicious choices are offered. French toast is made of thick slices of freshly baked bread topped with maple honey butter and Becky’s sweet berry sauce. Sausage gravy and biscuits and lemony eggs Benedict are more of the offerings.
The Porter, a sandwich made of pulled pork with caramelized onion slaw, drizzled with The Station BBQ sauce served on a toasted roll is just one of the tasty items listed on the lunch menu. Just as delicious is The Watchman, The Conductor, baked ziti, beef tips and gravy and more. Homemade soups of the day and a variety of pizza with fun train-related names are also available. Specials change daily.
Fourteen choices of whole pies may be ordered with a few varieties offered as a single slice inhouse.
Refreshing non-alcoholic shrubs and spritzers are made with fresh fruits.
Ms. Tingue is a member of the Town of Ashford Planning Board.
She willingly shares the following recipes that have been handed down by her family.
“The Pioneer Harvest Bowl is a Station favorite that I prepare through the warmer seasons for breakfast and lunch. An easy way to satisfy your tummy and keep on the move in the afternoon without falling into a ‘food coma.’ I pick several root veggies to toss in an olive oil and herb mix. Sometimes adding some tomatoes to candy along too.”
“The best Apple Pie is a mixed Apple Pie according to my mother, Linda Gerwitz Lund. I created New York Apple Maple Walnut Pie to showcase the beautiful state of New York and it has become a favorite for guests that visit from near and far.”
The baker sketches an outline of New York State on the top crust of the pie. As is the case of the apple pie, each of her pies has an identifying design, some with lattice tops, some with stars and stripes and the others with their own interesting characteristics.
“Homemade Pie crust is essential. If your family doesn’t have a recipe, you can use mine. Though I have tweaked it through the years, now using lard that I render and farm fresh duck or chicken eggs, the recipe is from my great-grandmothers.”
She admits she has altered their recipe.
“I keep (it) to myself, so stop in to try my perfect pie crust and feel free to
ask questions. I use all local New York ingredients. (Maple) syrup from my neighbors is the best!”
The Station Bistro is located at 5386 Depot St., West Valley, N.Y., just one hour from downtown Jamestown. Breakfast is available from 7-11 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.. Once a liquor license is obtained, dinners will be served from 4-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Phone 942-3040 for more information.
aka Marinated Carrots
4 1/2 c carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, cut fine
1 large green pepper, cut fine
1 can tomato soup
1/2 c oil
3/4 c vinegar
1 T mustard
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
2/3 c sugar
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
Cut carrots into slices and cook 15-20 min, until tender. Drain. Make a mixture of the soup, oil, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, sugar, salt and pepper. Combine cooked carrots, onions and peppers with soup mixture. Refrigerate overnight. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 weeks. Leftover sauce may be used for dressing.
* A real hit for family picnics and gatherings
German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake
Grandma Agnes Gerwitz
4 oz sweet baking chocolate
1/2 c water
2 c flour
1 tsp soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 c sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla
1 c buttermilk
Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 9-inch cake pans with wax paper. Melt chocolate in water in microwave for 1-2 minutes. Mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each. Beat egg whites in another large bowl on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir into batter. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately run spatula around the edge of cake in pan. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pans. Remove wax paper. Cool completely on wire racks. Spread Coconut-Pecan Frosting between layers and on top of cake. Serves 12.
Coconut Pecan Frosting
1 can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c sugar
3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter
4 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
7 oz coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Stir milk, sugar, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla in large sauce pan. Stirring constantly, cook on medium heat 12 minutes or until thick and golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut and pecans. Cool to room temperature.
*Use for filling and frosting on the cake German’s Sweet Chocolate Cake.
Sweet Potato Casserole
Grandma Agnes Gerwitz
3 c mashed sweet potato
1 c white sugar
1/3 c melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
Beat sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla and eggs to the consistency of a brownie mix. Add water if needed. Pour into 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish.
1/2 c flour
1 c brown sugar
1 c coconut
1 c pecans
1/3 c melted butter
Stir dry ingredients together. Add melted butter. Spread on top of sweet potato layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Serve warm.
The Pioneer Harvest Bowl
Variety of root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc), cut into bite-size pieces
Extra virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh herbs, basil, rosemary, parsley
Chive blossoms, for garnish
Toss desired vegetables in EVOO and chopped herbs. Place vegetables in a roasting pan and then set in a hot oven. May be done in a warm pan on stop top. I like my veggies a bit crisp but dark from roasting or sauteing. Don’t overcook to mush or you lose all of the nutritional value. Place in a bowl to collect all the juices in the bottom. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
*An egg can be added for a morning delight or meat for your lunch portion. Fungus may be added if you have freshly foraged.
New York Apple Maple Walnut Pie
5 c flour
2 c shortening
1 tsp vinegar
Enough water to make 1 cup
Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and fold over. Makes 2 double crusts.
4-5 c apples
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tsp melted butter
1/4 c chopped walnuts
Mix together in bowl and place in crust. Roll out the top and cover as a double crust pie. Bake in oven at 385 degrees for approximately 1 hour, until top is golden brown.