At one time, the original Coda was one of my favorite restaurants in Buffalo. I don’t know if it was the food, the service or the atmosphere that made it such a quality place. Even after the restaurant closed, it only takes one look at the empty building to bring back memories of special times with special people. That’s why I’m happy to say that a new restaurant called Prospero is moving in. At long last, the Kleinhans neighborhood will, once again, have a cozy, elegant restaurant in its midst – perfect for philharmonic-goers and scores of locals who have been busy sprucing up the neighborhood in hopes that another culinary operator would call the vacant building ‘Home’.
At the moment, restaurateurs Rick Yaeger and Peter Provenzo are busy fixing the place up. The two want to take the interior back to how it was at the beginning. It’s going to be white on white, with some very simple and tasteful wood and glass accents. White tablecloths, satin window treatments, private seating booths, two, three and four-tops… the way I remember it way back when it was a fine French restaurant. This time it’s going to have an Italian-Mediterranean flare. Rick and Peter told me that much of their business comes in the form of high-end catering – so they don’t need a huge restaurant to sell to hundreds of diners. And since the food orders will be small, the freshness will be top-quality with limited waste. It’s also easier for a smaller restaurant to turn on a dime when it comes to bringing in different dishes.
Prospero will be reintroducing the art of customer service, which has been lost at many restaurants through the years. Simple ‘hellos and goodbyes’ will be the norm. That same consistency will also be seen in the food, which will be a showcase for the catering side of the operation. Local sourcing and slow food practices are very important to the owners. It sounds as if Prospero has all of its bases covered when it comes to establishing a loyal customer base. Look for the restaurant to open in late July or early August.
Prospero is located at 350 Pennsylvania St. Buffalo, NY 14201