Prospero Hits all the Right Notes
Prospero is an intimate, Italian restaurant on Buffalo’s west side, next door to Kleinhans Music Hall. Clearly the first choice if you are taking in a concert. Of course, that’s exactly what everyone else will be thinking, so plan a head to get a table.
The space is small but not claustrophobic. It reminds me of a setting in a Sherlock Holmes movie, but I can’t exactly put my finger on why.
The complimentary bread basket with olive butter, kalamata olive tapenade, and a pesto olive oil was delivered immediately by the friendly wait staff. The bread was good and the toppings superb, particularly the tapenade.
We were fortunate to be there on a “3 for Thursday Night”- three appetizers of the chef’s choice and two cocktails (we opted for wine) for $25. The appetizers were Artichoke Calabria (artichoke hearts sautéed with garlic in a Marsala wine sauce topped with romano cheese), fried mozzarella, and brushetta with crostini bread. Everything was tasty but the artichoke hearts were my clear favorite – pleasant, meaty texture with a delicate sauce that complimented the artichoke nicely.
For our entrees we ordered:
A Lotta Lasagna – “fresh baked homemade lasagna with three layers of ricotta cheese, beef, Italian sausage and topped with Mama P’s red sauce($19). Mama P’s redsauce has a nice zing to it, not too sweet. The lasagna is great and it is a lotta. My only issue was the center could have been a little warmer.
The Basil Pesto Crusted Salmon ($22)- Pan seared Atlantic salmon with basil pesto, served with Lemon Risotto and fried artichokes. The salmon was a fresh cut of fish that was cooked perfectly. The basil pesto on the top adds a nice touch of flavor without overpowering, and the lemon risotto is the perfect match.
The Melanzana Parmesan ($18)- Eggplant Parmesan layered with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, fresh pasta sheets and the house made marinara. This was beautifully made and had a good solid texture, not too soft like is often the case. The layers of cheese and pasta sheets contribute a depth of flavor not usually found in the typical eggplant parmesan.
The wine list has some good selections – plenty of Italian with some French and California sprinkled around. A few of the bottles seemed a little steep, but everything is available by the glass and the glass prices are reasonable.
Some of the items on the menu we didn’t get to, but hope to try real soon:
Vitello di Parma($26) – “Veal cutlets filled with fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, and sage; sautéed in a white wine crimini mushroom veal demi glaze. Topped with arugula & parmigiano regianno.”
Osso Buco ($25) – “Lamb shanks slowly braised in a “Hunter” style sauce with sautéed gnocchi.”
Braciole ($22) – “Bacon wrapped pork tenderloin filled with ricotta, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, slowly cooked in Mama Ps sauce. Served with side pasta.”
When we were there they also had a Zuppa Cioppino ($9) on the starter menu that looked very enticing.
Whether you are going to a concert or not, Prospero is magically delicious (sorry, couldn’t help myself).