Chef Jake Zachow takes a contemporary approach to Tuscan cuisine, filling his menus with classic flavors delivered with a modern flair. Locally inspired salad creations lead to dinner entrees of lemon caper grilled tilapia filet or dijon-and-pretzel-crusted pork chops. Diners enjoy the elegant dining room around tables covered with black linens or on a terrace warmed by a fire pit and outdoor show grill. Alternatively, guests can enjoy a slightly condensed menu at Della Terra's lounge, which also offers top-shelf liquor selections and draft beers.
Francesca's Ristorante Italiano's eggplant fra diablo won Taste of Buffalo's 2012 Pat Sardina Memorial award for Best Comfort Food, and the lemon strawberry sorbet won Taste of Buffalo's award for 2013 Independent Health Foundation's Healthy Options, but those aren't the only items on the eatery's menu that could have qualified. Other dishes with sumptuous, rich flavors include the eatery's rustic Italian pizzas, which chefs paint with a signature red-wine sauce or garlic-cream-cheese spread, as well as the osso buco with tender, slow-cooked beef shank and oyster mushrooms packed into ravioli. While navigating forks through tubes of housemade manicotti stuffed with ricotta cheese, patrons can enjoy the melodies of occasional live music or launch paper airplanes off the outdoor patio. Dark wood accentuates the fully stocked bar, replete with wine, beer, and cocktail makings.
Prospero Restaurant chef Frank Provenzo pays homage to his eatery's wizardly namesake by conjuring rustic Italian dishes from local ingredients, fresh veggies, and carefully simmered pasta. Cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta stuff meaty entrees such as sautéed veal cutlets and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. And with the create-your-own pasta option, patrons can choose to douse plates of spaghetti, penne, or other noodles with their choice of sauce.
The gastronomists at La Tee Da created a menu showcasing an Italian bonanza of pasta, rice, seafood, and steak. An appetizer of gluten-free escargot, flavorfied in a butter and parsley sauce warms up cuisine intake apparatuses for larger edible inputs ($10). The gluten-free, vegan caponata weaves together roasted pine nuts, red and yellow peppers, onions, garlic, eggplant, and zucchini squash over a choice of penne pasta, spaghetti, or rice ($16). For culinary couplings, the fresh tilapia with caper ($18), like flying a kite, can be enjoyed with a Casal Thaulero pinot grigio ($7 by the glass) from the extensive wine list and a New York strip steak ($24) slides down gullets with the help of a Martin Ray pinot noir ($10 by the glass) from California.
From its charming Bryant Street storefront, Trattoria Aroma serves up authentic boot-country fare using local and organic products whenever possible. Launch a decadent dining experience with an order of peppercorn-seared pork belly, served with a cracked egg, sweet-pea pesto, and shaved parmesan ($9), or opt for the crispy fried artichoke hearts over parsley pesto ($7). Gourmet pizzas ($12+) and house-made pastas, such as the lobster ravioli with fried leeks and brandy cream ($21), offer sophisticated twists on familiar flavors, while Trattoria Aroma's meaty fare perks up frownful Florentines. Poultry loyalists exchange regal high-fives over juicy bites of chicken saltimbocca, a fragrant sage- and prosciutto-enhanced dish with asparagus, roasted potatoes, and a white-wine-lemon sauce ($22). Vela osso bucco Milanese, with saffron-parmesan risotto and gremolata ($29), offers a marrowful meal for opulent meat-lovers and makes an ideal accompaniment for any of the fermented favorites off of Trattoria's award-winning wine list.
Gino & Joe's supplies quick workday lunches and leisurely family dinners alike with barbecue chicken pizzas, hot subs, and Italian food. In the kitchen, pizza specialists hurl discs of dough into the air before topping them with mouthwatering tomatoes or sausage, while cooks nearby assemble subs with thin-sliced capicola or bundle together veggie wraps. Pasta sauces are made fresh each day from imported tomatoes before they coat trays of savory meatballs or dinners of cheesy baked ziti.