After years of waiting and wondering if the vacant Ya Ya Brewhouse space would ever land a new owner and concept, it was announced
back in July that restaurateur Jay Haynes would be opening Perfetto. Thankfully, the time has finally come to check out the newly remodeled 8,300 square foot space. A few of us stopped in for lunch a couple days back after hearing from friends that the food was great, as was the atmosphere.
Thinking back to the days of Ya Ya, I clearly recall that the bar area was super tight, and there was no flow in the establishment. The dining areas were disjointed, and there was also a lack of warmth - mostly due to the brewing operation that took up a good chunk of space.
With the brewery gone, Perfetto has had the opportunity to rethink the entire bar and restaurant. First off, the oversized bar is situated towards the Main Street entrance, giving visitors a place to congregate upon initially walking in. While there is plenty of natural light that streams in through the front windows, Perfetto's overall lighting scheme is very subdued. In fact, where we sat there were burning candles on the brick walls, as well as a fire unit that added to the ambiance. For being as large as it is, Perfetto is actually quite cozy. There is an air of being upscale, but not being overbearing. For example, the glassware is nicer than most places of similar caliber, yet the absence of table linens gives Perfetto ample grounding. The exposed brick walls (in the dining and lounge areas) offer an old world look while the carpeting provides a warm contemporary flare. Normally I prefer wood flooring, but in this case the carpeting helps to provide a relatively quiet dining experience - perfect for offsite office lunch and dinner meetings.
In addition to the bar and the dining areas, Perfetto also incorporated a glassed in conference/banquet room into the mix, which is clearly visible from just about anywhere in the establishment, and seconds as an overflow dining room. In the back of Perfetto is The Washington Lounge - a room where guests can relax and watch a hockey game. The lounge can also be used for private parties such as the one that fashion designer Steven Bales recently used to host a talent search for his upcoming fashion show (see photos) - Friday March 15, 2013 at Perfetto. The more places in downtown Buffalo that offer up rooms to host events, conferences and parties, the better.
The fare at Perfetto should do well, catering to the downtown office workers. When we first sat down, we were brought out fresh baked bread and a plate of red pepper pesto and oil for dipping - such a nice touch. My wife told me that her Caesar salad with shrimp was exceptional - "It's not very often that a restaurant has seafood this fresh and cooked to absolute perfection." Likewise, my tagliatelle was cooked perfectly al dente. The sauce was rich but not heavy and oily. Plus, the walnut and the shaved black truffle was unexpected and really appreciated. Combined, we only had a smattering of the offerings, but we can't wait to head back and go through more of the menu.
I must also say that the professional wait staff and the service at Perfetto was spot on. Even though there was a slight error in our order, our waitress had the plate back on our table in a matter of minutes, plus she threw in a free dessert to make up for the mistake.
This Friday Perfetto is hosting its Grand Opening celebration, and is hoping that the community comes out to support the newest addition to the downtown bar and restaurant scene. Come check out the upscale-yet-relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a pint of craft beer, or a glass of red wine from the 1000-bottle wine cellar. I'm sure that you will agree that Perfetto is the prefect fit when it comes to restaurant offerings in Downtown Buffalo.
Grand Opening Party
Friday, January 18, 2013
4:00 pm til 1:00 am (Live Jazz at 8:00 pm)
617-619 Main Street, Theatre District