I recently had the pleasure to visit an old friend, Victor Mirando, in his much anticipated, resurrected Buffalo Rome. Anyone dining out in Buffalo in the nineties, remembers the little café on Bryant Street with the best cappuccino this side of Italy, complete with their epic foam on top. Buffalo Rome had espresso and café au lait long before the likes of Starbucks and Spot Coffee were around. Do you think they were onto something?
Most foodies in town frequented the tiny café either to soak in some summer breezes with a Grilled Chicken Caesar (a rather original dish at that time) on the front patio or to hunker down inside on the comfy banquettes for a scrumptious bowl of homemade soup and a baguette. Buffalo Rome was beloved by many for its worldly cuisine, feisty waitresses (yes, I was one of them), great wine list, and the European coffee beverages. Unfortunately, a kitchen fire eighteen years ago prompted Victor to close the doors on the original Buffalo Rome. However, a little smoke did not stop the devout followers who have waited, prodded, and begged Victor to bring it back. This week, those wishes came true as the 2015 version of Buffalo Rome opened on Porter Ave.
Victor took over the former Morning Glory coffee shop partly because it is within walking distance of his home and he really wanted a neighborhood dog friendly spot. He reworked the space to accommodate a little more kitchen, hung some fabulous art and, of course, added some banquettes. Vic believes they are a great addition for a small space and chuckled saying they could also be a good place to nap when needed. The initial feeling you get when walking through the doors is a welcoming one. As if you were walking into an old friend’s home to pour yourself a cup of coffee and chat. I noticed a few framed pieces stacked up on the floor and immediately picked one up to admire it. It was a flashback for me, as I remember the large Colosseum photo from the original restaurant. It’s nice to see a few things had resurfaced and reinvented it in the new space. Even the little patio deck left by the former owners on the pristine front grass will be a perfect spot to catch those summer breezes again.
Victor’s dog friendly café is currently open from Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch, offering baked goods, European & local coffee drinks, salads, soups and sandwiches. He is cooking, baking, and running the show, predominantly solo, until he sees what direction it will go. Vic has some plans brewing, so follow Buffalo Rome on Facebook while the website is completed. I have no doubt dinner service, a great wine list, and some feisty waitresses will soon follow. In the mean time, stop in and welcome back your old friend.
Buffalo Rome | 388 Porter Avenue | Buffalo, NY 14201 | (716) 986-5488 | Facebook