Prova @ The Plaza opens at Fountain Plaza

When considering the heart of downtown Buffalo, Fountain Plaza has got a bullseye on it. Between the fountain, the reflecting pool, the Metro Rail, it’s ideal location between Roosevelt Plaza and Chippewa, and its proximity to numerous office buildings, it’s the perfect location for a restaurant. And that’s exactly what prompted Michael Tobin of Fresh Catch and Michael Dimmer of Marble & Rye – with the guidance of building owner/operator, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation – to open a joint venture called Prova @ The Plaza.

Prova @ The Plaza, which opened its doors a week ago, looks inviting both inside and out. For the first time in years the patio is being efficiently and effectively utilized, with plenty of seating and snappy looking market umbrellas. We had no problem finding a table (four top), with direct views onto the serene waters of the reflecting pool.

The atmosphere at Prova is a sophisticated market approach. The colors are more subdued, as is the lighting. The slow-turning ceiling fans are a nice touch. It’s simple, yet refined. The renovation of the former Flint space into an Italian coffee house ambiance was dreamed up by local branding agency Mr. Smith and executed by Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation.

“Prova represents a new era of culinary excellence and community connection,” remarked Kyle Ciminelli, President of Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation. “We’ve successfully breathed new life into the space and created convenience and efficiency for our tenants and neighbors.”

As for the food, the ordering process is easy, and the food is in your hands pretty quick. There are a number of pre-wrapped sandwiches, soups, and salads, for anyone that is in a hurry. While my table of four was not in a hurry, we were pleasantly surprised at how quick everything was. The menu items were essentially split into three offerings – the Sicilian Slices (cheese, hot cherry pepper, roasted garlic, pepperoni, and spicy) the Warm Bowls (build you own, with two bases – brown rice risotto and seasonal greens… add protein, and sauce), and The Soups (today was minestrone, and tomato, basil, and chicken). There was also a fairly extensive list of café drinks, ranging from hot teas to espresso.

Judging from the reaction of the customers, I’d venture to say that they were genuinely pleased with Prova.

Michael Tobin and Michael Dimmer shared, “Prova is a great opportunity for us to showcase our dedication to delivering quality dining experiences that resonate with Buffalo’s evolving palate.”

Last week, I wrote that the Downtown Country Market had relocated to Fountain Plaza, which, in my opinion, should have happened years ago. Fountain Plaza has great bones, and should/could be a much more vibrant destination. Relocating the Market, and opening Prova, are both key moves that will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of this square/plaza.

For anyone looking to grab a glass of wine or a cold beer with lunch, that’s in the works. The menu is also ever-evolving, with offerings of Logan’s Bagels on the breakfast menu (or a breakfast sandwich, breakfast burrito, or vegan “egg bites”) and a curated coffee program that befits the vibe of the Italian coffee house decor.

Currently, Prova is open on weekdays, from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. For more information and updates on Prova @ The Plaza, visit their website at or on Instagram @eatprova.

Prova @ The Plaza | 40-50 Fountain Plaza in the Central Business District | Eat in, take-out, grab ‘n’ go

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