Saturday, February 26, 2011

Buca Di Beppo, Exton. PA

If you like Italian food, I mean really like good Italian food, then this is not the place to go. Chain Italian restaurants are rarely good, Mangiammo's being the exception and any place that advertises meatballs the size of your head should be questioned.

When you are escorted to your table you are taken on a path through part of the kitchen and the hostess asks if you want a tour. I said yes, so as we passed she pointed and said, "That's where the pizza is made, that's where the salads are made and that's where the cooks are." The most interesting points are the line cooks who looked like they'd rather be anyplace else, and the family of three seated at the kitchen table, a place that has to be reserved. I would think it punishment to have to sit there, but it must keep the cooks language in check.

When you reach the dining areas you will think the entry was tame. It is decorated in what can best be called an insult to most Italians as the photos and decorations exemplify the stereotypes Americans have of Italians. I could make some analogies, but someone may take insult.

We were given bread, undercooked and doughy, and water, the first and only glass I got. I ordered the small veal saltimbocca at $21.99. The menu, and the waitress said the small dishes serve two to three people. My wife and daughter ordered Penne San Remo at $18.95 and we ordered a large meatball at $5.95 for my grandson. None of these items come with a salad or a side. When the food came I looked at my veal and there three small, thin pieces of meat with a small piece of prosciutto covered in artichokes, capers and a lemon sauce. Barely enough for one person. The only flavor was that of the lemons and the capers. I tasted the meatball, okay, and the penne, bland and a bit dry.

My overall impression; overpriced mediocre food with lackluster service. If you want Italian, go to a local Italian restaurant.

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