I have only been to Buca di Beppo once before and I was not impressed. The only reason I ended up back here was because they were having a buy one get one free lunch special and my friend invited me along (I hope she knows I am the free). I know they are trying to create the impression of grandma's house and they succeeded if my grandma was a hoarder. I get it, but for me it is just way too over decorated and eclectic but maybe that makes some people feel warm and fuzzy inside.
The at home feeling is also projected into the service. One of the unique things about this restaurant is that they take you through the kitchen so that you can see the chefs in the kitchen preparing the food before you are taken to your seat. You can also reserve a table to eat in the kitchen if you really wanted to do that. I did find the wine bottles on the ceiling, where we were seated, to be a pretty cool accent.
It is always great when a restaurant starts you off with complimentary bread. It is also especially great when it is fresh and tastes good. Being an Italian restaurant, balsamic vinegar and olive oil come with it which is definitely a plus. A lot of Italian breads are tough but this was actually soft.
Not too many choices on the menu stood out to me but one, the Spicy Chicken Rigatoni. The dish is described as tender chicken breast sautéed with garlic and red pepper, tossed with peas, a spicy rosa sauce and imported Italian rigatoni pasta. I am not sure what makes the imported Italian rigatoni special since it tasted like regular dry pasta and the tender chicken breast was tender, but also tasted previously frozen. The dish wasn’t horrible but with all the "this is home" presentation, I expected a bit more.
My friend ordered the Baked Lasagna. I didn't mind it although I found the sauce to be a little sweet for my taste. My friend however, didn't like it and actually liked my dish better. Go figure!
Buca di Beppo has some charm, and everyone is really friendly. The food itself just isn't up to the standards it should be. It's an interesting concept that is probably best suited for large groups, but for the average night out, I would probably go someplace else.
Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant
3355 South University Drive Davie, FL 33328