Opened in 1993 by Lidia and Joe Bastianich, Becco is one of those Italian restaurants where your palate will transport you miles away, on a culinary trip that you will never forget. Reservations are necessary for this hotspot located in restaurant row, in the heart of the Theater District. Becco means beak in english, hence the bird on their logo. I am not sure if it is a reference to feeding us, but, after reading this post, you will probably check when you will be able to go there!
It is a fairly big place and I counted three different dining rooms. One of them had a rustic feel with its pans on the wall.
But the most surprising was the one where we sat, in the back: it was as if we were in a backyard, thanks to the windows on the ceiling that let the sun come to the room. A room nicely decorated, with an impressive display of wine bottles.
At Becco, Executive Chef William Gallagher crafted an interesting menu, elevating some traditional Italian dishes. They have the great idea to offer for lunch the Sinfonia di Paste or pasta symphony, an all you can eat pasta made of three preparation of the day for $18.95 with a Caesar salad or an antipasto misto (marinated and grilled vegetables). If you do not feel only eating pasta, you can pick and entree and, for $9, you can try each of the three pasta. That is certainly a good deal!
So, after we sat and while we were trying to decide what to get, they brought us some olives
A bread basket (the focaccia and bread sticks, homemade, were delicious):
As well as a spread made of white beans, carrots, roasted red peppers, oregano, turmeric and olive oil.
That was like an Italian hummus, as the waiter put it and was divine on a piece of focaccia; it was dry, comforting and a nice way to start the lunch.
Jodi decided to go for a special of the day: pan seared tuna with some greens.
It was a perfectly cooked fish, fresh, with a nice red color.
On my side, I decided to order the Fegato, Pan-seared calf’s liver with caramelized onions, bacon and crispy polenta, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and Aceto di Balsamico (balsamic vinegar). I decided to accompany it with the three pasta of the day, that were:
Farfalle with tomato sauce and basil:
Swiss chard ravioli:
Linguine with mussels:
These pastas were sublime: perfectly cooked (the farfalle were soft, the linguine al dente), they had so much flavor that I was tempted to go for a second serving. My favorite was the linguine, then the farfalle and then the ravioli. The only complaint is that they put all the pasta onto one plate: it would be great to have a plate split in three different sections so the sauces do not mix.
After this, came my entree: the calf's liver.
This was a huge plate: there were two thick slices of liver (I am more used to thinner slices, but still, perfectly cooked, not dry), as well as some polenta sticks under that were crispy on the outside and soft in the inside, not bland as polenta can sometimes be.
Last was dessert. Yes, I am sure you are wondering how we still had space for it. Well, they were proposing a sampler and I could not resist...
It was composed of:
Banana bread pudding:
Italian cheesecake (made with ricotta):
Chocolate mousse cake:
I love when restaurants propose samplers as, often, I am not sure which dessert I should order, several being mouth watering. At Becco, for $7.50 per person, you get five different ones. Ok, the portions are small, but still, this is a good deal and a perfect way to finish a meal. My favorite was the pear sorbet, then the cheesecake, panna cotta, chocolate mousse and last the banana bread that did not taste like there was any banana.
This was a fantastic lunch: the food was delicious and the service impeccable. Becco is definitely a restaurant to know for some great Italian food and delicious pasta.
Enjoy (I did)!
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And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!