Few weeks ago, we went to one of the locations of Bocca di Bacco in Hell's Kitchen and had a great time with my nephew Valentin. So we decided to go back, but tried their other location, still in Hell's Kitchen, but closer to Times Square. I admit that the experience was not as good: they were definitely understaffed in a place that was really crowded, affecting the service there. It started with the hostess who was not very nice at first, but then apologized, to the waiter who did not even check on us (forget the bread basket and the cheese on the pasta), to the food that took forever to come, prompting us to skip dessert. It is not the fault of the staff who is being put in this situation, but such service does not make the whole experience satisfying, unless the food is exceptional and then you think that at least you got great dishes. It was not the case unfortunately. I mean the food was decent, but that was it. Such a contrast compared to the other time we went there! Well, maybe the location matters...
I started off the meal with a cocktail: the Sole di Roma, made with Aperol, Limoncello, orange juice and prosecco. This was delicious: bitter and citrusy, not strong at all.
Then, we decided to try their meatballs, thinking that if there are dishes that should be good in any Italian restaurant, it would be the meatballs and the tiramisu. The sauce was very good, bold, but the meatballs themselves were dry.
We then shared some pasta. The first one was the Penne Gorgonzola Noci e Picelli, that are penne pasta with gorgonzola cheese, peas and walnuts (we ditched these as Jodi does not like them). It was good: the pasta was well cooked, al dente, and that sauce was delicious.
The second dish was the fettuccine a la Bolognese. It was my favorite dish: the homemade fettuccine was fantastic and the meat sauce superb. I found this dish very comforting.
So, as I mentioned before, we did not bother having dessert, not that there was really something we definitely wanted to try. We left a bit disappointed, but it does not change my opinion that the other location we tried was good. I will need to go back to confirm, or maybe, will have to check the third location they have in Chelsea to see if they are inconsistent in all their restaurants!
Enjoy (I did)!
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Bocca di Bacco - 635 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10036