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Review: Becco, New York City

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | August 19th, 2010 | Restaurant Reviews
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Sometimes business travel is all work.  Sitting through long meetings, hurrying through short lunches, trying to find a place to work between meetings, none of those are fun or exciting.  However, every once in a while there is a perk to the travel. Recently, I was able to coordinate my and my husband’s business travel so that we could go to NYC together and spend part of the weekend there.  A major victory in the world of scheduling!

After a full day of meetings on Friday, we planned a Saturday filled with fun-for-us events: a workout at the gym together, leisurely breakfast, afternoon of shopping on Fifth Avenue, an evening at the theatre, and a late dinner for two.  We didn’t have a set plan for dinner, so when the show ended at 10:00, we walked around the theatre district reviewing menus to find just the right place.  Arriving at Becco, the menu and ambiance seemed ideal.

Although there were many full tables, we were seated promptly.  Even with a fairly full restaurant, the service was prompt, and the servers were attentive.  Our water glasses were kept full, our dishes were served in a timely fashion, and our satisfaction with our dining experience was checked at appropriate intervals.

Becco has an extensive wine list, which we reviewed.  As we adore sparkling wines, we chose Bastianich Brut NV.  The wine was light and refreshing, almost dancing on our tongues.  To accompany our wine was a bread box filled with amazing options including focaccia and breadsticks. Served with dipping oil, it was a nice way to start our dinner.  With a little food and beverage in our stomachs, we were ready to consider our dinner options.

Although it was an Italian restaurant, I wasn’t in the mood for pasta, which did make my decision a little easier.  What did catch my eye was the Beef Rollaini.  Thinly sliced beef topped with eggplant and provolone, rolled, and baked, it seemed like the perfect choice for me.  This entrée was served with a rocket and cherry tomato salad, making the dish a little bit lighter but keeping it quite flavorful.  The rollatini was delightfully tender, though it could have had a bit more eggplant and provolone for stronger flavors.

My husband had the opposite reaction to choosing a meal this evening.  Being at an Italian restaurant, he was craving pasta.  Luckily for him, they offer Sinfonia di Paste.  Changing on a daily basis, this meal provides diners with a caesar salad or antipasto misto and unlimited servings of the chef’s three daily pasta preparations.  This evening’s three dishes were spaghetti with shrimp, fusilli with pesto, and mushroom ravioli with truffle butter.  He thoroughly enjoyed both the ravioli and the spaghetti, however, he found the pesto to be slightly overpowering.

My meal had included a starter of caesar salad, and my husband chose that also as his starter course.  The salad was well done with fresh, crunchy romaine lettuce, a generous sprinkling of parmesan, and plenty of crisp croutons.  The salad dressing was tasty and added in perfect proportion, enough to enjoy the flavor but not so much as to make the salad soggy.

With dinner completed, we were both quite full.  However, when you’re indulging for a day,  it seemed appropriate to indulge one more time and get dessert.  I ordered a cup of coffee, and my husband ordered a double espresso.  Sipping on our hot beverages gave us time to consider the dessert menu.  I chose Strudel di Mele, and my husband chose Ricottina.  My dessert was fabulous, a combination of flaky crust, sweet and tender apple filling, and cinnamon gelato.  My husband’s dessert was cheesecake as he likes, slightly lighter and very creamy.

Leaving the restaurant around midnight, we returned to the busy streets of NYC to hail a cab to our hotel.  This meal was the perfect end to a luxurious day.  Excellent service, tasty food, good wine, what more could you want?

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