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More are merrier at Italian restaurant
Copy editor Denise Covert; her husband, correspondent William Covert; his teenage daughter Chandler; business clerk Vanessa Lang and her fiance all dined together at Buca di Beppo in Daytona Beach.
Q. Why so many people?
We’ve all eaten at Buca di Beppo before, and we’ve discovered it’s actually not a very good value for two people. Four or more people can enjoy a much larger variety of dishes, for a much smaller per-person price.
Q. Where did you sit?
When it’s your first visit, the host will take you through a tour of the kitchen, including the “kitchen table,” a semicircular booth facing all the culinary action. We always thought that would be a fun place to sit, and it was. If you’ve never worked in a restaurant, it’s a great window into the back of the house, especially the job of the expediter, the person who makes sure all the orders are right before they’re delivered.
It’s also the most social table in the restaurant — you see nearly everybody walk by, and we spotted people we knew that night.
Q. What did you eat?
We all shared a small garlic bread with mozzarella ($7.99), small apple Gorgonzola salad ($9.99), small chicken cannelloni ($14.99), large chicken saltimbocca ($26.99), small spicy arrabbiata pizza ($14.99) and tiramisu for dessert ($9.99). The small portions serve about two people, and the large serve four, but it’s served family-style and we all shared everything.
Q. What was the best?
Everyone agreed that the apple Gorgonzola salad was the best salad we ever ate. It had romaine coated with a light yet sweet dressing and was topped with green apple slices, chunks of tangy Gorgonzola cheese, dried cranberries and candied walnuts. We all loved it so much we almost got violent over the supposed “sharing.” Seriously — I’m still dreaming about that salad.
We also loved the chicken saltimbocca. Lightly sauteed chicken breast was topped with salty prosciutto and served in a lemony sauce with artichokes and capers. The bread was studded with garlic cloves and is not recommended for first dates.
The pizza had spicy sausage, pepperoni and onions, and its thin crust was a hit. The cannelloni was a bit blah. The tiramisu was soaked in strong rum and served in a huge bowl (only one size available). It was a decadent finish to a tremendous meal.
We each ate our fill, and had a bit left over to take home, but the sharing made it all fun, fights over the salad aside. Next time we might just pick up the salad at their curbside takeout.
Note to light eaters, or those who don’t like to share: This restaurant location now offers “Buca Mio,” entree servings for one with a side of pasta costing between $9 and $15.
Q. What did you spend?
Not counting alcohol (there’s a full bar and sizable wine list), the price of food plus tax came to about $90. At $18 a person, we each had a wonderful, varied meal that wouldn’t have happened if it were just two of us.
Buca di Beppo
WHERE: 2514 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach
HOURS: 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
MISCELLANEOUS: Wheelchair accessible; major credit cards accepted; reservations suggested
PHONE: (386) 253-6523
MORE INFO: Check bucadibeppo.com and look for the Daytona location for daily specials.
Thank you News Journal !!
I feel like I just got a day off !!~