A good meal at Bebo
We had a very good meal at Bebo on Monday night.....the food was almost all excellent and--to our surprise--even the service was good.
All the appetizers were fine....asparagus (al dente) vinaigrette, a light but tasty mozzarella in carrozza and a refined carne cruda (veal carpaccio) with mushrooms. My grilled luganega sausage was deliicious as usual and the liver with onions on a bed of polenta was outstanding. The asparagus risotto was the only disappointment....but it wasn't a disaster.
We had two desserts--Panna cotta was terrific as it usually is and the cannoli was well received.
We drank an inexpensive Barbera which was pleasant if unremarkable.
The welcome by the maitre d' was warm and the waiter--who allowed that it was his second day there--was pleasant and accommodating.
The bill came to $140.00 for the three of us.....a good value.
We had a fantastic lunch at Bebo on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, and all the doors were open to the sidewalk, letting in a gentle breeze. Food was outstanding including great fried squid with a saffron mayonaise, roast pork panini with brocolli rabe on ciabatta bread, papardella with eggplant and smoked mozarella, pasta with tomato sauce and home-made sausage. Peroni on tap was cold and fresh. Red wine by the glass was a bit warm though. Espresso was properly strong and small. The pizza oven is due within weeks, and the menu already has an entire page of pizza and calzone offerings (not cheap...$13 for a basic tomato and cheese pie). The place was empty and we had no problems with service at the bar. That said, I saw the manager called out to the tables outside at least twice. Not sure if it was a restaurant issue or a patron issue.
A friend and I decided to try out the bar menu since it was around 9:45 on Saturday night (and still very busy!). Perhaps this is where the service problems have migrated to from the main dining room. We won't complain about the food and wine - we both had two wonderful chardonnays that were well priced and very good. We ordered three items from the bar menu (onion frittata, eggplant crostini, and sweet onion relish on more of that fantastic bread) and would have ordered a few more, but it was too hard. At first the bartender didn't know what we were talking about...(what bar menu?)...and the wine took a while to come...and then the bartender said they were out of bread and gorgonzola and couldn't place two of the three orders...but it turns out that wasn't true and another bartender started to serve us. Meanwhile, confusion abound all around us. The poor guy next to us tried to order 3 courses and got the first 2 at the same time and then had to wait 45 minutes for his main course. The bartender kept on getting orders wrong and then bringing out plates of food, unsure of who wanted them. I wonder if maybe they need to assign a bartender to his own side of the bar to help eliminate so much confusion. The food is so wonderful but I don't understand why ordering has to be such an ordeal.
I went to Bebo for the second time the other evening.
The first time I met pretty good food and major service issues -- though, in the end, they tried to balance it out offering us a great bottle of champagne and having the (adorable) sommelier serve us.
Couldn't have been too, too bad because I went again...
This second time, the food was great and the service was, too.
The upshoot: they seem to be workin' it out.
Side dish: the have a great Barolo by the glass and cream pudding in berry sauce.
Just a quick note about another very good experience at Bebo last night (Saturday). We were there early but it was packed by 7:30 pm. Food was excellent--pork ribs, halibut (albeit a small portion), luganega sausage, fennel salad; wines were nice--prosecco and a montepulciano d'abruzzo; desserts terrific--panna cotta, bombolini and bicerin (doughnut balls and a hot chocolate concoction) and a vanilla pudding.
The service was pleasant and efficient (maybe things are getting under control), the prices still reasonable and the noise level was blissfully moderate.
Can't wait to go back.....