- Joanie Mar 28, 2008 09:27 AM
A large group of us were at Picco in the south end on Tues. for a b-day party and had a good time. Service was pretty together and pleasant. That was my first time except for a couple cones to go. Split a delicious Spinach salad w/ bacon, pre split for us and a good size. Got a small sausage and caramelized onion pizza with tasty homemade sausage chunks ($12.95). Escarole was on it too. Crust was a little overdone for my taste but quite decent. Then split the gingerbread w/ caramel ice cream, a very nice dessert. A few dishes of sorbet and ice cream were passed around and I esp. liked the mango. People who got tuna tacos loved them, can't report on much else but glad to have finally tried it.
Quick meal at Costello's in JP where the waitress considers a turkey burger to be related to a turkey sandwich. But I was able to get a turkey BLT (rather than the gobbler w/ stuffing, cranberry which I wasn't in the mood for) and it was really good. Served on decent French bread, sliced thin but supposedly real roasted turkey w/ a fair amount of bacon. Fries were really good that day, $8.95. Friend's veggie burger looked a little overdone but he didn't complain. Still a good place for basic bar meals in the $8-12 range (not so long ago it was the $5-10 range). As much as I have a JP standby, this is it. Tonite I eat the 2nd half of the sandwich, first eating time at home since March 10.
I just ate Picco last night and really enjoyed it. I like that pizza crust a lot - it's very bready, but still crispy. We created our own of goat cheese, mushroom, roasted red pepper and tomato sauce. The only con is having to eat much of it with fork & knife. I like that they'll split the salad for you - the honey/lemon dressing on the green salad was addictive. We actually came back to Picco for dessert after seeing a play next door. We split the gingerbread with chocolate peanut butter fudge ice cream - loved the ice cream, could have taken or left the raspberry coulis and sort of flavorless cake. Really loved the chocolate brownie that we topped with caramel peanut ice cream though - clearly the winner for the night.
They have a thoughful wine & beer menu too.
I love Picco and am surprised it doesn't pop up more often here. The crust is great- it's chewy and flavorful and charred (I ask for it not well-done which they advise you to do on the menu if you don't want it too dark) in a good way. The toppings are always super fresh and the last time I was there I had a vegetable pizza that was so much more than a typical veggie pizza - caramelized onions, roasted garlic, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes and a little creme fraiche. It was delicious. I also really love the ice cream and sorbets. And the fish tacos are delicious! Really fresh fish and toppings. Very filling too. The salads are a little small to me, and the service can be a bit rough, but I've always had very friendly waiters.
I have now had Picco's twice and was not happy both times.
The first time for lunch the wait was so long I could barely sit there on those seats, and the food (just two paninis), while not horrible, if certainly not warm, was definitely not worth the delay (nor the price, pretty much).
The killer thing was that, upon paying the bill, the waiter went and took the orders of *two* other tables before getting us our change, after we had already been sitting there an interminable amount of time. It was totally inattentive. All told, it took us much over an hour to get two paninis during off hours (2:00 pm) and a pretty much empty place (maybe three or four other tables). I swear, I thought the whole waitstaff was stoned with the way they were going, and I think that might be right. Either that or just unhappy.
Lest you condemn me for an unreasonable position, let me tell you our experience upon using our gift certificate that was offered as an apology for the wait.
First of all, though being warned "well-done", I really don't think pizza should ever be burnt...I don't know anyone who likes burnt pizza, well-done or not. And the toppings were very thin in supply, though I will say it was tasty and seemed to have a good chew. The fish tacos, they were *extremely* paltry for $12.50. And my companion had specifically asked this (same) waiter whether they were hot (spicy) or not, and he said they weren't. Not only were they hot, they were *very* hot, I couldn't imagine someone describing them as un-hot, and I doubt I have an extraordinarily sensitive palette. He really must have been referring to the temperature of them (but, he wasn't) because they were definitely cold. She didn't like them at all after specifically asking him if they were spicy. And with the rigamarole it takes to find the waiter and get service, it wasn't worth it to send them back.
$7.50 for a tiny plate of lettuce and some Caesar dressing? That's crazy. I must believe I got the small portion and was mistakenly charged the large, because that is simply crazy to charge that much for a tiny plate, pretty much unreasonable. Speaking of accidental charges, this waiter also forgot to change the price on our bill from a large pizza to a small pizza after I had changed the order, but, small thing, I guess. I guess it just shows how little conscientousness there is there.
Anyway, as for service, it was a bit better this time, which was ironic considering the place was (oddly) packed...except when it came to getting our damn ice cream. It was a pretty long wait just to get the spoons, and then an interminable one after that. I didn't think scooping was such a big ordeal, but I guess it was. As for the ice cream, it was quite...strange...the caramel swirl was very sweet, while the "hot" (I use that term laughingly, though "thin" I am very serious about) fudge was incredibly bitter...like, there was no sugar at all. The same idea with the chocolate ice cream and the cappucino chip. I left about half of it and thought about those lost seven dollars.
Anyway, I characterize the place as long on strangeness, and incredibly short on value and I don't know why people would want to go there, at all. Granted, I didn't have the "Alsatian", but I think my days have stopped at "Picco."