Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Buca di Beppo

The first Buca di Beppo I visited was in the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago (which has since closed).  I have fond memories of one of my last restaurant meals with my mother there.  She passed away in 2002.  The Buca di Beppo closest to where I live currently is in Orland Park.  The other three Illinois locations are in Wheeling, Lombard and at 521 North  Rush Street in Chicago, just north of downtown.  It’s a perfect location for a family get-together.  The portions are generous and served family style.  The restaurants are busily decorated with vintage photos and ads, both Italian and Italian-American themed, plus photos of famous Italians and Italian Americans such as Sophia Loren and Frank Sinatra. (The location in Lakeview had a “Pope Room” dedicated to Italian popes, gives you an idea of the sense of humor of the d├ęcor.)

The menu is hearty, filling Italian.  My favorite appetizers are the cheesy bread Florentine and the fritto misto.  Fritto misto is typically deep-fried veggies in a light, tempura-like batter, but the Buca di Beppo version fries shrimp, calamari and pepperocini.  The stuffed mushrooms are delicious, too, stuffed with prosciutto, cheese, sage and come with a creamy pesto sauce.

The baked pasta dishes are basic, but I don’t mean that negatively.  The baked ziti, rigatoni, spaghetti and meatballs, eggplant parmigiana and stuffed shells are perfect.  I also like the linguini frutti di mare, seafood and pasta in a yummy red sauce.  The penne arrabiata is just as I like it, spicy sausage and spicy sauce.

For dessert, get the dolce platter, a little bit of everything:  Tiramisu, chocolate cake, cheesecake and apple crostata.

 There are several big rooms for families and friends to have private parties.  At lunch time, the huge family portions are available in smaller sizes as well. 

 Buca di Beppo in Orland Park: 15350 South 94th Avenue Orland Park, IL

Nationwide locations can be found at:
Buca di Beppo on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Greg said...

Thanks, Eileen! I just approved your blog claim. Now your Urbanspoon profile picture is displayed on your blog page. You can upload a blog-specific photo if you prefer, and can change a few other blog settings there. Also, if you vote for a restaurant that you've reviewed on your blog, we now show your vote next to your post everywhere on our site.