Fine Dining At Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano

Friday, August 3, 2007 - by Janet Wilson
Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano is located at 3077 Broad St. in the old Southern Saddlery building.
Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano is located at 3077 Broad St. in the old Southern Saddlery building.
- photo by Janet Wilson

A few weeks ago, Wayne and I had a very enjoyable dinner at Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano, located at 3077 Broad Street in the old Southern Saddlery building. There isn’t much signage, so you really have to look for the restaurant location.

Boccaccia is a small, intimate setting with no private rooms, etc. – as the waiter told us, “What you see is what you get”. It’s a nicely arranged restaurant featuring concrete floors and brick walls, with exposed piping in the ceiling (as do many of the newer restaurants located in historic buildings).

The menu categories consist of Antipasti, Insalate, Primi, and Secondi. While not a large selection to choose from, it is a wonderful menu. From what we were told, everything is made in-house, except the bread, which is delivered fresh each day from the Bluff View Bakery (and is quite good).

The Antipasti choices were Calamari Fritti, Antipasto Misto, Torre Caprese, Cozze in Guazzetto, and Carpaccio. Prices are from $7.50 to $12.

Wayne and I selected the Calamari Fritti (fried fresh squid with a side of spicy tomato sauce - $8). It sounds so enticing when it’s called “calamari,” but the word “squid” doesn’t sound inviting – but that’s just me. . . However, it was delicious – crisp and not greasy – and I thoroughly enjoyed the sauce – wouldn’t mind having the recipe for that.

Three salads are offered: Cesare (Romaine hearts with Caesar Dressing and parmesan croutons - $7), Insalata Mista (assorted greens, ripe tomato, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar - $6.50), and Insalata Mama Mia (chopped assorted salad with grilled vegetables topped with fresh goat cheese and vinaigrette dressing - $8.50). We decided to skip the salad and go straight to the entree.

The Primi (or pasta) menu listed some wonderfully tempting creations such as Orecchiette alle Vongole (Orecchiette pasta with clams in a spicy tomato sauce - $13.50), Lasagnette Emiliana (homemade classic cechamel and meat lasagna - $14), Ziti Amkatriciana (tubular pasta sautéed with pancetta in a spicy tomato sauce with a touch of cream - $13), and Farfalle alla Checca (bowtie pasta, marinated fresh tomato, diced mozzarella in a white wine sauce and fresh herbs and garlic - $12). But – we both decided to order from the Secondi (second course dishes) section.

Talk about difficult! We must have changed our minds five or six times. Involtini Val D’Aosta (chicken breast wrapped with proscuitto ham and fontina cheese with a reduction of balsamic vinegar served with penne amjatriciana - $16.50), or maybe Filletto al tre pepi (Filet with peppercorn sauce served with asparagus - $26.50); or possibly Agnello alle Erbe (grilled New Zealand lamb chops drizzled with fresh herbs sauce served on a bed of sautéed spinach - $25).

Finally we made our decisions – Wayne ordered the Spiedini di Gamberi e Capesante, which is the grilled shrimp and scallops with proscuitto, fresh lemon sauce and rosemary served on arugula with cherry tomatoes and parmesan - $18). He said this was a wonderful dish and would definitely order it again. It seemed to me to be more of a salad-type entree, but it looked fantastic!

I ordered the Scalloppine Picatta. This is veal with picatta sauce capers and sun-dried tomatoes with saffron risotto cake and asparagus - $23. The veal was exceptionally tender (fork-tender) and I really liked the risotto – delicious.

The servings are ample, but not huge. It was nice to have a serving that was “just right,” and I didn’t have to ask for a “to-go” box, which I usually do anywhere we go. In fact, it left room for dessert!

Wayne tried the Chocolate Ice Cream Dessert ($6.50) and I ordered the Creme Brulee ($7). Both are worth a second try.

Hours for Boccaccia are Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday until 10:00 PM. They are closed on Sunday.

Yes, Boccaccia is certainly a place we will go back to.

READER PET PEEVE OF THE WEEK – Be sure and send more of your pet peeves regarding restaurants.

“My pet peeve is when the server is either too lazy to write the order down or wants to impress you with his or her mental abilities by merely standing and nodding while all four people order. What's the point in this? It makes me afraid to ask questions because it will surely mess up the orders they've already tried to memorize. Every time, without exception, something about the order is incorrect. It happened to me . . . the order was so botched, it was pathetic.”

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