Sharing the Kitchen with Buca di Beppo

JasonTWhere do you bring 9 hungry adults and 4 boisterous children for a hearty Italian dinner? Why, Buca of course!

Buca has always served me well for larger groups of people. I’d have to say I’ve dined there only once as a table of two; in that instance, we enjoyed the patio at the St. Paul location all lit up by Christmas lights in summertime…the two of us shared a gigantic bowl of spaghetti with gigantic meatballs. All other times I’ve gone with 8 or more folks.

A few days ago, I joined fellow MetroBlogger JasonT, my husband and several friends (some with kids in tow) for supper at the St. Paul Buca. However, this time, I had was treated to a whole new perspective on Buca: we were seated at the “Kitchen Table.” Literally, they have a table right there, in the kitchen, with a spice rack overhead and the ovens just 12 feet away. The chefs were running about as were the wait staff, heaving plates of steamy food back and forth. We also noticed a three-ring binder wedged waaay up between the ceiling and a water pipe; the side of this binder read “Buca TOP SECRET.” We assumed this was a recipe book but were told by our server, the manager and the head chef that they had no idea what was contained inside. Hmmm.

Heather and Buca ChefAs for supper, not one of us could have left hungry. We started with a yummy Pizza Con Formaggio as appetizer and moved on to our shared Linguini Frutti Di Mare, Tortelloni and Fettucini Alfredo entrees. The linguini/seafood dish entertained my palate the most, while I found the fettucini bland and uncreative. We also burned through two monster-sized bottles of the house Chianti, which, if you ask me, lacks a little in flavor. On the other hand, the bread, salad, lemon green beans and garlic mashed potatoes are always delightful at Buca. The kids kept the cliche alive and ordered what kids usually order: cheese pizza!

Plates began to clear away and we then endured dessert: a very rich and tasty cheesecake and tiramisu. By this time, we reached a new level of FULL. As the party slowly started to break up, we took a moment to thank the chefs for our meals…after all, we were in the kitchen. They were so gracious. The head chef even posed for a photo with me – what a great sport.

2 Comments so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

    The mashed potatoes. Good lawd, the mashed potatoes. With the giant pat of butter just sitting on top. Mmmm…. I haven’t been to Buca in forever.


  2. Erica (unregistered) on August 27th, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

    *pinch Jason’s cheeks*



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