Italian off Broadway

Becco located in New York, NY

355 WEST 46TH ST NEW YORK 10036

Plates of various pasta cuisines passed us left and right. Bottles of wine adorned the walls as classic Italian décor, and romantic candles flickered on every table. The menu itself was overwhelming, to say the least, with so many different meal options to choose from. “Aha!” I thought when I finally saw the pasta trio that our friends had told us so much about. SINFONIA DI PASTE is how it read on the menu. An in house special of three of the daily pasta specials, served in unlimited quantities, and accompanied by salad and an array of vegetables. The perfect meal for a night on Broadway.

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The moment we found the specialty, we were all prepared to order, and of course, our orders were identical. Next, it was time to order the wine, because when you are eating like an Italian, you have to drink like an Italian too…or at least that was our excuse. The wine list read that all bottles of wine were priced at twenty-nine dollars. Moving my eyes eagerly and swiftly across the page, the menu continues to explain that they do not want price to cause you to choose a specific bottle and deter you from trying what it is you want to try, so try as many varieties as you like. Oh…we shall.

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First arrived the wine, poured delicately into our glasses for tasting approval…we approved. Then the waiter let the red river flow into our oversized glasses. Next, we were presented with the salad, anti-pasta, and vegetables for our starter. There was way too much of everything, reminiscent of the way that your grandmother prepares the annual Thanksgiving feast. The salad with it’s multi-colored greens lay in one bowl; with croutons and creamy Caesar dressing spread upon the leafs, creating a bounty of layers and textures. The anti-pasta with Roma tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella place the glory of the Italian flag in the simplicity of a ceramic platter. The grilled vegetables, shimmering with olive oil, all similar in presentation and seasoning but bursting with individual flavor. Oh, and the bread, the bread surrounded us and created a loving pillow for all of the future carbs that were yet to come. Then with the blink of an eye, we had engulfed all three platters of the ‘lighter course’ of our meal.

57Alas, came the main course, accompanied by a new bottle of wine. My plate was dressed with each of the three pastas in each own corner, creating an arena of deliciousness for the eyes and stomach. The blood red marinara of one flooded the thin strands of hand-cut spaghetti noodles decorated one corner. A lighter marinara, with flakes of parsley and black pepper blended together to dip in and out of the ‘little ears’ of orecchiette laid dressed in another. In the last corner, the most unique of all. Two twin scallop-shaped pastas, seared on either side with the ever so slight crisp around the edges and swimming in a small pond of cream sauce. Tiny sprinkles of parmesan across each island of pasta complete this breath-taking piece of art. Each pasta standing alone, beautiful, but together they formed a masterpiece like an orchestra creating a symphony. Each unique sauce fit its accompanied pasta as if they had been destined for one another. Each bite rejoiced in my mouth, and between each spoonful we looked at each other smiling and nodding in approval of our dinner choice…and yes we got seconds, it was unlimited… it would have been rude if we hadn’t.

So happy and oh so full, we slowly pushed our chairs out and began to commence our own walk of shame. There was no time to regret the amount we consumed or the state of my bank account; there was a show to attend to so we needed to be on our way. But before we leave, a photo to remember this night with dear friends. Looking at that picture now I cannot only remember our feelings, I can see them written all over our faces…bloated and blissful.

Becco

 

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