Had an excellent meal at Bricco tonight. Have no strong arguments with the food, but found it somewhat more expensive than it should be, even considering the quality (probably among the highest priced food in the Boston area). There's a handful of restaurants in this country where I love the food so much that I'm willing to pay something in the high 30s for a main course, and as good as Bricco is, it's not one of those places.
A cassata of peppers had excellent rich flavours from smokey red and yellow peppers, each colour a bold stripe in a wedge of this flan like appetizer. Chilled, it was lovely for a warm day. The side of goat cheese crumble and chopped cucumbers (at least I thought it was cucumbers) molded into a little timbale was nice, but serving it a little cold worked seriously against the goat cheese, causing it to seize a little, denying it its usual mellow flavour and creamy texture. I much prefer cheese served at room temperature.
The mozzerella stuffed gnocchi compares favourably with some of the best gnocchi in town, beautifully tender, with gooey mozzerella lending a chewy warm sensation. Very well complemented by mushrooms sauteed to just the right snap and bursts of cherry tomatoes. I found the finish in the sauce a tad greasy, but it doesn't distract from the excellent gnocchi.
A veal t-bone is beautifully cooked (tender, juicy, full of milky flavour) and pairs wonderfully with the acidity in a grapeful flavoured mashed potato. Also a good side of peppery buttery vegetables. I was in the mood for veal and didn't care if it included truffle shavings (it was a poor year for truffles and it's very very late in the season if the season existed at all at this point). As expected, the shavings of truffle were somewhat mild, perhaps a bit nutty, but offering none of that amazing distinctive umami that this fugus is prized for. I wasn't expecting much but I just wonder why a restaurant of this calibre would include something less than in it's seasonal prime, even if it was a luxury ingredient.
Bread pudding sauced with caramel is one of the best I've had in a while, of the delicate cloud-fluffy variety, reminding me of a similar and perhaps slightly better one flavoured with fennel I had nearly 2 years ago at Caffe Umbra. Great pignoli gelato, even if it doesn't have the rich softness of gelato and comes closer to ice cream in texture; still lovely with a jammy strawberry sauce. Then a complementary little glass of sharp and refreshing lemoncello to finish.
The above, with a glass of very good valpolicello comes to practically $90 not including tip. Excellent food, very enjoyable, but one can eat just as well at a few places for less, sometimes much (15% or so) less.
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