Restaurants & Bars 1

Bebo Review

big o | Dec 5, 2006 05:15 PM

I first became aware of Bebo on their Grand Opening day, when I walked over with plans to dine at Oyamel. I wound up at Jaleo that night instead, but got the lowdown on the new place and endeavored to stop by at some point. Last night wound up being some point.

A friend and I went through the following: fried pig's foot on lentil salad (an appetizer special), Paccheri al Sugo di Costine di Maiale, Bucatini all' Amatriciana, Meringa Farcita con Gelato al Mascarpone e Cioccolato e Salsa alle Nocciolle, and a baked apple dessert from the specials menu whose needlessly-long title I cannot recall from memory.

We kicked things off with a couple glasses of wine (good and impressively cheap) while waiting for the trotters. Eventually, a kid came by carrying a bowl and announcing "fish special". Color me surprised, but despite what it sounds like in English, "fish special" apparently means "here are your pig's feet" in Spanish.

I was disappointed. My experience with pig's feet has been limited, but I expected highly-flavored bits of tendon, cartilage, and meat. I think I got all of that, minus the meat and the flavor. Fried up, it was more an exercise in texture than anything else. The lentil salad was fine.

The pastas were similarly lackluster. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Lupa and Babbo, but my Bucatini was uninspiring to say the least. If there was a single piece of guanciale in there, I couldn't find it in either physical presence or flavor, and the sauce was begging for the hot pepper I'm fairly sure it should have included. The fact that the sauce was totally overwhelmed by the slight sprinkling of cheese on top (I'd guess romano) just made the whole effort come across as neutered. And to further the dirty metaphor a bit -- because what fun is talking about noodles if you can't reference genitalia? -- the bucatini was overcooked, and slightly limp.

I tasted a forkful of my friend's paccheri, and though the meat was in abundance and had a nice flavor to it, the overall dish also came across as too subtle for its own good.

All that said, my dessert (I had the meringue filled with marscapone and chocolate ice creams and served on a hazelnut sauce) was fantastic. The large, sweet, phenomenally-textured hunks of meringue were perfectly juxtaposed with the creaminess and deeper flavors of the ice creams/sauce.

For fear of losing a finger, I was only able to sample a single spoonful of my companion's apple/crumb/ice cream dessert, but what I was able to sneak away from her was quite nice.

For one appetizer, two pastas, two desserts, two coffees, and three glasses of wine, plus tax and a generous tip (I liked both our waitress and her apparent shadow for the day), I walked away about $80 lighter.

I would consider a return visit to Bebo, but don't imagine I'd bother with their pastas again.

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