Archive for March, 2013

Back to Bocconi again and again*

It’s a typical Friday evening, heading home from work. I make the anticipatory and, at the same time, dreaded phone call: “Where do you want to have dinner?” There’s always an attempt to suggest restaurants to which we haven’t been locally, but at the end of the work week, comfort always seems to win. While many aspects of my life are regimented, I like my food and travel to be multifarious. So when the answer from either one of us is ultimately, “Let’s just go to Bocconi,” there’s an air of ambivalence.

We try to fight that response, but deep down, both of us know that our mouths and stomachs will end up

Pear Salad with endive, radicchio and a balsamic reduction

Pear Salad with endive, radicchio and a balsamic reduction

much more than satisfied and our pockets won’t be heavily emptied, which weighs greatly in the dining decision for many people. In order to reject the repetition in some fashion, I insist on ordering something different each time. Could it be some sort of nefarious attempt to sabotage my will to return so quickly? Am I hoping that the next dish just might not be that good or that Chef Mario will have an “off” night? Maybe it’s more because there are numerous specials that consistently have been winners, and I have yet to try them all.


Veal Milanese

Perusing the menu, I’m perplexed that I had always overlooked the veal milanese, topped with an arugala and cherry tomato salad. The fear of non-tender veal must have always blinded the item from me. I can’t believe what I was missing, especially after my eyebrow raised and furrowed when told that the breading is made from chopped pretzel. I resolved it might be unusual, unconventional, and not as pleasing as my preconceived image of a wiener schnitzel breading. I sat corrected and embarrassed for pre-judging and not having confidence in such a consistent chef. After all, I thought, this isn’t Bouley or Le Bernardin where alteration from tradition is demanded. Tender was the veal!

I admit, we have betrayed Owner/Host Frank on many Friday nights, but most times, when we solicit such an inexpensive harlot that Yelp reviewers speak so highly of, we’re the ones who leave feeling cheated – our desirous tastebuds left unfulfilled. The adage goes “you get what you pay for”, but that’s why we love Bocconi. It breaks the expression because you get more than what you pay for in quality, quantity and a wealth of hospitality. Shhh, don’t tell them.

Save room for the bananas flambé. The tableside prep fascinates the young and not-so-young alike.


* My addendum to previous post More Than a Bite at Bocconi.