While visiting Louisville a couple weeks ago our family had the opportunity to visit Buca di Beppo, a popular Italian restaurant with locations in various cities across the country. We were excited, as Italian is one our family's favorite meals, and we've heard a lot of people mention how good the food is, although this was our first time visiting. When we arrived the waiter checked our reservation and led us to our table in a quiet corner of the restaurant. To get to the seating area you actually walk through the kitchen, which is a unique aspect of Buca di Beppo!
Our waiter, Stefan, took our beverage orders, and gave us a few minutes to browse the menu. I was pleased to learn that they had flavored (brewed) teas available, and tried a strawberry sweet tea. Which, as it turned out, was very good-I don't think I've had strawberry tea before, but now I know it's a favorite! We were also able to munch on warm bread after placing our order.
Dinner is served family style at Buca di Beppo, but as we were there for lunch, everyone was able to order their own meal. I had looked at the menu online, and already knew what I would be ordering-the Chicken Cannelloni, which is spinach pasta tubes filled with chicken, ricotta, and mozzarella, with rosa sauce. I was also able to add on a side salad with my meal. Other members of the family opted for baked ziti, chicken parmigiana, and the chopped antipasto salad.
Within a short amount of time our food was served, still steaming when it arrived! It all looked delicious, and we couldn't wait to get started. Stefan also checked to make sure our drinks were refilled after bringing our meals, so we were good to go. The Chicken Cannelloni was absolutely delicious. It comes with only 2 stuffed tubes, but that is more than it sounds like! These are quite stuffed-in fact, overflowing-and I could only eat one tube before I was full. Of course I also ate the side salad, which is one of the best salads I've ever had. The dressing is superb, and that alone is worth eating at Buca di Beppo!
Other family members were also raving over their meals, so overall I'd say that it was definitely a hit. I actually tried a bite of the baked ziti, which was very fresh tasting and had just the right amount of cheese.
After the remainder of our meal was packed into to-go boxes, we ordered 2 desserts; the Chocolate Chip Cannoli, and the Colossal Brownie Sundae. This is exactly as big as it sounds, featuring 12 chunks of brownie, 6 scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, all topped off with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and sprinkles! With all 6 of us working at it, we still weren't able to finish off the brownie sundae or the cannoli. This was also my first cannoli experience, but it certainly won't be my last. Crispy chocolate shells stuffed with cannoli cream and chocolate chips, served in a puddle of chocolate syrup. Yes, it was chocolate overload, and it was good!
Now, although our meal was great, and the service was fantastic, I regret to say that our family will not be visiting Buca di Beppo again. This is due to the large amount of signs (and statues) of completely nude women, and the vulgar sign in the bathroom hallway. Many of the decorations in the restaurant were simply funny, but there were too many that were totally inappropriate to allow me to visit again. I honestly wish this was not the case, but I can not truthfully say that Buca di Beppo is a family-friendly restaurant after seeing the decor they choose to place all over the walls.