I had been dying to try Restaurant Bricco, but somehow in my ten months in West Hartford, I never found the chance. Man, do I wish I checked this place out sooner! Bricco is the type of delicious upscale Italian that would lead to a reservation only restaurant in New York City. Lucky for us, and terrible for my waistline, this restaurant is right in West Hartford Center!
We went to Bricco around 845, and only had to wait about fifteen minutes for a table. The bar is a great place to sit with a drink and wait. It was a nice night, so we could have dined outside, but we opted to eat inside to avoid the bugs. The patio outside is really cute!
First of all, the bread at Bricco is to die for. The crust on the bread is crispy and the inside is soft and warm. I probably could have made a meal of the bread alone, but after looking at the menu I had to refrain. I am a real Italian food lover. Growing up, my mom always made her own “gravy” (pasta sauce) and I always had trouble enjoying Italian from anywhere else. Over the past few years, I have opened my taste buds to some other Italian cooking, but thats not to say I am not still terribly picky.
I think the true test of an Italian restaurant is their calamari and penne alla vodka. We did not have the calamari at Bricco because I ate so much bread I could have exploded. We opted to split the penne alla vodka and “My Mom’s” spaghetti carbonara- two of my favorite Italian dishes. The penne alla vodka was SO good. The sauce was the perfect balance of red sauce and cream. I added chicken, which was tender and juicy. The pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente and the fresh basil and grated parmesan really added to the dish.
“My Mom’s” Spaghetti Carbonara was a much heartier dish than the penne alla vodka, but it was so delicious and worth each and every calorie. First of all, carbonara with peas is one of my favorite combinations in the world. Add onions and pancetta, and I am a believer. Again, the spaghetti was cooked perfectly and tasted fresh. The cracked pepper and fresh grated parmesan complemented the flavors beautifully. Admittedly, I could have foregone the fresh parmesan to save a couple of calories but hey, go big or go home, right?
Like I said, I am (probably annoyingly) picky about Italian food, and I would go to Bricco over and over again. Dare I say, it is some of the best Italian I have had? (Thankfully, my mom doesn’t know how to follow a blog :))