Buca Di Mangia

Buca Di Mangia

A variety of delights from Buca di Beppo


How could a hungry editor, and her staff of four, possibly refuse when a restaurant sends out the invite for a big-a mama and a-papa Italian-style dinner? And so, on a recent Tuesday night, my team and I headed over to Buca di Beppo in the Theatre District for what we knew was going to be an eating festival. The restaurant itself is broken into a number of rooms, some large and small, cheerfully decorated with Christmas lights: The walls are crammed with black and white photos of every imagineable past and present Italian, famous and not.  As expected, the red-and white checkered tablecloths were soon obscured by the massive amounts of family-style plates that were brought to our table. Two Gulliver-sized faux martini glasses arrived, one filled with fried calamari, the other with a mountain of bruschetta, along with a huge bowl of a tasty and well-dressed apple gorgonzola salad. Main courses soon arrived: spaghetti with marinara sauce, vegetable lasagna,  prosciutto stuffed chicken and veal saltimbocca. A dessert place was a ridiculously gluttonous choice after a meal like this but bites of a rich chocolate layer cake and crisp apple crostata, baked in a flaky crust with crunchy almonds offered the appropriate mmmmmm. You can order small (serves two or more) or large (serves four or more) plates, but warning: the accent is on the “more,” and doggie bags are going to be mandatory. All in all, a cheerful, fine and filling night that had me satiated until well into Wednesday.  >> Buca di Beppo, 1540  Broadway, at W. 45th St., 212. 764.6527