Sunday, March 11, 2007

Back to BEBO with the babes (well, kids)

Last night was another night out with Samuel and his friend Joshua and Joshua's two daddies. We all had a pretty great time at BEBO TRATTORIA, Roberto Donna's hopping new bistro in Crystal City. Our previous visit to BEBO was for a spectacular tasting menu with wines, and we never really looked at the menu, so we were shocked to see that the prices were so low. The appetizers are all less than $10, entrees in the mid-teens and wines start in the low $20's with some excellent option all under $30-40!

As it was Sunday, Chef Donna was not in residence, but the kitchen had everything under control, and each dish was quite tip-top. The only failure seemed to be with some of the serving and bus staff not understanding our requests from time to time (a language problem I fear) when we needed an extra bowl or plate for the kids to split something. At one point the ice cream we wanted them to share almost melted completely before we got a second bowl! I also wish that there was a bit more room between the table and walkway as each time a waiter went behind me I got bumped.

We started by ordering Shirley Temples for the boys which they loved, and they were served in nice tall glasses rather than those short ones which are gone in 4 sips! Our wine choice was a ALIANTO ECORINO from Cantina CALLE MORO in Abruzzo, Italy. I chose this as we are headed to Abruzzo in August and thought it might be fun to try some new regional wines. The fruit-filled white was akin to a Verdicchio and would go great with fried food (think calamari) and seafood. We LOVED it. It was a perfect foil for all the wonderful starters especially the Soft Polenta on Firefly Creamery Soft Cheese with Grilled Home-Cured Pancetta, the amazing CARNE CRUDA all ALBESE--a raw veal carpaccio served with celery, sliced mushrooms, parmesan cheese and olive-oil with lemon. My VITELLO TONATO was an amazing Veal Tongue with a spectacular BAGNETTO ROSSI sauce of spicy tomato and a dash of mustard with adorable gherkins and just heavenly! The FEGATINI or Chicken Livers on Polenta (also under $10!!) was a huge rich portion that could easily have been an entree!

We moved on to red for our entrees and ordered a 2001 Chianti Riserva which was sadly out of stock, so we opted for the DIANELLA FUCINI 2005 Chianti which was nice but needed a bit more body for me. The entrees were also impressive except perhaps for the CANELLONI alla NAPOLETANA with ricotta stuffing and pork sausage ragu (a shock considering that Chef Donna's pastas are always the best around!). The VEAL SCALLPONI was very tasty and my CONIGLIO FRITO was a sublime dish of battered and deep fried loin of rabbit with accompanying fried artichoke hearts and spring onion with a yummy Orange Mayo dipping sauce. The top dish was easily the mildly spicy and invigorating LAMB STEAK, another huge portion as well!

The kids were happy with their kids meals of FARFALLE with TOMATO SAUCE and five tons of Freshly Grated Parmesan at the table for Sam and Joshua's DITALINI with CHEESE SAUCE. Ditalini are hollow bead-like mini pasta (there word mean little thimble) that were just adorable We also ordered a plate of the CHICKEN FINGERS MILANESE with TOMATO SAUCE which had no breading and were pure moist chicken breast with a tasty coating that we all loved.

Desserts are always a treat (I wonder who is the pastry chef these days as the bread is always terrific too--but I miss Galileo's super breadsticks!) from CANNOLI to the kids creamy HAZELNUT & VANILLA GELATO. A rich FONDUTA di NUTELLA con BISCOTTI e FRUTTA offered up a richer than fondue dipping sauce of chocolate/hazelnut with lots of dipping options and my PEARS POACHED in RED WINE with Cinnamon ZABAGLIONE was also fab, especially for the thickness of the tasty red-wine sauce.

The kids had finished eating and played under the large table together while we finished up and we were really proud of their excellent behavior. What's next??