Written by Natalie Payan
If you’re ever craving the ultimate Italian experience, it’s right next door. Buca di Beppo presents an authentic Italian environment, and it feels like you’re actually in Italy as soon as you walk inside.
The staff welcomes you immediately and invites you to a tour of the restaurant. They take you inside their kitchen, and show you how they make their delicious food. In the heart of the kitchen lies a booth for any customer who feels like dining with the cooks. The restaurant goes all-out with the Italian ambiance — you can actually eat with the pope. OK, not the actual pope, but a statue replica of him. Hung on its walls are over 2500 pictures depicting Italy’s history. At the far side of the restaurant is a bar for those in the mood for a casual drink, and there’s even a ceiling covered with wine bottles with signatures of past customers.
The waiter arrives instantly with a friendly smile, as if he’s excited that you’ve arrived. You must come with a big appetite to truly enjoy the experience, as there are no small entrees. Looking at the menu, they present you a wide variety of Italian dishes, from pasta to pizza to their delicious salads.
The food arrives Italian-style, meaning everyone in the table shares the appetizers and meals. The fried mozzarella appetizer gets your Italian taste buds flying; the perfect combo of crunchy bread with melted cheese makes your insides feel warm and relaxed. The flavor is so authentic that you’ll feel like you can actually speak Italian.
The excellent service continues to impress, as the waiter brings refills before you even ask. After around 7 p.m., they dim the restaurant lights to add that romantic touch.
The main course fills you with excitement at the variety of choices. Their spicy chicken rigatoni makes for a promising meal with its chicken and garlic aroma. As you chow down on the meal, you can taste the soft chicken breast covered in garlic, crushed red pepper and peas showered with spicy rosa sauce. Their Caesar salad nicely compliments the meal, and you have to stop yourself from eating the whole meal by yourself.
After you’re stuffed from the main course, you must make stomach room for their undeniable deserts. The colossal brownie sundae is just as intimidating as it sounds; it consists of crunchy brownies melted at the bottom topped with creamy vanilla ice cream drenched in whip cream. This massive desert cannot be consumed by one person alone. Finish this desert with your second glass of wine, and you’ll feel so at ease that you can take a much-needed nap.
The only downside is the pricing. It’s not the most economic choice for dinner, especially for college students. Prices range from $14 to $40, but keep in mind that most dishes serve between two and four people. Despite the cost, the restaurant’s atmosphere is perfect for different events like surprise birthdays, school events, anniversaries or even just a nice hangout with friends. Also, keep in mind that NSU students get a 15 percent discount if they bring their Shark Cards. Whether you’re going for a special occasion or just looking for some variety, Buca di Beppo is the place for the ultimate Italian experience.
3355 S. University Drive, Davie
Hours: Monday- Thursday—11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday—11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday—11 a.m.-9 p.m.