For Labor Day weekend, my mother and I traveled to New York City primarily to attend the US Open. This had been on the bucket list for both of us for a while and so we were extremely excited to finally go. We decided to add a few additional activities to our trip to include attending the Broadway Musical: Hamilton! This was almost, if not more exciting, than attending matches at the US Open and seeing my childhood sheros play at a Grand Slam. Hamilton is performed at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 46th Street so I did a little research on good restaurants near the location. After a quick search, a made a reservation for an Italian restaurant named Becco located at 355 West 46th Street, NY, NY 10036 which was just on the other side of 8th Avenue.
On NYC’s famed Restaurant Row in the heart of the theater district, Becco has been around since 1993. The name Becco is derived from the Italian verb, beccaro, which means to peck, nibble, or savor something in a discriminating way. Becco is famous for its innovative pasta tasting menu & extensive $29 wine list. I choose this location because I assumed that the portion sizes would be small and we would not have leftovers because I was not sure if food could be bought in the theater. However, I totally underestimated the portion sizes at Becco. The restaurant itself is massive with two dining rooms in the front and another large dining room in the back lit but a skylight. However, not a great view from the window above.
Our reservation was for 6pm to give us enough time to enjoy our food and walk down the street to get into the show. My mother and I have similar taste so ordered a large bottle of sparkling water ($7) with lime. She then ordered a Long Island Iced Tea ($13) which she thoroughly enjoyed. It took a little while for the drink to come which was preview of what to expect for the rest of the dinner. Before we placed our order, a server brought out a beautifully presented bread basket platter, a bean spread with olive oil (similar to that of hummus) and olives. I tried both of the bread loafs which were good but the bean spread was amazing! I did not know what to expect but I really enjoyed it. I’m not a fan of olives but my mother enjoyed the olives. They were not pitted so the restaurant provided an extra small plate for the pits. So far, we were off to a great start.
We ordered the Calamari Fritti ($21) and Cozze alla Triestina ($13) as our starters. To be honest, we could have stopped here and been satisfied. All entrees include complimentary Caesar salad so we had that first and then the appetizers. The salad was presented on a large plate and the server then put the salad on your plate on the table. This was a different approach to service that was unordinary but welcomed. After we finished our salads, our appetizers arrived. I found the fried calamari price to be a bit high but after the dish arrived, I totally understood the cost. The huge serving included crispy, tender rings of fried squid with a spicy tomato sauce. This was by far the largest serving of calamari I have ever seen and the calamari itself was huge! They were seasoned and cooked perfectly and the spicy tomato sauce was impressive! I could almost have a bowl of the sauce by itself! It was basically a very well-seasoned tomato soup! We tried to finish as much as we could but we ended up taking the rest of it home for later.
The Cozze alla Triestina were mussels steamed in garlic with onions, fresh green beans, and seasoned with savory breadcrumbs in a white sauce (there was also a red sauce available). As I’ve said before, the most important component of a mussels dish is the broth and it was phenomenal. It was a bit rich but it was still delicious! The onions and green beans with the broth was also delicious! Again, we could have ended our meal here but were unaware about how big the portion size was before we ordered.
In between this course and the next, there was roughly a 20 minute wait. I started to get nervous that we would have to rush our meal once it arrived in order to make the show. Our entrees did not arrive until roughly 7:20pm. During the wait, the table next to us got their meal and one plate included an impressive piece of meat. It was the Costtoletta di Vitello alla Joe ($43) which was “Joe’s Veal Chop” grilled and served with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled ramps drizzled with La Mozza extra virgin olive oil and aceto di balsamico. It looked delicious and the diner seemed very pleased with their dish. Also during our wait, a table on the other side of us ordered the Sinfonia Di Paste ($24.95) which included unlimited table service of Executive Chef William Gallagher’s Three Daily Pasta Preparations. I was able to get pictures of 2 of the 3 pasta dishes. The third included shrimp but had to be specially made due to a shellfish allergy so there was not enough to share for a photograph. See pictures below.
For our main course, I ordered that Day’s special of Beef Short Ribs ($40) which included garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed greens. I ordered sautéed spinach in lieu of the mashed potatoes to not over indulge. Everything here is a generous portion of deliciousness! The meat sat on top of the bone which made it appear like more than it was but it was still a great piece of meat. It was tender and fell right apart. It was served with a gravy that a bit salty but still good overall. It was just a lot of gravy. I wish they would have separated the sides from the sauce. I am not a fan of greens but they appeared to be seasoned well and were tolerable with the sauce. The sautéed spinach was good but not great though the sauce helped. Because I was pretty full and I hate reheating beef, I decided to finish the short rib and left a large helping of the spinach behind.
My mom ordeed the Bistecco alla Becco ($42) medium-rare which included grilled black angus ribeye, dry-aged & rubbed with porcini mushrooms served with Tuscan fries and sautéed broccoli. In lieu of the fries, she was able to get garlic sautéed spinach instead. She also ordered a side of mushrooms called Funghi Trifolati ($9) which we thought was going to be a little portion of mushrooms but turned out to be a large plate of mushrooms. I really enjoyed her mushrooms and took quite a bit of that with my meal. I also like they were not on my plate with the sauce and I could enjoy the flavors separately. My mother had a beautiful piece of meat that was seasoned and cooked just perfectly. I did not get a great picture of the meat so I found one online though those Tuscan fries don’t look all that special. I also got a bite of her steak and it was delicious! I could have easily ordered that and been happy. The side of broccoli and spinach was also very generous and she couldn’t possibly finish her meal so she eat what she could and took the rest for later. There went my plan to not have left overs in the theater.
While we did not get dessert due to time and fullness, the table next to me ordered the Ricottina ($8) which was an Italian cheese with strawberries and strawberry sauce. The other dessert they ordered was the Tiramisu that I was unable to find on the menu. Apparently, that cheesecake is one of the city’s best kept secrets and was amazing. Another lady at the table next to them said that she traveled from NJ to come to the restaurant and try it. The Tiramisu was also delicious and the diner mentioned that he typically does not like coffee but seriously enjoyed his dessert.
Overall, we had an amazing meal. Our total was $165.49 and after a tip, I’m sure it was close to $190 or $200. Everything we ate from that restaurant was excellent! The portions are huge so be ready to share or take some for later. We ended up taking a bag into the theater with no problem which was a plus. I would definitely make my way back to this restaurant! The only compliant is that the greatness took quite some time to arrive but when it did, it was magical. Oh, and Hamilton was an incredible show by the way. A definitely must see!! The following is my Seven Mac Score for the restaurant:
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Please look out for my Part II of the NYC Dining Series as I make my way around the City and explore some of my favorite places! Also, you can find me on Instagram @finediningdiva and twitter @moderndaybeauty. Also, if you would like to follow my blog to receive notification when a new blog is posted, please send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And remember: It’s a BIG world and we are going to eat our way through it!