Bricco Harrisburg Reviews
Italian Delight Jan 02, 2016
It was an impulsive gesture to rally friends for dinner Saturday evening, and an impromptu restaurant search worked out nicely. Selected Bricco from a combination of quality reviews and an interesting background.
An excellent and unique fine dining option focusing on Tuscan / Mediterranean dishes, Bricco serves as a training ground for students enrolled in the Olewine School of Culinary Arts at nearby Harrisburg Area Community College. Unsurprisingly, the business was made possible by a gift from the Olewine family, whose patriarch made a nice fortune from his local bakery (sold to Sysco in 1988). Even though the food and service is fine dining, the atmosphere is fun and casual.
As you may imagine, the experience is enhanced by a staff comprised of youngsters who are exceedingly competent and eager to please. I had not made a reservation and was astonished how quickly a table for seven was pulled together upon request. From there things only got better.
The interior is charming and features an open kitchen. A broad wine selection is one of Bricco’s attributes (they have earned awards from Wine Spectator), so walls lined with wine racks are an inviting element of the décor. Everything else is immaculate and tasteful. My group ordered wines, appetizers, entrees and specials and the unanimous verdict on everything from our deep sample was “terrific”. Dishes were elegantly presented and delicious. Perhaps the only thing we overlooked was Bricco’s desserts, but the family’s other venture, 'Ciao! Bakery' coexists in the same space – and it seems Ciao! has a reputation as the city’s premiere wedding cake provider. Everyone agreed it was probably safe to award Bricco five stars on that aspect as well.
My sole complaint, beyond Bricco’s control, is parking. The city of Harrisburg does not offer a bounty of parking lots and pricing for metered street spots is obscene. Not only are the rates high, they are enforced until 7PM Saturday evening (I am accustomed to “free” weekends in most cities). Between dinner and taking mom to the museum that afternoon it cost me $15 to store wheels for a few hours, which left a bad impression and probably dissuades folks from enjoying downtown.
Part of the Home for the Holidays travel blog
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