With its eclectic décor, old- timey music, classic Italian menu items and abundant serving sizes, Macon’s newest Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo, is not exaggerating when they call themselves a family-style restaurant.
Although Buca di Beppo has over 90 locations in the U.S., England and Mexico, the restaurant’s atmosphere is that of a small, one-of-a-kind, locally owned, Italian bistro.
Unlike many other Italian restaurant chains, Buca di Beppo’s eccentric style and taste in both decoration and music keep diners entertained as they eat delicious Italian cuisine.
It is hard to keep your eyes off of the walls, full of images of Italian landscapes, paintings of saints and holy people, and vintage photos that look like they might have been taken from someone’s personal photo album.
The decoration gives the impression that you are looking at the result of one person’s mission to collect as many souvenirs and photos from different countries around the world as they could, especially Italy.
Even with what seems to be wide-ranging and spontaneous décor, Buca di Beppo sticks to its overall theme of Italy in a big way.
Although many small random pictures of movie stars and kittens cover the restaurant, a large painting of Venice or of a Catholic saint dominates many walls.
The music ranges from Italian operatic music scores to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra classics.
Of course, the food is Italian-themed with a variety of Italian appetizers, like mozzarella garlic bread, and entrées, including ravioli, fettuccine alfredo, cheese manicotti, baked lasagna, and shrimp florentine.
Buca di Beppo’s menu also includes popular Italian wines, soft drinks and desserts, such as the dolce platter and chocolate-chip cannolis.
The restaurant continues creating innovative new recipes inspired by Northern and Southern Italian cuisine.
Buca di Beppo has a strong focus on family and friends, which is demonstrated by their large meal portions they encourage customers to share.
Diners can choose between the sizes of small and large for each entrée, depending on how hungry they are.
Their large portions also extend to their dessert options, as in their “Colossal Brownie Sundae,” which could easily feed five people.
The restaurant might be considered casual dining, but the lively atmosphere, friendly service and delicious food help make Buca di Beppo the perfect place for any kind of celebration, whether it be a birthday, anniversary, formal or graduation.
The placemat even advertises parties for Confirmations, Communions, office celebrations and Groundhog Day.
If you would like to feel excited about going out to eat, Buca di Beppo is the ideal restaurant.
It is impossible for fellow diners not to realize it is your birthday and almost equally impossible for them not to join in with the staff in singing their catchy birthday sing-along.
As you’re celebrating, you can even enjoy the light of your own personal candelabra.
However, Buca di Beppo is mostly a restaurant for larger parties who are willing to pay for more expensive meals, most likely for a special occasion.
Since the meal portions are meant for sharing, each item costs more than expected at most casual Italian restaurants.
Also, if you cannot agree on a menu item to share with another person, you will be paying a rather hefty price for one meal.
Therefore, Buca di Beppo, although delicious, might not be your number one choice for a first date, a quick bite to eat or a thrifty dinner, especially on a college budget.
But keep it in mind for when graduation comes around.