Thursday, March 31, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bravo! Cucina Italiano

Name: Bravo! Cucina Italiano
Location: 950 Lifestyle Center
Whitehall, PA 18052
Hours: Monday-Thurs, Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday- Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Atmosphere: Bravo Cucina Italiano is located at the Whitehall mall in the outside mall portion and consists of a very large dining space and side patio. Right inside the doors, customers are greeted by dim lighting and a cozy, loud atmosphere. The bar is located right near the front of the restaurant and consists of a massive countertop and multiple high-top tables for people to dine at or just enjoy a drink. The main dining room is large with booths running down the center of the room and round tables surrounding it. There is also a side room separated by French doors, usually kept open, which has a few bigger tables and could be used for large parties looking for a more private dining experience. The kitchen is open and customers can see the chefs busily preparing their meals only feet from their table. The interior consists of black and white fabrics and classic Italian wall décor. The outdoor patio has multiple tables covered by a large awning to protect customers from the weather. While the restaurant is large, it still has a feeling of coziness and warmth.

Score- 5

Service: I would say the service at Bravo is good, but almost too good. Our waitress was very attentive and constantly refilled our waters and our bread basket as soon as we ran low. She honored our special requests and was highly accommodating. Once we got our food however, she was slightly overbearing and annoying. Before we had even tasted our food she was asking if everything was okay and, multiple times during the meal, she would interrupt our conversation to ask if everything was alright. While some people may enjoy this type of attentiveness, I found it distracting and annoying.


Food: The food at Bravo is outstanding! Every time I go to dinner here I try something different and I am never disappointed. Obviously Bravo is an Italian restaurant so the menu features Italian classics as well as some more American-style dishes. Even before looking at the menu, customers are given a bread of focaccia and sun dried tomato oil for dipping. Every time I go to this restaurant, I eat multiple baskets of this. The dinner menu includes Primi items (appetizers) such as Calamari, Crispy Mozzarella Ravioli, Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Boursin and Flatbread Roma. There is also a Insalata and Zuppa section featuring Caesar Classico, Bravo Chopped Salad, Grilled Salmon Salad, Italian Wedding Soup and Lobster Bisque. The menu also provides a variety of pizza, pasta, house specialties, fish dishes and meat dishes. My favorite appetizer is the Bruschetta with Mushrooms and Boursin, its so delicious! I also ordered the Grilled Chicken Marsala, another good dish but very simple. The dessert menu offers Tiramisu, Crème Brulee, Gelato, Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding and Torta Di Cioccolata. My friends and I dine here often and every time we order something new and never leave unsatisfied!

Bravo offers lunch, dinner, dessert and brunch.

Score- 5

Pricing: Bravo is mid-range in terms of price. Appetizers range in price from $6 to $12, pizza and pasta costs around $12 while house specialties, fish and meat dishes cost anywhere from $11 to $20. I ended up paying around $26 for the Bruschetta and the Chicken Marsala. Although the prices are a little steeper than other Italian restaurants in the area, it offers a greater variety and better dishes in general.

Bravo sincerely deserves just that! I recommend this place for any occasion; however, during the springtime it is especially nice to dine outside on the patio.

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