Indio, California: My whole "I'm going to write a column about a new restaurant every week on this trip" thing has been a bit of a failure. No restaurant dining while babysitting the Cutest Baby Ever, no restaurant dining while DT was away, and the few places we have tried haven't even been worthy of my time to write about, and the photos were promptly deleted.
Tonight we met Mark and Debbie for dinner at the just-opened Bucatini Pizza & Trattoria in La Quinta... because you know what they say: pizza is like sex - even when it's bad, it's still pretty good.
The pizza from Bucatini is very, very good! They are quite proud of their fancy 850° Italian wood-fired pizza oven that cooks a pizza in 30-60 seconds. Their oven gives a new meaning to "fast food". Of course we ordered a Pizza Margherita - the one true test of a pizzeria. I loved the charred bits on the bottom and the super-thin crispy crust. The sauce and cheese were perfect. A great pizza. $12.
Carpaccio Bresaola from Bucatini
Didn't I prepare Bresaola for dinner just the other night?
Incredibly similar (though mine had the advantage of professional lighting), I serve theair-dried beef over arugula, but note the shaved parmesan and lemon wedge - all traditional and exactly as this dish is presented in Italy. I was confused that Bucatini has this salad listed as "Carpaccio Bresaola" on their menu, as Carpaccio is thin slices of fresh raw beef... but I am easily confused. Their salad was nearly as good as mine. $13.
Bucatini Trattoria has a full dinner menu, with a large selection of pasta, fish and meat dishes. Their "signature" pasta (bucatini - straw-shaped pasta) is featured in many dishes. DT and I both (I hate it when we do this) ordered the Vittelo Limone, a generous portion neither of us could finish (so it will be our lunch tomorrow).
Not a great (cell phone) photo of a great dish - veal scaloppini sautéed in a lemon and white wine caper sauce, served with sauteed angel hair with garlic and olive oil - $19. I loved the preserved lemons and capers.
Mark went with Farfallette Salmonate (little butterfly pasta with salmon), $16. (Warning: Bucatini serves farm-raised salmon.) Debbie went old-school with spaghetti & three massive meatballs, $13.
Two desserts were ordered, but neither were enjoyed.
It is unfair to praise or raze a restaurant that has only been open one week, but I feel Bucatini Trattoria will be very popular. Though the joint was completely packed, our service was good and our waiters were friendly and knew the menu. Prices are extremely reasonable for this area. We had a reservation and our table was waiting when we arrived. The restaurant is in a newer building, attractively appointed and the noise level was fine. DT and I will return again and again - the pizza is that good.
Bucatini Pizzeria & Trattoria
46660 Washington Street
La Quinta, CA 92253
Open for lunch and dinner, indoor and patio seating, wine list, full bar, reservations accepted, gluten-free pizza and pasta options, free parking.
Until my next update, I remain, your "I liked it" correspondent.
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