Where: Picco - 513 Tremont Street Boston, MA 02116
When: March, 2012
For the lovely Libby’s birthday celebration a group of 9 of us went to Picco in the South End to celebrate. It was a great mix of friends and family, all from different parts of her life. It was nice to put some faces to the names and stories I had heard and what better occasion to break bread together.
We had to wait a little while to sit as one of our 4 tables wasn’t quite ready when we got there. I can’t complain, I am grateful they just took our reservation as a lot of places in the South End don’t seem to. We quickly were greeted and ordered a few bottles of wine, some salads, and pizzas – one of their two specialties (just wait until you hear about the ice cream). Libby and I shared the Arugula salad which came with Parmigiano Reggiano, lemon juice & olive oil. It was so simple that I wasn’t sure what to expect but it really didn’t need anything else. It was light, fresh, salty, peppery and just right to make the pizza I was about to eat not feel quite so indulgent.
For the pizza, we also split the large Margherita which came with tomato sauce & fresh mozzarella. Libby asked for the pizza lightly done as Picco cooks their pizzas very well. I wouldn’t have known and wouldn’t have thought to ask for it this way but am glad Libby did as the way we received it was just how I like it. The other pizzas were definitely more cooked with some charred bits on the crust and toppings, almost looking burnt. The crust was really nice – it was thin but not hard / super crisp like a lot of thin crust pizzas. It had nice bubbles of spongy soft crust as well. All the pizzas looked really good and I’m already plotting to to get back there to try the Alsatian which comes with sautéed onions, shallots, garlic, crème fraiche, bacon & gruyere. Yum. Everyone enjoyed their pizzas although I did hear Anne say she wished that she hadn’t substituted the meat on her pizza for chicken (I think it came with pork). She said she couldn’t really complain though as it was her choice to substitute it. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
One of my favorite pizza related anecdotes from the night was that when Libby got home and opened up a gift bag I had given her to find a couple of pizza crusts in there. I wish I could have taken credit for that but we think they must have fallen off the table when we had to move it to let someone out for a bathroom break. What a great late night treat though!
I had more pizza that I should have, totaling about 4 large slices so I had a serious dilemma when everyone decided to order ice cream, Picco’s other specialty, for dessert. I decided I would get some, then at the last minute decided not to, then got talked back into it. I got a small serving of the Peanut Butter Chip homemade ice cream that was really, really good. I also tried some of Libby’s Cinnamon ice cream which I liked much more than I expected. It was definitely cinnamony but not overwhelming so. I also had a bite of Mik’s Caramel Swirl which was good but a little too sweet for my taste (I can’t believe I just said that). I have never been a big ice cream person, always choosing the vanilla, but these were all pretty special – I’d definitely get the PB Chip or Cinnamon again. I had to push mine away from me and down the table to stop eating it.
Overall, I really liked Picco. I thought they had a great atmosphere where it was lively and fun but you weren’t yelling to be heard. The food was great, I loved everything I got. The service was fantastic and very attentive right until the end when we sat, table cleared and glasses empty, waiting for someone to bring us the bill for what seemed like forever, maybe 10 minutes? I’d definitely go back and would recommend it for a group, one on one, a date, pretty much any occasion.
How did Picco measure up? 4.25 Spoons!