In early September 2009, after meeting with my West Hartford-based wedding florist a few weeks before the big day, I brought my mother to Billy Grant’s Restaurant Bricco in the Center. She had the mustard BBQ cedar planked salmon, which she is still raving about today.
I’ve only been back once since then, which is criminal. But for an early birthday dinner with friends, I chose Bricco’s Glastonbury trattoria, with the real intention of having a few drinks under the stars at neighboring Rooftop 120. A good meal at one of Grant’s restaurants is expected; a balmy summer night of alfresco cocktails is a sweet bonus to a birthdate that typically aligns with heat waves.
After four appetizers between as many people (calamari, lamb and goat cheese meatballs, housemade ricotta and grilled octopus,) we agonized over entrees. Fresh pasta, Sunday “ragu” or artisan pizza? Ben lit upon the Bianco pizza, with goat cheese, ricotta, thinly sliced red onion, pistachio and truffle honey – mostly out of curiosity.
He admitted to being nervous, not sure how the flavors would meld. I’d had the pizza before, and reassured him he’d made the right choice. But I still held my breath. You always want your gourmand friends to trust your recommendations.
The pie arrived. He took one bite. “Ridiculous,” he pronounced, before even swallowing.
That it is. The creamy clouds of cheese, savory onion and meaty pistachios are balanced flawlessly with that sweet honey, producing one of the best pizza combinations I’ve personally ever had. It won instant approval from our whole table, even goat cheese-phobic Rob.
And while my carbonara with speck, peas and spinach fettuccine was rich decadence (if a little heavy for July,) I truly wish I had some leftover Bianco sitting in my fridge right now.