Yes, it’s a chain, and in my humble little opinion, is damned good (consistently) at what it does. Bertucci’s website claims the secret to their success is: “simple, uncomplicated recipes; a passion for Italian cuisine; and an uncompromising attention to detail.”
Every time I go there, I entertain hidden fantasies of working for this company, not on the front lines of the actual restaurant, but in the back rooms of its corporate culture. After all, their credo is precisely what I preach, and includes not even an ounce of pretension.
My favorite Bertucci’s dish is perhaps the simplest: una pizza margherita (plain pie with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella). I like to order it with extra basil. On our visit Saturday, Dave and I also ordered one of their so-called Sarnidian-inspired specials: Chicken Maddalena.
Pic grabbed from Bertucci’s web site.
They’re marketing the dish for the meat and potato-eating man, I suppose. It’s described as, “Grilled chicken breasts topped with a pomodoro and white wine sauce with roasted garlic, rosemary, fresh oregano, mushrooms and a hint of hot cherry peppers. Served with broccoli rabe and red skin mashed potatoes.”
Everything was delicious. We could taste the rosemary in the pomodoro wine sauce, the chicken remained juicy, and the broccoli rabe remained green and unadorned with garlic. So we managed to find some hearty Italian-American food after all. I guess we just knocked on the wrong door last night in South Philly.