It had been a few years since we’d dined at Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse in Harwich, MA, but last year when we stopped for a post-dinner glass of wine we were reminded we needed to get back. That visit followed a few frustrating experiences with otherwise decent restaurants mistreating their wine (e.g. storing it by the oven). Buca’s clearly puts a focus on a good wine list, and they know how to treat the wine right. But of course, there’s much more to the restaurant than the wine!
A year might seem like a long time to wait for a full meal, but we only get to Cape Cod once or twice a year. Vacation fell around the time of our anniversary last week, which seemed like the perfect reason to visit this Harwich restaurant. We pulled up to restaurant, with its Capey weather-beaten exterior a bit in advance of our reservation. We were not all disappointed to hear our table wasn’t quite ready, and happily made our way to the porch to offer a pre-dinner glass of wine. We went went with a very full-bodied Italian rosé, which we enjoyed with a nice view of the sunset.
|Sipping rosé from Buca’s porch @ sunset|
We didn’t have too much of a wait before being escorted into the cozy dining area. We started by splitting an arugula salad, very tasty with pancetta, pistachios and a lemon basil dressing. I was pleased to see them split the salad in the kitchen and serve us each a nice portion, without even being asked. We had a bit more of the rosé with this, a nice match.
I went with the Buca’s Bolognese, made with wild board meat, a bit of tomatoes and some fresh ricotta. The hearty meat combined nicely with the fresh tagliatelle pasta. I was very pleased with the dish–but not my photo of it, so you’ll have to use your imagination on that! Jodi ordered the grilled sirloin served on bruschetta and melted fontina cheese for her entree, and was pleased with it.
Now, back to the wines. There was a special Italian red blend that sounded interesting, but the $60 Barolo really caught my eye. That seemed to good to be true, and I basically asked my server if there was a catch. She offered to let me try some of both to make my choice. I readily accepted! The red blend was good, but the 2007 Paolo Scavino Barolo had a powerful acidity and nice long finish. The wine adhered to the classic Barolo style yet was approachable for the young Barolo age of 2007. Pleasant enough to drink on its own, it had the heft to stand up to the meat in the sauce and the acidity to go with the tomatoes.
There was still a glass or so left in the bottle when dessert time came, so I was looking for something savory rather than sweet. The only cheese on the dessert menu was a soft blend of three cheeses served with bruschetta. I was hoping more for a sampler of a few hearty cheeses that would complement the wine. The lack of a cheese selection to go with their nice list of red wines was my only small disappointment with the offerings.
Don’t get me wrong–I still enjoyed that last glass of Barolo to conclude our nice evening at Buca’s Tuscan Roadhouse. The food and service was high very high quality, and I suspect it won’t be long before we are back at Buca’s again!