A few weeks ago, Wayne and I had a very enjoyable dinner at Boccaccia Ristorante Italiano, located at 3077 Broad Street in the old Southern Saddlery building. There isn’t much signage, so you really have to look for the restaurant location.
Boccaccia is a small, intimate setting with no private rooms, etc. – as the waiter told us, “What you see is what you get”. It’s a nicely arranged restaurant featuring concrete floors and brick walls, with exposed piping in the ceiling (as do many of the newer restaurants located in historic buildings).
The menu categories consist of Antipasti, Insalate, Primi, and Secondi. While not a large selection to choose from, it is a wonderful menu. From what we were told, everything is made in-house, except the bread, which is delivered fresh each day from the Bluff View Bakery (and is quite good).
I've dined at Boccaccia several times over the past 2yrs and I've never had a poor, much less bad, meal. The room can be NOISY as there is no sound buffering; brick walls and concrete floor-attractive enough if you like the industrial look (somewhat like Southside Cafe looked like). Service is inconsistent; there is not enough training or supervision of the youngsters. And at times I've had to make a 2nd choice from the focused and appropriate wine list. BUT it's worth going and I will return. The strength is seafood, all done with a light, N.E. Italian touch. The seafood salad (mussels, squid & shrimp served on radicchio leaves with a light lemon dressing) was well executed, seafood tender and flavorful.. Fish is served similarly, always preserving the flavor of the fish. The same is true of the veal scallopini. The pasta's are made in house (except maybe the orcchetti-litte ears). If any pasta was salty, it probably was a result of the Italian style of cooking pasta in well salted water. Have not tried the Bolognese sauce, but traditionally it is a meat and fat/oil rich sauce. There should always be at least a film of reddish oil on your plate after finishing. (Unfortunately, Alleia's version was swimming in fat/oil). This is the only authentic Italian restaurant in town. The pasta shop on Signal is owned and run by a Sicilian, and he takes many liberties with the cuisine and his preparations. Alleia is Italian "inspired"; more on that anon. This is the type of food you would get in northern Italy, especially in the Veneto, around Venice. It's well worth a visit. Oh, for reason's that escape me, the name of the restaurant means "The Grimace" (BoccacciA, not BoccacciO). Spelling error?