You know the feeling of being in for a new experience, and not being sure if you're going to enjoy it or absolutely hate it? Well I had that x10 going to Bricco, because I love things that are tried and true; however, their menu is constantly changing (which is exciting!!). BUT the kitchen staff is a combination of chefs and culinary students. I guess that should have be a flag... Without further ado, here are my thoughts on Bricco:
We started off the night with the house made bread and an amazing hummus spread. I'd say 10/10 would recommend. Then the meal moved into a round of appetizers including: brussel sprouts and Tuscan style potatoes. The potatoes were pretty basic (a mild insult when compared to the roasted potatoes I had in Tuscany), but the sprouts were very enjoyable. I would 100% get the sprouts again, and recommend them as a starter to your dinner.
During the main part of dinner is when things really began to decline. For entrees, two of us had the sage pappardelle, duck ragout, pancetta & Pecorino Romano. The pasta did not taste very fresh and the duck was cooked with so much salt that it could actually lead to hypertension. Additionally, I was sad to see that the "gravy"/sauce appeared to have a mild film on the top, suggesting that the food was either reheated after being cooked and cooled or had be sitting out for awhile. One of my friends got the spinach fettuccine, clams, lemon, ricotta & shaved bottarga and for the price point of the establishment I was shook by the insufficient portion. Especially considering that she said "it lacks flavor" (in all honesty I was too afraid to try it after my pasta fail of the night). However, the silver lining of the night seemed to be their baby spinach salad with roasted beets, camelot valley chevre and roasted pear vinaigrette.
All in all, I don't see myself going back to Bricco any time soon, BUT I would not completely write off the restaurant. Maybe it was a bad night in the kitchen... Maybe their was a new student... The food was not woeful, but it did give of a severely mediocre experience. One forgiving side of me says that it was far from one of the worst meals I've ever paid a $$$ level for. Yet, from a more blunt perspective I would say that quality control in the kitchen should be held to a higher standard.
If you're ever in Harrisburg or central PA and boldly decide to try Bricco, let me know what you order and what you think of it! Having heard good things before my visit, I wonder if it was just a fluke.... Maybe you can convince me to go back one day.