I was very reluctant to try out Café Picasso (157 E. Park Avenue) because of the bad taste the last restaurant at that location gave me. I thought Mulberry Street was mediocre at best, so surely Café Picasso must be the same, right? I mean, it’s Italian food at the same location with the same decor, same type of canopy sign, same facade, same wood fired brick oven, etc. The only thing that seemed different was the spelling of the word ‘Restaurant’ (Ristorante at Picasso’s). I went to Café Picasso last friday night already convinced that it’s doomed for failure.
So how was it?
Well the salad was nothing special, the bread was ok, the Polenta (Italian cornbread) had no flavor. Oh no… just what we need: More mediocre Italian food, right? Wrong. I LOVED IT.
Go to Café Picasso right now and order BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA. It was F***ing Incredible. Words cannot explain how good that dish was. What the hell is a Bucatina All’Amatriciana? Well, it’s large noodles with pancetta (Italian Bacon), onions, tomato sauce and basil (aka Smokey pork pasta heaven.) I can’t speak for the other dishes, but their BUCATINI ALL’AMATRICIANA was one of the best Italian dishes I’ve had in a while. A Freakin’ Masterpiece!
We tried the margarita pizza and thought it was out of this world. It tasted just like pizza from Naples, Italy – the birthplace of Pizza Margherita. To some, that might be a bad thing, as most folks think American pizza is better than Italian. I happen to love both. The thin burnt crust covered with buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil and tomato sauce = Pure Italian Flag Goodness. I love my pizza to be thin and burnt. It actually wasn’t burnt enough for me, but it was still extremely tasty. Café Picasso has some great tasting tomato sauce (No, it’s not called gravy).
So what about the bread, polenta and salad? Well, I can’t speak for the first two, but the salad? I’ll give that one a pass since Pizza Places Ruin Salads. Besides, when you’re going to eat a giant bowl of pasta and giant plate of pizza, who has room for salad???
Speaking of room, I had none left in my stomach for dessert. Give Café Picasso a try. I’m really excited that they exist in Long Beach. I loved it and plan on going back.Café Picasso 157 E. Park Avenue Long Beach, NY 11561 ___________________