What’s the Pope Room?
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the Catholic Church worldwide. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the Diocese of Rome, is often called “the Holy See.” In addition to the religious power he wields, the pope is also the political head of state of Vatican City, a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within Italy’s capital city. The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has played a prominent part in world history – Italian history especially. In ancient times, popes helped spread Christianity and settle doctrinal disputes. In the middle ages, they were involved in the secular development of Western Europe as well, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs. Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes stay involved in interfaith dialog, charitable work and the defense of human rights. Pope Francis has been in the headlines a lot since his papacy began in 2013. He may be Argentinian but, judging from his peaceful yet down-to-earth demeanor, we’d say the Italian way of life is starting to rub off on him.
Though the Pope’s power is now mostly religious, we think that there’s no better way to trace the history of Italy than by reviewing the lineage of popes. Even today, Vatican City is an epicenter of Italian culture. That’s why every Buca di Beppo Restaurant has a Pope Room decorated with statues, photographs and other artistic representations of popes past and present plus souvenirs straight from the Vatican! Each Pope Room is furnished with a single round table, large enough to seat 12 to 18 people. A “lazy susan” sits in the middle of the table, making it easy for diners to share fresh breads, colorful salads and big bowls of our signature pastas. We highly suggest the Pope Room for most any occasion!
The Italian word for Pope is “Papa” which also means father! If that doesn’t prove that the Pope Room is the perfect place to go for a Father’s Day lunch or dinner, then we don’t know what does.
The First Communion is a big day in a child’s life! It should be celebrated Vatican-style with lots of food and family fun. That’s exactly what you’ll get in this themed room along with excellent service and a whimsical atmosphere.
Hosting a family reunion this summer? Reuniting with some relatives you haven’t seen in a while? With its huge family table, the Pope Room is perfect for private family meals. Since everyone can see everyone else, it’s easy to make the most out of your time together at the Pope Room’s round table.
Buca’s Chef’s Table
Some restaurants would allow their staff to chastise customers for wandering into the kitchen area. Buca di Beppo is not one of those restaurants. In fact, we might just welcome you to come on in and take a seat!
A meal at the Buca di Beppo Chef’s Table, located in the heart of the restaurant’s kitchen, is one amazing culinary experience. Once you and your dining companions have slid into your comfortable kitchen-side seats, you’ll all get the chance to see professional chefs practicing authentic Italian cooking techniques right before your eyes. And there’s a lot more to it than boiling noodles. There’s also baking, sautéing, chopping, topping, roasting – the list goes on and on and it’s definitely all worth it in the end. We think seeing how your food is made might somehow make it taste better. Knowing what you’re eating was crafted with somebody’s two hands, not just defrosted and thrown on a plate, makes the sweet touches seem sweeter and the savory bites seem savorier. After all, how could we get our appetizers and entrées to taste house-made if we weren’t making them in-house?
From fresh breads and carefully arranged salads to baked pastas and desserts, watching your meal come to life turns a hearty meal into dinner and a show! It’s just the sort of eventful night out that’s perfect for celebrating big occasions. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and new beginnings are all a little brighter at the Chef’s Table! As long as you’re prepared to dine in a fast-paced slightly noisy environment, that is. If the sounds of dicing and sizzling aren’t your idea of ideal background noise, this table is not for you. However, if you love great food and an impressive showcasing of talent, it definitely is! You’re invited to interact with the chef, ask him questions (food-related and otherwise) and tailor your meal to your exact specifications when you sit in this section of the restaurant.
As for what to order, it’s fun to watch pretty much anything go from raw ingredients to delicious finished product. That being said, the pizza dough process is always an entertaining one and our Stuffed Shells must always be made with a good bit of showmanship. Your server or your chef will be able to tell you which wine pairings best suit your meal and which Italian combinations best suit your party! For example, if you’re looking to have a classic Italian dinner, you can’t wrong with salad and spaghetti. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, it might be a night for Fried Calamari and spicy garlic shrimp. When it comes to cooking, we’ve put it all out there so don’t be shy with the orders!
Party Planning Tips to Make Your Special Event a Success
So you want to throw a big bash where friends and family have a great time. Where even YOU, as host or hostess, have a great time. With a little event planning, clever thinking and some delegating, you can pull off an epic theme party with aplomb, have a blast and look great doing it!
First of all, put together a guest list. If you’re planning an event for a large gathering, invite 20 percent more people than you want to attend. For one reason or another, only 70 to 80 percent of invitees will make an appearance.
Once you decide who to invite, choose a party theme for your special event. Maybe it’s a favorite football team, the holiday that’s in season, or a murder mystery theme. Whatever works for your crowd, party themes help you brainstorm for all kinds of party ideas and will help you design invitations and decorations, choose a menu and set the mood. Maybe a carefully selected movie projected onto a wall can provide a backdrop; or a few inflatable palm trees and pirate flags might bring beaches to mind. Add appropriate music and you’ve set the scene!
If you’re looking for more creative party planning ideas, feel free to contact a party planner at Buca di Beppo. Our professionals have lots of party theme ideas to share, including advice on party venues. You may want to hold the festivities at your home, a park, or an unexpected place for a party, such as a bed-and-breakfast with a huge fireplace, a theater or a rooftop overlooking a city. Or, like many of our customers, you may decide the most convenient, comfortable place for a party is at a great restaurant with party rooms that meet your needs perfectly.
Once you know who, what and when, send out invitations that fit your party theme — snail mail, e-mail, even phone invites are all acceptable — then start planning the party menu. For those dishes you’ll prepare yourself, choose only recipes you can make ahead, and perhaps freeze, with just warming and assembly required on party day. Make a list of how far in advance each can be made and compile a shopping list.
Easier still, plan to make only one item, such as a dessert or appetizer you know you’re good at. Place an order with your local Buca di Beppo, delicatessen and/or bakery to supply the rest. Never feel guilty about this. None of your guests will blame you a bit! Smart hostesses take advantage of catering restaurants to do the bulk of the cooking – or ALL of the cooking –for them.
And be sure to get help! If you do this all by yourself, you’ll be exhausted at your own celebration. If you don’t have young friends or relatives you can draft into service, consider hiring a high school student, a party planner from a catering restaurant, or both, to help with pre- or post-party tasks, to pass drinks or appetizers, replenish buffet food, tidy up, and generally take some weight off your shoulders.
If you’re party planning for an at-home celebration, there are a number of tasks to consider:
- Clean your house thoroughly a week ahead of time. Hopefully you’ll just need to hit the high spots come party day.
- Round up your silver, crystal, serving dishes and table linens for polishing, washing and ironing. If you don’t have enough serving dishes for every dish, consider purchasing inexpensive pieces from a discount or thrift store. Catering restaurants like Buca di Bepo frequently provide attractive serving dishes for takeout feasts.
- Stock your home’s bar. Plan three bottles of wine for every four people, three to four cocktails per guest for a two- to three-hour party. If you’re not serving alcohol, pull together the ingredients for a party punch or gather softdrinks.
- Let your neighbors know if your gathering will be loud, late or create parking challenges.
- Check the medicine cabinet and put away anything personal.
- Gathering cleaning supplies, such as a box of salt, Wine Away (red wine stain remover), club soda, and a couple of rags in a wicker basket, and store a few in strategic places to alleviate spills.
- Specify a place for coats – either a closet with lots of coat hangers or a bed in a spare room.
- Set the table. If you’re serving dessert and coffee, you might want to put them on a separate buffet or coffee table to help distribute your crowd.
Of course, Buca di Beppo can help. You can take advantage of our party catering menu for some or all of your food. Buca delivers in many locations and provides curbside Italian takeaway at every one of our restaurants. And we offer even more hosting help when you reserve one of our party rooms. We’re totally set up as a party venue, our food is delicious and our staff divine, so we make everything really easy.
Party Planning Checklist
Three Weeks Before
Two Weeks Before
One Week Before
Three Days Before
Specify a place for coats. Make space in a closet and fill it with hangers. You could also choose a bed for coats (make sure the room is especially tidy and free of valuables, so you won’t need to worry about them), or purchase an inexpensive portable garment rack.
One Day Before
Finish any last-minute cooking. Thanks to restaurant delivery and party catering, this should be absolutely minimal! Simply pick up takeout food at the catering restaurants from which you’ve ordered. Better yet, use restaurants that deliver to have great goodies appear on your doorstep!
Display food. One to two hours before guests arrive, set out appetizers and snacks that won’t spoil. Wrap them tightly to ensure freshness, then tear off the wrap when the first guest rings the doorbell.
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