Buca di Beppo adds more single-portion options

Buca di Beppo adds more single-portion options

MINNEAPOLIS The Buca di Beppo casual-dining Italian chain has debuted its spring menu, which features new appetizers and sandwiches and a new single-portion entrée.

The new appetizers include two varieties of Bucacini, which is the chain's version of arancini, or fried risotto balls. The Pesto Bucacini are filled with sun-dried tomato and mozzarella. Another variety is filled with spicy Italian sausage and gorgonzola.

Also new to the appetizer menu are prosciutto-stuffed mushrooms. The mushrooms are filled with prosciutto, asiago cheese, sage and rosemary, and are then baked and served atop a pesto cream sauce.

Buca di Beppo expanded its lunch menu to include two new sandwiches. The Italian Deli Wrap is made with sliced Italian meats, provolone, peppers, cucumbers and Italian vinaigrette, all wrapped in Buca's pizza bread. The Sausage & Peppers sandwich features a toasted hoagie roll filled spicy Italian sausage, red and green bell peppers, onion, provolone, and marinara.

Buca said its units that serve lunch are offering free garlic cheese bread and a free gelato cone free for patrons who dine between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Most of Buca di Beppo's 89 restaurants serve lunch, parent company Buca Inc. said.

Buca said it was also growing its single-portion lineup with the addition of the Scampi Finocchiona. The dish is made with shrimp sauteed with Tuscan finocchiona salami, fennel, roasted red and yellow peppers, roasted garlic, and smashed tomatoes. Crostini is served on the side for dipping.

Buca di Beppo traditionally serves family-style meals but has been gradually adding different portion sizes to drive traffic. The chain's Buca Small dishes are meant for two, and the Buca Mio items are single portions.