You can spot Buca di Beppo from a mile off. It's red, green and white all over, with ancient Rome-style statues draped in multicolored Christmas lights. Inside, it just gets brighter. Every surface is covered with kitschy decor. There's even a bust of the Pope on a table in "the Pope Room". Buca di Beppo wants you to have a good time.
The food is served in large family-style portions, so it's best to bring at least three people. Everything's good. The salads are dressed perfectly, the pasta is al dente, the sauce is fresh and tangy. My husband's favorite is the lemon chicken, mildly-flavored skinless chicken breasts with a light sauce and topped with capers. I like the canelloni. If your group has trouble deciding, there's a sampler that offers four varieties of pasta.
The kitchen table is the best place to sit if you're not freaked out by all the other patrons walking by and looking at what you're eating. If you sit in the kitchen, chances are you'll get at least one freebie from the staff. (We got a free canneloni that was mis-ordered.)