Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lunch at Biba

If you are ever in Sacramento and love authentic Italian cooking, or need an elegant place to enjoy a meal, you may want to check out Biba. The owner, Biba Caggiano, has written cookbooks on Italian cooking and is a local food celebrity. Her restaurant recently got a facelift, and my husband and I headed over for one afternoon last week to celebrate his birthday and check out the lunch menu at the remodeled location.

We went on a Friday. This is a very important detail, because Biba's most famous dish of all is her lasagna, which is made only on Thursdays and Fridays. This masterpiece consists of ten layers of spinach noodles, intertwined with Bolognese meat ragu and creamy bechamel sauce.

The texture of this lasagna was remarkable and unique. Cutting into it with a fork and knife felt like slicing cleanly through delicate tissue paper. Although these two squares don't seem overwhelming at first glance, the taste was very rich, and I was unable to finish more than half of my plate at one sitting. Leftovers, however, tasted just as good the next day!

Part of my reduced appetite was due to an appetizer that my husband ordered - mozzarella topped with roasted peppers, arugula, and olive oil.

Again, the texture was amazing in this dish. The skin around the edge of the ball of mozzarella was firm, but the center of it was soft and creamy. I totally dig that textural contrast - I mean, I'm the kind of girl who actually enjoys eating the skin that forms on the top of pudding. (Oops, did I just admit that? Here's my foodie card.) The bold, peppery olive oil stood out, and the whole salad felt indulgent and cohesive.

We were lucky enough to get a Groupon for Biba, but it is always a pleasure to visit. And now, having tried her famous lasagna and "real" mozarella cheese, I feel almost as if I had been to Italy in an afternoon.

4 comments:

  1. I have so many memories of going there as a kid and getting that lasagna. I really need to go back soon. Thanks for the visceral memories!

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  2. That's kind of amazing. I think the most upscale place my family ever ate when I was a kid was the local Sizzler. Seriously!

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  3. I am so glad to hear that Biba Caggiano and her restaurant are still around. Before the days of the celebrity chefs, I so enjoyed watching Biba on our PBS channel.She was always entertaining and her food inviting.

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  4. Wow, this looks amazing. Lasagna is my favorite. I will for sure have to try it!

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