I had relatively high expectations prior to my dining experience at Be Bop, located nearby Milan’s “nightlife” district, Navigli. Being in the city center with mostly positive reviews on Yelp and the like, I thought I was in for a treat.
When at Be Bop, Alessandro and I were seated in an enclosed “garden” where there was a real live tree shooting out from the ground next to our table. Multiple waiters had attended to us to bring bread, water, wine, etc., all of whom were friendly-as-can-be for Italian standards.
While the atmosphere was lovely and the service attentive, the food at Be Bop was lackluster. The menu is overwhelmingly large and features an offering for every dietary restriction under the sun; gluten-free, vegan, lactose-free, you name it. I would consider this aspect of Be Bop to be its “signature” feature (and the reason it was suggested by my “gluten-free” boyfriend). Nevertheless, I have zero restrictions when it comes to eating, so this “perk” couldn’t have mattered less to me.
The other issue I have with Be Bop’s menu is its lack of cohesion. The restaurant tries to be both a ristorante and a pizzeria, which individually are distinctly separate entities in most Italian eateries. There were also Asian-inspired items on the menu, such as tempura shrimp and seafood in mango sauce, neither of which have any resemblance to Italian gastronomy.
But enough about the restaurant, let’s get down to the important stuff – what we ordered.
The best thing that we consumed at Be Bop by far was our organic, sulfate free falanghina wine. For those who don’t know, falanghina is a dry white from the region of Campania that is comparable to pinot grigio but is much more refined and not as sweet. You could definitely taste the pureness in this wine sans sulfates.
Our appetizer was a sort of lightly fried dough ball filled with shrimp and vegetables. While it sounds delicious, the dish was average at best. The dough was dry and the shrimp were flavorless. But, alas, onward to the main dish (or primi piatti in this case).
I have to admit that my main course was much more satisfying than the appetizer. I ordered a seemingly classic frutti di mare in red sauce – with a twist. The pasta was baked al forno and was top with a thin bread crust that had the consistency of a crepe. I proceeded to go on a carb-and-seafood overload (my favorite type of overload). While my dinner was very good, there was nothing about it that was great/memorable/fantastic/outstanding.
Alessandro ordered risotto with porcini mushrooms only to disappointed by a small portion of rice with mediocre flavor. After the risotto, he proceeded to order a pizza (gluten-free, of course) topped with mozzarella, bresaola, and red onions. He was not a fan of the pizza either.
My overall impression of Be Bop:
- Good place to go if you are dining with those who have a dietary restriction that they are faithful to
- Great location and atmosphere, good for a “night out”
- Disjointed menu and average food