I’m asked this question each time something new opens, something better or different than this city has seen before.
The answer usually is “yes,” as food establishments here, as long as they’re good and well run, seem to gain a reputation and a following.
So, I expect to be asked this same question when word hits about Table at Bricco, the newest concept from the enterprising folks at one of Harrisburg’s finest Italian restaurants.
This month, Executive Chef Jason Viscount opens the door to the small storefront that once housed another Bricco creation, the greatly missed Olewine’s Meat & Cheese House.
A huge, 13-by-3-foot mahogany table (the “Table”) now dominates the tight space, around which 14 lucky people will share a dining experience that may be unmatched in the Harrisburg area.
“I wanted to offer an experience that’s more upscale than Bricco,” said Viscount. “I wanted to do something to really showcase the talent that we have here.”
Originally, he wanted diners to watch him cook right in front of them. However, the space proved too small for that, so he tweaked the concept.
The seven-course dinner now will be prepared in Bricco’s second kitchen, with Viscount himself doing much of the cooking. The night’s prix fixe menu will be set less than a week before, based upon his knowledge of that week’s freshest, most desirable local meats, dairy and produce.
In other words, before making a reservation, you should be comfortable trusting the culinary judgment of one of Harrisburg’s top chefs as opposed to, well, yourself.
“If I make my menu any earlier, I won’t be able to get freshest available,” he said.
So far, plenty of people have decided to put their evening into his hands, as, just by word of mouth, spots were filling up quickly for the dinners, which start May 3 and 4 and run every Friday and Saturday night thereafter.
Décor-wise, Viscount decided to stick with his original concept of making the dining room feel like an extension of the kitchen. So, the room will feature a menu board that you might find in a restaurant kitchen, a wall of wine crates and bottles and a funky, custom-made chandelier adorned with kitchen equipment, such as pots, pans and spoons.
Though, once the dinner starts, you may forget about your surroundings and lose yourself in the food, the company and the conversation, as you’ll likely be sharing your meal with at least a few strangers, unless you’re able to assemble a party to take all 14 seats.
The communal table is another part of the concept that Bricco is introducing. It has gained traction in larger cities but is relatively unknown in Harrisburg, particularly for high-end dining.
“There is nothing in central PA like this,” Viscount said.
He expects the seven-course meal to average $78 per person excluding taxes, tip and drinks. While pricey for Harrisburg, similar concepts in larger cities are actually much more expensive, especially when accounting for the amount and quality of food, as well as the personal service, offered by Table at Bricco, he said.
Drawing on his years in Harrisburg, Viscount believes there is a market here for such a unique, upscale dining experience.
“Based upon my conversations with people, there seems to be a huge interest in it,” he said. “It’s meant to be a food adventure. It’s all part of the experience and the fun.”
Find out more about Table at Bricco and make a reservation by calling 717-724-0222 or visiting www.briccopa.com.