We checked out Bertucci’s recently, a place that we’ve been to several times but never reviewed for The Swellesley Report. A couple of us felt like pizza that night, whereas a couple of us wanted more of a meal experience, so we knew the popular spot, known as Playhouse Square because it once housed a movie theater, would fit the bill.
Our server brought over rolls right away, homemade, hot, and served with an olive oil dip. More was ours for the asking, but (some of us) felt we shouldn’t fill up on rolls, so it was on to the main event. The large pizza, half pepperoni ($16.50) came with a thin crust and plenty of cheese and pepperoni. The tomato sauce had enough chunks of tomato for textural interest, but not too much to make the pizza look like a salad hybrid. Every bit disappeared at an alarming rate of speed, the brick-oven pizza was that good.
The grilled salmon ($16.99) was a piece of perfection, served without a hint of dryness and with all the freshness you could want from such an entree. So often you order salmon out and are served a piece that is thin there, thick there, and inevitably dried out on the thin side. This piece was uniform in serving size and grilled so nicely that every bite was beautiful.
The sides that came with it weren’t as good, however. “Didn’t the menu say it came with green beans? Weird that she didn’t mention the kitchen was subbing out asparagus tonight.” Uh, those ARE green beans, I was told. A very close inspection revealed that yes, those certainly were green beans. In disguise. The roasted red potatoes that weren’t overly charred were very good, I was told.
I tried out the popular crab cake appetizer ($8.99) and a Caesar salad (small, $4.99). The crab cake was a generously sized portion, well-seasoned with Old Bay, but not overly so, and served with a spicy roasted red pepper aioli. Some greens on the side rounded things out.
The Caesar salad had its ups and downs. Just so you know, I keep ordering Caesar salads out, and I don’t know why since I am so highly critical of them every time. Bertucci’s did a nice job on the romaine lettuce. It was fresh and crisp and green and everything I could want in an edible leaf. So what’s my beef? It’s the dressing. It’s always the dressing. Ever since restaurants became terrified of making a real Caesar salad dressing, meaning with raw egg, a bland mixture has been the result. And I don’t know whatever happened to the anchovy, once considered an essential part of the Caesar. Just one of those salty little fishies draped over the top of the salad adds so much. Nobody says you have to eat it. Just mix it around a little bit, it lends such flavor and complexity to the Caesar salad. In fact, I used to think that was the point of a Caesar salad. Now I just don’t know.
The server was awesome. She complained of having a case of the dropsies, but I didn’t notice anything amiss. I mean, what’s a case of the dropsies among diner and server, as long as the dropped fork doesn’t end up back on the table?
All in all, we appreciate having Bertucci’s in town. The establishment hires local high school and college students, there’s not usually a wait of more that ten or fifteen minutes at its busiest times, and the outdoor seating area is very nice. It’s a casual, come-as-you-are place that serves up something for everyone looking for a good, in-town meal.
380 Washington St.
Wellesley, MA 02482
Also of interest…
More reviews on our Where to Eat in Wellesley page
Beyond Wellesely, CJ’s Northside Grille review, Framingham