Sunday, April 1, 2012


During a visit last week from Susanne's sister Robin, she invited us to lunch downtown at one of her favorite restaurants anywhere. Robin has traveled extensively in her work and knows most of this country's large cities and several British ones, too.

So we drove (not in the Box, I regret to say -- you'll see why soon) downtown and parked at Third and Chestnut streets in front of old Salem Church, the oldest church in the city. We were driving our year-old Sienna. After parallel parking easily through the help of the little back-up monitor on the dash, we ourselves dashed across the street to BRICCO, a collaboration between the Olewine School of Culinary Arts at Harrisburg Area Community College and Harrisburg Hotel Corporation, managing general partner of The Hilton Harrisburg.

In past visits, we have been seated in the area shown below, where you can watch the chefs at work. There are even tall stools if you want to sit at the counter for a really close look!

We were seated immediately by the maitre d'hotel at a nicely-located table with white linen and sparkling glassware. It took us some time to decide because all of the dishes sounded so good.

As the food was being prepared, we enjoyed a thin, crisp cracker-like bread with a cheese flavor. It was interesting to look at and tasty without being filling like most breads.

When our meals arrived, they looked and tasted delicious! Robin had sweet potato ravioli.

Susanne had a roast sirloin sandwich with caramelized onions.

I had the world's best creamy macaroni and cheese with stewed tomatoes and toast.

We also enjoyed a fine white wine.

After our entrée, we enjoyed dessert. We ordered two things and shared among ourselves. First came two small dark chocolate fudge nuggets with gold trimming and a mint leaf. To be honest, I won't eat gold. Silver, maybe, but never gold.

Next in line, a carrot cake muffin with cream cheese icing. (This would qualify as a vegetable, right?)

Here the muffin looks like the size of a birthday cake. It was really very small, but very tasty.

After lunch we spent some time in conversation. I used the time to take a few "artsy" photographs. The first one was a glass divider separating some of the tables.

The second was a view of a glass of water as seen from below. Sorta weird-looking, isn't it?

We took our leave of Bricco, and before returning to our car, stopped around the corner at Ciao!, a bakery associated with Bricco, where they were celebrating their sixth anniversary.

I am always a sucker for the pastry case, so I took some photos to share with all of you, including certain other pastry-hounds I will not mention here.

The breads looked wonderful, too, especially this one.

After looking and smelling and wishing everyone a happy birthday, we said "ciao" to Ciao!

We crossed Third, then Chestnut, to our car, only to find that it would not start. How can you park a car that is working perfectly fine, then find out in a hour that it won't function! We called AAA for a service call. Then I called my sister Rachel, the heroine, who drove downtown and took me home to get my car so I could go back and get the stranded women.

I told them we should have taken the Box!