by Chrysa Smith

Walk into a restaurant and see the linen tablecloths. Sense the soft lighting. Warm up near a central stone fireplace. And listen to the tinkling of classic tunes on the piano. Are you in NYC? Philly? Boston? Actually, it’s Buckingham, PA—right outside of Doylestown.

It all began when we were looking for something soothing, good, continental and not too far from home. I ran through my mental list of eateries in the area and finally, after a string of negative replies,  it struck me. ‘How about Baci?’ I asked, and we were there within the hour. I love it when it works last minute on a Saturday night—-and we were quite pleased.

It’s Baci Ristorante, just off Rt. 263 and 202. And it’s stone facade doesn’t quite give you a sense of what’s inside—which is quite good. It’s all the atmosphere and a nice menu to boot. We began with a house tomato bean mixture with an Italian bread to dip. That was quite good and we shouldn’t have ordered the bruschetta, which was almost identical—-but hey, live and learn.  For me, this was followed by a Filet, in a wine sauce and a shared creme brulee.

Maybe it’s because I grew up on continental restaurants like this in NYC. During the time, you could step into most city restaurants and be greeted by such European-continental amenities/menus. It was familiar, comforting and usually quite good. And Baci did not disappoint.

Now, not to sound snobby, but I think I’m accustomed to good food. Well, I know I am. And Baci was all that, but the evening was topped off when the pianist showed up and ran through his renditions of favorite Sinatra and Dean Martin songs—-ooh, aahh. While my IPod list can hip and hop with the best of them, when it comes to dining, I just love a good Sinatra, and well—Dean Martin is my favorite. The entire atmosphere made me want to pick up my glass, make a nice toast and imagine that Dean is asking, “When marimba rhythms start to play, stay with me, make me sway…..”  Oops. Sorry Mark.

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ps.—Turns out the pianist was my son’s elementary music teacher—another pleasant turn of events that night.