I took my mom to lunch at Biagio's Bistro (308 Ludlow Ave.) today. We both had my standard order: the house salad (hold the onions, dressing on the side) topped with sauteed chicken. While I think that much of chef/owner Biagio Lamassa's cooking is pedestrian, he nails the chicken every time. It's a boneless skinless breast, flattened to cook evenly, and sauteed perfectly with a golden brown crust and juicy, pale inner meat. Warm slices of chicken sit atop a bed of fresh romaine lettuce, sliced olives and diced tomatoes, which even in the off-seasons manage to be good quality.
The restaurant was two-thirds full at lunch today--not bad for midweek in a recession--with many patrons conducting business over their meal. Other than the salad/chicken combo, Biagio makes reliably good soups and the occasional special dinner entree that's worth a try. And the dessert case tempts with high-quality sweet treats. My favorite is a slice of first rate apple pie. I skipped it today (hooray for will power!) since I am atoning for the indulgent weekend in Carolina.