Frank and Judy Cipullo, along with their daughters, Christine and Jacqueline, are quite the busy family. As joint owners and operators of two revered restaurants in Bucks and Montgomery counties, the family brings passion and excellence to the world of Italian dining.
Bacco Bistro, located in Doylestown, is approaching its five-year anniversary. While the Cipullos’ other location, Bacco Italian Restaurant in North Wales, is approaching its 10th year in business. Both restaurants are wildly popular and locally renowned; however, each space brings something unique and timeless in comparison to the local chains and pizza joints found in the Philadelphia suburbs.
“Bacco Bistro is more modern and metropolitan looking,” Frank says. “Both locations have open kitchens where guests can view the production process. It’s fun to watch the chefs prepare your food.”
Managed by Frank’s daughter, Christine, Bacco Bistro features a menu full of family recipes passed down by her father, who inherited many recipes from his family.
“All of our food is house made,” Frank says. “Our sauces and soups are made fresh every day. We have a Neapolitan style of cooking—the freshest ingredients prepared the simplest way—inspired by Naples, Italy, where my family is from.”
Each menu features exclusive selections that are not available at the other location, though both menus share some similar items. According to Frank, both locations feature identical coal-fired crispy crust pizzas, which are an all-around customer favorite.
The Original Old World crispy pizza is made with the freshest imported ingredients such as Italian plum tomatoes, virgin olive oils and an array of fresh cheeses. In addition, guests can expect to indulge in the bistro’s featured white pizza, which is made of fresh ricotta, mozzarella, garlic, garden tomatoes, white onions and fresh basil. Other customer favorite coal-fired pizza styles include the Chicken Alfredo, Pesto Parmigiano, Margherita, Neapolitan, Mediterranean and Buffalo Chicken.
Undoubtedly the most popular appetizer that can be found at both locations is Bacco’s famous stuffed long hot peppers. These hot Italian peppers are stuffed with a delicious mixture of fresh seasonings and spices. Exclusive to Bacco Bistro is the similarly famous baked mac and cheese, which is loaded with mozzarella, parmigiano cheese, cheddar, gorgonzola, bacon and peas.
“The Pompeii Wedge Salad is very popular at both locations,” Frank explains, which is created by starting with an iceberg wedge and dressed with toasted pignoli, crispy bacon, roasted peppers, white onions and Kalamata olives, all drizzled with a creamy gorgonzola dressing. Frank also notes that the house-made gnocchi with fresh tomato sauce and the stuffed veal chop are other customer favorites.
For those with a sweet tooth, both locations include a dessert menu with entirely house-made selections by Mimi Vozzolo. Notably, their most popular desserts include the tiramisu and the rich, decadent cheesecake glazed with caramel. Other guest favorites include a banana bread pudding with bourbon cream, cream puffs and a chocolate peanut butter brownie served with vanilla ice cream.
Another difference between the two Bacco locations is the seating capacity. Bacco Italian Restaurant can seat up to 300 guests, while Bacco Bistro can accommodate 80. Also, while Bacco Bistro is a BYOB, Bacco Italian Restaurant boasts a complete bar menu and wine list. And whereas Bacco Bistro is casual and relaxed, Bacco Italian Restaurant has a slightly more upscale and elegant vibe, like something plucked from an Italian countryside.
“Bacco Italian Restaurant has a rustic feel,” says Frank. “It’s like a Tuscan farmhouse with wooden beams, stone walls and iron gates. It also features a more extensive menu with more choices for our guests.”
Also within and surrounding the walls of Bacco Italian Restaurant are many features that allow this restaurant to be unlike any dining spots in the area.
Bacco Italian Restaurant features a “kitchen theater,” aptly named La Cucina, which translates to “the kitchen.” The kitchen theater is a 10-seat bar-like area inside the restaurant that surrounds the kitchen, allowing guests to have a front seat to the action. The Cipullo family prompts guests to make their reservations early if seeking a seat in La Cucina, as spots tend to fill up quickly.
Also inside the walls of Bacco Italian Restaurant is the exclusive wine room. The wine room seats 16 guests for an intimate dining experience ideal for small parties, gatherings and celebrations. In addition, Bacco Italian Restaurant also accommodates larger parties—up to 60—in a more spacious dining area for larger events. Frank also notes that guests can rent the entire restaurant out for a party or wedding, to include the outdoor garden and patio.
For guests who prefer being outdoors, Bacco Italian Restaurant presents its Bacco Bocce Bar and Gazebo. This outdoor dining and mingling area is located next to a garden with multiple tables and umbrellas, as well as an outside bar that has live music throughout the weekend. On Friday nights, live bands perform, while on Saturday nights Bacco Italian Restaurant’s in-house pianist, Sal Anthony, lightens the mood with his smooth piano sounds.
On Thursday evenings, Bacco Italian Restaurant’s gazebo bar features live music. According to Frank, there’s a wide range of music performed at the gazebo bar and the types of music vary from many types of music such as oldies to top-40 hits.
Outside by the gazebo is a full bocce court. Bocce is an Italian sport similar to lawn bowling. Guests who crave competition and delicious fare should definitely be keen to this attraction.
A common attribute shared by both restaurants is a dedication to phenomenal service. Backed by a strong team of servers, bartenders and chefs, Bacco Bistro and Bacco Italian Restaurant do their best to make guests feel at home. In fact, the Cipullos’ mission is based solely on making their guests feel like they are part of the family.
“We have a great staff that has been loyal throughout the years,” Frank says. “We have a steady base of staff and, in addition to the food, that’s what our guests come back for.”
478 Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Bacco Italian Restaurant
587 DeKalb Pike
North Wales, PA 19454
Photograph by Rob Hall