A Celebration of Taste
Award-winning family recipes await guests at Doylestown’s Bacco Bistro
by Sharon A. Shaw

Bacchus is the Roman god of wine and merriment, and Bacco is the Cipullo family’s Neapolitan interpretation of those times involving good food, family and friends. For 16 years the Cipullos have been bringing people together to celebrate. Founder Frank Cipullo has owned two renowned Bucks County restaurants—the Washington Crossing Inn and La Stalla in Newtown—but today his province includes Bacco at the intersection of Routes 202 and 63 in North Wales and Bacco Bistro in the Doylestown Shopping Center.


He created the menu from family recipes and trained the chefs at both locations. Hospitality clearly runs in the family, however, because Bacco Bistro in Doylestown is owned and managed by Frank’s daughter, Christine Cipullo. She was fortunate to be raised with the family recipes and now enjoys sharing them with her customers of her casual restaurant. The bistro, which is a BYOB, offers customers the opportunity to enjoy a favorite bottle of wine with a meal—just as Bacchus intended.


Its coal-fired, wood-burning ovens set Bacco Bistro apart from other Italian restaurants. These ovens allow the bistro to produce crisp, thin-crust pizzas unlike any in the area. (Bacco Bistro’s unique pizza earned the restaurant a 2010 “Best of the Best” award from Suburban Life.) Customers can select toppings from a menu of imported and fresh ingredients or choose one of the specialty pizzas offered. One of the most popular is the “Brooklyn Style,” according to Christine, featuring plum tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella cooked on an iron pan. Other customer favorites are the White, Margherita and Buffalo Chicken varieties, the last of which is made in the style of the restaurant’s unique chicken wings.


Bacco Bistro uses its coal-fired oven for many specialties, which include its signature Fired-Up Wings. These chicken wings are oven roasted and served with hot sauce, caramelized onions and roasted garlic. For customers who enjoy spicy foods, Christine also points out that Bacco Bistro’s Famous Stuffed “Long Hots”—peppers filled with meats, cheeses and risotto—are finished in the oven. In addition to these great appetizers and pizzas, the restaurant also offers a selection of fresh salads, sandwiches, entrées and other favorites, such as old-fashioned “Pasta Fazoool” soup.


Christine refers to the bistro’s calzones as “monsters—the biggest you’ve ever seen,” and she is equally enthused over the “Yo Vinnie!” roast pork sandwich, which may share similarities with some other notable roast pork sandwiches from our area, with one exception: “Ours is better,” she says. Thank Frank Cipullo for the clever names on the menu and also for the creative entrées. One of Bacco Bistro’s most popular, Chicken Carciofi, combines francese-style chicken breast with prosciutto, artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes, capers and sharp provolone over pasta. Italian classics such as Linguini Fra Diavlo and Uncle Tony’s Macaroni, which is pasta with sausage, garlic and broccoli rabe, are also customer favorites.


Christine is proud to point out that not only is each dish made to order, but even the sauces served at Bacco Bistro are homemade with fresh ingredients. “Customers love our plum tomato sauce, and the hot and sweet dipping sauce served with our fried calamari,” she says. Both are handcrafted at the restaurant using Frank’s own recipes. While customers surely appreciate the effort required to produce sauces in house, it is the homemade tiramisu that earns the consistently highest accolades.


Not every ingredient at Bacco Bistro is homemade, however; the restaurant has “Brooklyn bread” delivered fresh each day for its sandwiches; the semolina loaves are also offered for sale. The Cipullo family knows that it takes specialized ingredients, creative recipes and careful preparation to keep customers coming back. Such attention to detail is evident in the quality of each dish, though Christine says the staff is happy to vary from the menu in order to accommodate special requests: “We are right next door to Acme, so we can even pick up an ingredient if we need to.”


Christine insists her staff offers friendly personal service, telling them, “Don’t just treat a customer like you would treat a guest in your home—do what your mother would!”


Many regular customers enjoy the daily specials and have gotten to know Christine and the service staff by name. Regulars such as Sherry and Ron, who appreciate the personalized attention they get at Bacco Bistro, come to the bistro each week for reoccurring favorites, namely Sunday’s Walnut and Beet Salad or “The Works” Stromboli each Thursday. Sunday through Thursday Bacco Bistro also offers a prix fixe three-course menu including a choice of soup or salad, main feature and a mini cannoli or the tiramisu for dessert. On every day of the week, Bacco Bistro’s on-the-go customers count on the restaurant for its lunch combo specials, while those who stay at the office can take advantage of corporate delivery service.


Bacco Bistro’s entire menu is available for takeout during lunch or dinner. With each coal-fired pizza ordered, customers receive a wedge-shaped magnet. It takes seven magnetic slices to complete the pie, thereby earning the customer a free pizza. “After seven pizzas, you are a regular, too,” says Christine. “We know you will be a customer for life.” Bacco Bistro also offers catering services either on- or off-premise and is available to help or host holiday parties. The restaurant accepts reservations for parties of six or more and is family friendly.


Christine invites all customers—new ones, regulars and everyone in between—to bring their family and friends to join the Cipullos around the table at Bacco Bistro. There, she promises, customers will enjoy favorite classic Italian recipes, a favorite bottle of wine and a dining experience they won’t soon forget.


Bacco Bistro

478 North Main Street, Doylestown

In Doylestown Shopping Center (next to Acme)

215-348-9882, BaccoBacco.com


Sharon A. Shaw is a freelance writer from Doylestown.

Rob Hall is a freelance photographer based in Plumsteadville.