Il Bracco is very Park Cities. The new Preston Center restaurant’s design is impeccable (other than the fact that hard surfaces—think terrazzo tile—ricochet sound on a noisy night). The food is not rustic Italian, but Italian enough. Think cacio e pepe and a glass of Barbera, chosen from the mostly-Italian wine list.
And then there is this: the simple panna cotta.
I’m still recovering from the not-so-distant time when the cream-based pudding became the lazy, go-to dessert for restaurants with even a little bit of class, but not a lot of time to tinker. But a well-made panna cotta is a thing of beauty.
For dessert, I asked our server to surprise us, and when she reappeared, she set down something silky, light, and cool that left a lasting impression. The panna cotta in question is more like a slightly thicker, gelatin-set Greek yogurt, all tang and unctuousness. The body is made of both sour cream and buttermilk, a bit of freshly whipped cream folded in to add volume. On top, a generous smothering of fresh blackberry compote, pistachios, and crumbles of house-made biscotti.
They lined up ten different recipes, co-owner Matt Gottlieb says, as they searched for the perfect find. Cool, breezy, tangy—I’d say they got it right.