Best Birthday Dinner EVER at Buca Di Beppo!

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I am so excited to share with you all my birthday party pictures. I’m kinda camera shy normally, but I was having such an awesome time at my party that I actually am in some pictures. I was having too much fun to hide! I know you all know how much I love Buca di Beppo. It’s not a secret anymore… it became one of my favorite restaurants as soon as I took a bite of the Spicy Chicken Rigatoni when we were in Vegas this summer. I had no idea how much Buca {can I call it that now that we are best buddies?} goes ALL out for Celebrations though! Amazing!

As soon as we walked in the door the party started! Seriously! We were greeted by the awesome hostess and manager who made us feel ready for a great night of family and celebration!

I love how there was a birthday card waiting for me at the table {It was even signed by the staff}!

Okay, I really did not want to include this picture because I look a bit *crazy* but I just thought it was funny that this is the best family picture we have taken all together in years. Meaning that we are all together and at least some of us are looking at the camera. Sad, I know!

Onto the family.  These are my in-laws…. cute couple, right? Everyone {that drank} agreed that the wine was delish and the price was right!

This is me and my Mommy. Want to know a secret? I don’t actually call her mom or mommy or any other variation. I normally call her by her first name. She tells the story that I’ve been doing that since I was a wee little one after I called MOM! MOM! MOM! at a park, one day and she thought it was another little girl calling for their mom. She said I got frustrated and realized that her name was easier to get a response from. Now if my little girls called me Heather I’d throw a fit… I guess my mom is more “progressive” than I am. Go, Mom!

You know you are going to have a good year when angels help usher in your birthday!

I just love all the decorations in the “Pope Room”!

If you haven’t seen the Pope room before it’s a circular room with The Pope sitting right in the middle on the lazy Susan. Here’s the thing though… they can and did add a long table to the circular to accommodate all 18 of us into the room. It worked perfectly! Be sure to ask for the Pope room if you are celebrating. It’s really cool!

Another thing that is really cool {especially} for the kiddos was the tour of the kitchen… as we were being seated they asked if we wanted to see the kitchen. It took me all of 10 seconds to say YES! The girls loved seeing all the chefs working away preparing everyone’s meals! There is also a table in the kitchen that you can eat at. I am so booking that for our next celebration. I don’t remember it being a huge table so it would be good for anniversaries or proposals {I heard they get quite a few at that table}!

And then the meal was served! I totally think I heard the angels sing as my pasta was being placed in front of me. If you notice in this picture my mom is now addicted to my favorite spicy chicken pasta {minus the chicken for me}. She calls me all the time so we can go pick some up!

Along those same lines, I love how Buca is so cool about special requests. They don’t flinch when I say “no chicken” or that The Toddler likes her pasta dry. She was just about to dig in and was amused that I stopped her to take a picture!

This is my sister in law and adorable niece who wisely ordered the MEATBALLS! Oh my! Let me say it again MEATBALLS! Everyone says they are amazing!

Couldn’t leave out my dear dad. I actually call him dad. He’s pretty good about answering to that name… unlike my mom!

Bucca Di Beppo Pasta

Be still my heart. And this folks was the reason for the whole party. Yes, it was my birthday… but this pasta! Oh, My This Pasta… was SO GOOD! I’ll stop now.

Any of you that have teens or pre-teens know that getting one let alone two thumbs up is HUGE. They seem to get to a point where emotions are shared not too often so I had to share this. I also want to point out that Pete liked his dish. I can’t even remember what he ate. I do know he liked it though… since his plate is completely empty! {edited to add: it was the Chicken parmigiana}

And then this happened. It happens to the best of us even when we try to avoid it. I consider it one of those things that you just go with. No point fighting it or they get louder! We had the best waiter and waitress! They set the tone and laughed along with my crazy family!

To make up for the embarrassment they brought me this huge platter of desserts! I can’t even tell you how great they were. They were THAT good. The chocolate cake and the cheesecake were my favorites and yes I did share!

This really was the best start to a new year and birthday celebration I’ve ever had. Family is so important to me and I felt so lucky to have them all celebrating with me! There were 18 of us but I sadly didn’t get pictures of everyone… I’ll be sure to post some embarrassing pictures of anyone I didn’t include at a later date. That’s a promise, not a threat!

Thank you so much to the great people at Buca di Beppo in Mira Mesa and their lovely PR Rep for making this night as awesome as it was! You all Rock and I’ll definitely be back again and again! If you are looking for a great spot to have your next celebration remember Buca… and they cater too!

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Well after seeing all those pictures I’m wishing I could have been there! That was a great party. Your family looks really happy too.

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