Friday, February 6, 2009

Restaurant Review - Bacaro Restaurant

Date of visit: January 31, 2009

Given the economy and my current employment status, we hadn't been out to a good restaurant in quite a while. I didn't want to risk what soon could be a limited amount of funds on something that would be dissapointing.

We decided that Providence would be the right call for us on this night. A quick search of Phoenix restaurant reviews led us to Bacaro.

Bacaro resides in the former home of Neath's on South Water street. On this cold January Friday night, there was plenty of free on street parking available, but the Bacaro parking lot was also free (valet booth was present, but empty at 6:15pm).

The downstairs space is nicely used with a bar, 8-10 tables and the salumi counter. The upstairs space is almost exactly as I remember it when it was Neath's. A sparsely decorated room, with the open kitchen running along one wall.

The menu includes what you might expect at an Italian restaurant with salad, appetizer, pizza and pasta options. But it also includes selections from their salumeria and cicchetti (italian tapas). The printed menu for these options follows the sushi ordering process. Customers check off what they would like to order right on the menu using a provided golf pencil.

We had the following items:
>Capocollo - mild air-dried pork shoulder cured with paprika, spices
>Stuffed “Mortadella alla Griglia” - Grilled purses of mortadella stuffed with talleggio cheese and served with Mostarda Fruits
>Crispy Pork Schnitzel with Red Wine-Braised Cabbage and Tuscan Olive Oil
>New World Bruschetta Buffalo Mozzarella, Roasted Red Peppers Agro Dolce & Wild Rocket
>Cerignola Green Olive Tapenade with Green Pepper Corns & Goat Cheese with Grilled Crostini

All were tremendous. All the small plates were a fun and satisfying way to eat. As with any good Italian, the ingredients were the star. Simply prepared and delicious. We especially loved the agro dolce bruchetta and the freshly made goat cheese with olive tapenade.

Only criticism was the service. "Justin M." efficiently got the job done, but he seemed like he did not want to be there. Or maybe he thought he would not get a good tip from the couple that did not seem to fit in with the other Brown University professors, students and parents that were filling the dining room that night. His reminder to us that there was a "two hour table limit on the weekends" did not go over well with us.

Overall rating: 4 out 5 stars

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