Sleek Italian in the city
What we ate:
Calamari St. Andrea (Shallow fried calamari with rocket and a balsamic dressing)Tortellini di gamberi: Prawn tortellini with tomato and saffron broth, corn puree and zucchini flowersQuadretti all’ortica: Thistle quadretti with braised wagyu beef cheek, baby carrots, parmigiano reggianoAgave nectar cheesecake with rhubarb sorbet, yoghurt foam and vanilla fairy floss
Il Bacaro is a smooth operator – sleek and dark with just the right ‘intimate’ air about it – a great spot for a cosy dinner for two or an impressive venue for a work lunch. Il Bacaro stops just short of giving off a pretentious vibe by the attitude of its staff - TFG was suitably impressed by the knowledgeable and attentive service, with staff providing spot on recommendations about the food (particularly for those who have dessert indecision) and being terrifically accommodating with our several requests.
The food is probably best described as up market Italian – lots of pastas that are just a touch different to the standard fare – if you’re seeking out something very basic, this may not be the place for you. Unperturbed, TFG honed in on the menu as though it hadn’t seen food since, well… lunch time.
TFG 1 went with a main and dessert, with TFG 2 opting for an entrée and main. First, the entrée – the lovely Calamari St. Andrea. This was simply served, and done remarkably well. The mains were more of a mixed bag – the beef quadretti was deliciously rich and velvety, but sadly the prawn tortellini was a little disappointing. The pasta itself was just a touch too underdone for TFG's liking, and the delicate ingredients, while fantastic in texture and beautifully presented, lacked the flavour ‘oomph’ that was expected:
The dessert proved to be a redeeming feature, a perfectly creamy slab of cheesecake with the fun addition of Persian fairy floss and tart sorbet. Definitely worth a return visit:
Overall, the experience was an enjoyable one, though, at just under $70 a head for two courses with a glass of pinot, TFG was probably expecting just a little more "wow" from the mains.
Food – 6.5
Value – 2
Service – 4
Total – 12.5/20
168-170 Lt Collins St, Melbourne
Phone 03 9654 6778