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Baci Caffe, New in Vallejo

r
rotefuchs May 29, 2007 03:02 PM

So there are very few, okay almost no Chow worthy restaurants in Vallejo. Nevertheless, maybe things are on the rise. About a month ago, a new one opened right next to the restored Empress Theatre. Baci Caffe. www.bacicaffe.com

My girlfriend and I tried it out Sunday night. We were worried about getting there late. So we called ahead to make sure the kitchen would still be serving. Graciously, the staff said that if we made it there by nine, they would still serve us. We found several other tables finishing their meals, lingering over dessert, coffee, or wine. After deciding on what

My girlfriend had the Ravioli al Burro [filled with spinach and ricotta, topped with brown butter, hazelnuts, sage and parmigiano reggiano.]. It was very rich, but had well balanced flavors. I had the Pesce Spada [Sicilian style grilled swordfish with blood orange sauce, basil essence, sautéed garlic spinach and eggplant escalivada]. We finished with Panna Cotta [hazelnut liqueur custard with caramelized bananas, toasted hazelnuts and caramel sauce].

Overall, I would say this is the first restaurant that I would enjoy taking guess too, or having a quite meal. Has anyone else tried other dishes?

  1. d
    desperate in vallejo Aug 16, 2008 09:25 PM

    My husband and I had dinner there last night before a movie at the Empress. We shared a cheese plate. Then he had some gnocchi with a simple tomato and garlic sauce and I an orechietti with sausage and broccoli rabe. The cheese plate, which included two chutneys - one with coconuts and fruits and the other based on sundried tomatoes, were excellent, blended beautifully with the great cheeses (three, ranging from hard to ripe, though I didn't get the names of the varieties), and the plate was artfully arranged, with homemade breadsticks. It was by far the best single item I've ever had in Valllejo. The pastas were highly, but really nicely, seasoned. The waitress was friendly, unpretentious, and knowledgeable about the wines.

    My only beef with the place is its decor. Cheesy paintings line the sponged orange walls, and my husband was annoyed by a soda machine that shone in the otherwise dimly lit dining room. So - nothing's perfect, but the food was definitely the best we've had here since the Water Barge closed a few years ago. For the price (appetizers and pastas $12-$15, entrees in the $20s), I might choose to head up into the Napa Valley for a night out , but its definitely nice to have an option here in town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: desperate in vallejo
      rworange Aug 16, 2008 10:51 PM

      Thanks for the update

      -----
      Baci Caffe
      326 Virginia St, Vallejo, CA

    2. d
      djh May 30, 2007 04:58 PM

      Thanks for posting -- we've only eaten there once, for brunch on mother's day, and it was very good. But wanted to go back and try it for dinner again before reviewing it.

      btw -- the owner (not the chef) of Baci is the same guy that own's China Wok around the corner, which imho is the best Chinese place in the Vallejo-Benicia area. He got his start in an Italian restaurant, and wanted to go back to his roots in opening this place up.

      And on the subject of other places in the area:

      Matsuri on Redwood (just below Sonoma Blvd (Hwy 29) and across the street from Seafood City) is an excellent sushi place ... very fresh, inventive rolls, and great apps. Be sure to try their hamachi "nachos" if you go.

      And don't forget the taco trucks along Sonoma Blvd. either. The one at the corner of Sonoma and Ohio is great.

      1 Reply
      1. re: djh
        josquared May 30, 2007 06:50 PM

        Second the taco truck at that location (Tacos Guadalajara) - that and La Joya Taqueria on Broadway are my current destinations when I'm in the mood.

      2. rworange May 29, 2007 03:13 PM

        Thanks for the heads up. Vallejo has some good ethnic eats and dives but this sounds heads above what is currently there for a more upscale experiences. Nice to know they have brunch and light breakfast too. Will check it out when I'm in the area.

        4 Replies
        1. re: rworange
          r
          rotefuchs May 29, 2007 03:28 PM

          What are some of your favorites in Vallejo. I am always passing through, so I would love to know more options for great ethic eats. You are right there are lots of dives...

          1. re: rotefuchs
            rworange May 29, 2007 04:31 PM

            What immediaty leaped to mind was Gumbah's and Gracie's BBQ.

            House of Soul gets a lot of good reports. I have yet to get there
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44765

            It seems better than A Heavenly Taste though that is on my list too.
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45221

            I liked Ano Thai Cuisine a lot. If I lived in Vallejo, I'd probably stop by more
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/368843

            On my list is the new King Albert's BBQ and the rogue BBQ guy
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404803

            La Michoacana makes great paletas and has one of the better Bay Area panadrias, but skip the tortas. Just up the street is a Mexican Market that has a good restaurant in the back
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/322739

            Vallejo is a good ice cream town and on a hot day Liled's Candy Kitchen is worth a stop
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45143

            There are snack places bakeries like Starbread.

            JoJoA has some good reports in the area on taco trucks and another downtown joint that has Guam Cuisine. but I'm not finding them in a quick search.

            Anything bordering the water is average at best. At all costs avoid the Sardine Can which I keep wanting to like but has been more than disappointing visit after visit. Zio Fraedo's is old school continental and was merely ok. Baci Cafe seems the better deal. The Front Room is ok for pizza but not as good as the SF location. It's near the Ferry at least.

            There's a new Indian joint no one has reported on afaik
            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/38668

            Not in Vallejo, but if it is on your path say to Napa, I love Parrys in American Canyon for NY Pizza and stromboli.

            1. re: rworange
              josquared May 29, 2007 10:31 PM

              The place with Guamanian cuisine is Georgia Street Grill near Georgia St & Sacramento, which isn't too far from Baci Caffe actually.

              The space where Baci Caffe is previously had a tapas place for a little bit, but the prices seemed way too high IMO for it to last too long.

              I'd second Parry's in AmCan for certain. The newly opened China Chef Wok & Grill in AmCan has more of a focus on Malaysian & Singaporean dishes on their menu and might be worth a try.

              FWIW, A Heavenly Taste has bitten the dust. It has been replaced by something called The Tucan Lounge (Mexican/Seafood, per their sign.)

              1. re: rworange
                r
                rotefuchs May 31, 2007 03:35 PM

                Thanks for all the great recommendations. I have tried several of the places above and hope to try a few more soon. I do love Liled's but can't always get there because they close so early...

          2. r
            rotefuchs May 29, 2007 03:08 PM

            Oh yeah I forgot to add that for the month of May there is no corkage fee, so bring a bottle from your own cellar.

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