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Jun 21, 2007 11:27 AM

What's the Word on Bacaro

Has anyone been lately? We are dying to go, but figured we would wait a little while for them to work out the kinks. Has anyone been lately?

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  1. We went two weeks ago and really enjoyed it. It seems that most of the kinks were worked out and everyone was very friendly. Pricepoint-think AlForno. Some of the food-also think AlForno. For starters we had Aroncini, Procuitto, Mozzarella, Tuscan Meatballs all which were very good. For entrees we had the Crispy Chicken over Pasta Fagioli and the Veal Bolognese Rigatoni. (These are our 'go-to' meals at AlFornos and they didn't disappoint here-may have been a touch better!). There is a varied wine list. With this being a new restaurant and having been open not that long, we were very satisfied.
    If you go please let us know what you think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jandj

      My wife and I went to Bacaro last night, and really wanted to see the chef from Al Forno spread his wings and fly. I am not a crank, and I really want to see this place succeed.

      Alas, it was not meant to be.

      After eight weeks of post go-live experience, and on a Saturday night, you would have expected the best of efforts from Bacaro to cement their place as a new comer in Providence. The overall experience was a C+. But overall, it was nothing close to Al Forno.

      If you go, go to the bar and enjoy drinks and salumeria, which was by far the best part of the evening.

      The wait staff are rank amateurs, and in drastic need of training. An ice bucket request for a bottle of white wine was denied because "buckets are reserved for champagne only." Huh? It is mid-July and 90 degrees, and I can't have chilled wine?

      I prefer Pelegrino and my wife prefers still water. The waiter mixes the two up, and fills my half full glass with still water. When I point it out to him, he just shrugs and asks if we want to purchase another bottle of still water. What?

      I requested extra white anchovies on my ceasar salad and was scolded by the waiter because anchovies are in the dressing already. Am I missing something here?

      My wife's risotto was gluey in texture. My striped bass was severely over-cooked. The coconut ice cream dessert was just fair (think Good Humor bar quality,) but the dark chocolate cake with lavendar sauce dessert was perfect, the lone standout success.

      The next time I am in Providence, I am sticking with a sure thing, until I hear things have improved.

    2. I have been to Bacaro twice and feel ready to pass a verdict. The first time I went with my boyfriend. We sat downstairs, shared a bottle of wine, and ate a huge spread of appetizers off the cicchetteria menu. Our server could not recommend a wine, and we had to settle on a choice without his input. The appetizers were very filling and delicious. For desert we had a made-to-order crostata--it was warm and filled with fresh fruit, but otherwise unexceptional.
      The second time, I went with a party of seven. I called to make reservations on a Tuesday night. The call was routed through an automated response system, and I was invited to leave my information and the "reservation coordinator" would respond to me by 10 AM the following day to tell me whether my reservation could be accommodated. I have eaten in many restaurants in many cities, and I found this a bit bizarre. Not only did I not receive a call back by 10 AM the following day, but I felt as though my call were being screened. This was a sign of terrible service to come. The wait staff at Bacaro is completely incompetent. Our server forgot to enter two of our appetizer orders, so only five appetizers arrived at the table. We assumed the other two would be brought out shortly, but after 10 minutes or so there was no sign of either. Our server had disappeared. When she came back, she apologized and entered the other orders. It took an additional 10-15 minutes for the two appetizers (a bowl of soup and a shrimp salad) to be brought out. It is still a mystery to me whether our server simply didn't deliver the food to the table in timely manner or if it really took the kitchen 15 minutes to put some soup in a bowl. About five minutes after the last two appetizers were served, the entrees came out. The woman I was sitting next to had not finished her soup when the server tried to hand her her risotto; when she indicated she wasn't finished with her soup, the server stood there for over a minute as though waiting for her to hurry up and finish. Finally she asked him to leave and come back with it in a few minutes. Thus our course was out of joint yet again. Our host was angry by this point and asked if he could speak with the manager. The server failed to send over the manager promptly, and he had to ask to speak with her yet again.
      On the plus side, the food was mostly phenomenal. Stand-out entrees included the crispy chicken with pasta e fagiole, the scallops, and the sea bass. Unfortunately for the woman with the soup, her second course of risotto was thick and gummy. This may have been the result of about ten minutes being kept warm in the oven, but judging by the comments below, it is possible the Bacaro kitchen does not know how to properly prepare risotto.
      The desserts were serviceable, but not exceptional.
      With regard to wine, we ordered two bottles (over $100 each). When she brought out the second bottle, the server poured out several glasses without allowing anyone to taste the wine before catching herself. This kind of sloppy service positively ruined our meal.
      The bottom line: the food is very good but the service might make you lose your appetite! I will not be returning to Bacaro in the near future.

      1. BEST RESTAURANT IN PROVIDENCE!!!! I have lived here for 9 months and have eaten everywhere that's been recommended to me. Gracie's... Check. Sienna... Yes. Ten... Been there, Bacaro is far and away the best. Great food, wonderful atmosphere, great service. I'm amazed more RI folks don't know about it!!! It's a gem. It makes me miss the city a little bit less.

        1. went there just this past week and wanted to report a bit (it's around their one year anniversary) So... an uneven experience all in all! DELICIOUS FOOD especially the spring vegetable soup (which is too filling for an appetizer IMO) a lovely selection of ingredients, beaitful to look at, a wonderful broth, really a very nice dish. the foie gras on toast (from the salumeria menu) was fantastic. and everything else we at was great (didn't try desserts though.) but why is the service so bad? impersonal, not attentive, slow, careless (they kept forgetting silverware, or didn't pour the wine as needed, and so forth) just the sort of details one wouldn't expect for that type of place and those prices. and it couldn't be blamed on them being busy because it wasn't the case. decor: too barren for my taste.
          couldn't help but think of Neath's... But the dinner was very good.

          1. I've been to this restaurant two times in the past nine months (I work in the area and this is most convenient to meet friends and business associates). My first expereince was a major disappointment, and almost kept me away for good. Yet every new business needs to work out the kinks, so I decided to return about eight months later.

            The first time I went with a friend a few months after it opened (we went in early August, 2007). The restaurant was busy, and we were seated upstairs with a nice view. The server was a young woman who seemed scared, unfriendly and self-concious whenever she approached the table, starting with 'welcoming' us. We ordered beverages (I had a Coke, he had a beer) and ordered our dessert (to split) since we were forewarned: the desserts take a while to bake, so we had to order immediately....otherwise, no dessert (same for coffee - we had to let her know when we sat down if she wanted us to bring coffee or coffee drinks at the end of the meal...hmmmm). We opted for the 'warm ice cream sandwiches' (which she said was big enough for two to share as well as the most popular desert). We then ordered our dinners, both opting for the 'wood-grilled pork chops'. The dinners came out promptly, though without silverware on the table. It took her a few minutes to find the silverware, and when she did return with it, she asked her how our meals were. We told her we had no idea since we were waiting for the untensils. When I did cut into mine, the pork was cooked properly; however, my friend's was was still raw in the center and inedible. We called the server over, and explained the problem. She was absolutely dumb-founded, and just stood there; she didn't know what to do. We asked her to bring the dinner back to the kitchen and have the chef grill it longer, and explained the dangers of trichinosis to her. When she returned a few minutes later, the pork was cooked properly but both dinners were unimpressive at $30. The coffee and dessert followed - the 'warm' ice cream sandwiches - the size of an oreo cookie - were cold cookies (they had not been baked within the hour as promised) with store-bought ice cream. For $12 ? The coffee was cold, and I told her of the problem, asking for a cup of hot coffee and she told me she would have to charge me as a second cup. Huh? On the way out, we asked the hostess for the manager (who happened to be standing a few feet away), and explained our experience to her. We receieved a hearty laugh in return - as though we told her a joke - and she proceeded to walk away. Now we were dumb-founded. We walked back to our car - my friend (who dines out often for business in Providence) swearing never to return again (he hasn't).

            The second time I went was about a month or so ago (early April, 2008), with a friend of mine visiting from South Carolina. She knew of someone who had been there, and wanted to try it. Reluctantly, I agreed. This time, the restaurant was nearly empty on a beautiful Saturday night, as we were able to get in and seated promptly with no waiting or reservations. The service was slightly better...we had a male server who seemed more friendly, attentive, and sure of himself. He had a better idea as to how to serve in what it prententiously considers itself to be a five-star restaurant. This time I opted for the Veal Bolognese Rigatoni (on the server's recommendation) and tap water, while my Florida friend opted for a salmon dish with a glass of wine. We opted out of coffee and dessert, as I recalled what a major disappointment that was the first time. My pasta dinner was just OK, while she felt the same about her salmon - nothing to brag about, or recommend to anyone. Once again, for the price we were paying, we were expecting something more than 'OK', and a bit more memorable. We agreed it was an experience not worth repeating any time soon, if ever at all.

            Later on when we requested the check, we commented to our server about how empty the restaurant was for a Saturday night. He explained that business was 'way off' and the restaurant had been very slow since December.

            With so many better restaurant choices in the area, who wants to settle for under-whelming food, unreasonable prices and spotty service? The empty tables surrounding us suggest no one.

            1 Reply
            1. re: OOliver

              We have gone to Bacaro a few times in the past couple of months. The service was fine. Although we agree it is not a five star restaurant. The price of the Bolognese is not out of the realm (it happens to be one of our favorite dishes), when you considered the prices at some of the other restaurants.