We went to Bacaro last night. We were walking down Division Street trying to find it when a server outside the door greeted us. A benefit of the nice weather he advised. We were invited to check out the downstairs and given the option of dining upstairs or downstairs (no wait). Downstairs seemed more low key, spacious and less crowded so that's where we ended up (also closer to the wine cellar).
The atmopshere at Bacaro is everything Allen & Delancey is not. The rustic exposed brick and wood combined with candles created a relaxing, romantic mood. Yet not dark, gothic. Upstairs has more windows and is a bit lighter, but still rustic. We had a nice corner table downstairs beside the window with the stairs leading up to the street/down to one of the private dining rooms. The menu is split between tapas and entrees. Now on to the food.
After ordering a bottle of Barbera D'Alba Funtani' we enjoyed some bread and olive oil as we waited for our tapas and decided what to order next.
Cold, fried sardines were served with warm, sauteed onions and pine nuts. The onions made the dish. Very good.
Squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta. Lightly fried. Melted in your mouth.
Gnocchi in brown butter with mushrooms. The gnocchi and mushrooms were delicious. The sauce seemed more like a gravy than a brown butter (maybe I'm just remembering the brown butter and sage sauce I had the other night elsewhere?). Satisfying comfort/peasant food.
Creamed codfish with polenta. More comfort food. The codfish mound was heaped over a plate of soft polenta. Simple, very good.
We skipped dessert, had some espresso and walked home. Between the food, service (Alain was excellent, our buser was too), value (mains under $20, tapas under $10) and atmosphere this is a casual place we will return to again and again. Note their new menu is not on menupages.com and they only take reservations for the two private rooms downstairs.
Went to Bacaro last night. We didn't have a reservation and were seated right away. Place was full shortly after our arrival. Atmosphere, service, value remain unchanged. Menu has changed.
We had the olive oil and bread while selecting wine and deciding what to order.
Zucchini blossoms stuffed with ricotta and deep fried. Nothing like the stuffed squash blossoms that used to be on the menu. Not something I can recommend.
Fried oysters with aioli. Delicious, and I don't even like oysters that much . . .
Rice balls. Good. A little crispier then I like.
Gnocchi was good. SO made a better choice then I did.
Duck ragu was served with spaghetti. I prefer tagliatelle. The first time I had this at Bacaro it was very good. The last time I had it at Bacaro (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/560613) and yesterday it was just okay. I can't recommend this dish.
I ate there the first week they opened. Downstairs was unfortunately not open yet, so it was a tight squeeze, but a conscientious waitress got us seated fast. Extensive wine list, which the staff is not so familiar with, but we were able to taste at least three choices before deciding. Spicy meatballs were simple and delicious, mushroom gnocchi was great and gnocchi is not the easiest to do well, squid ink risotto was divine. My main critique was the bus staff. They were cleared not trained yet or well and were overextended since the waitstaff was limited and it was really busy. They were really sloppy with wine service and not quite sure what to do in general. Growing pains hopefully, I'm looking forward to going back when they open downstairs, the fried vegetable plate looked very inticing....
I was there the first Sat. night it opened a couple of weeks ago. Only the upstairs main room was open, but we managed to get a table after standing by the bar for a while. Worth the wait. Excellent wine list and we ordered a bottle of valpolicella which was terrific and reasonably priced. My companions ordered the lasagna and frito misto which we shared and I ordered the braised lamb shank. All the food was excellent and reasonably priced, all under $20. Great tiramisu for dessert. The ambiance is great with exposed brick walls, wooden ceiling beams, a marble topped bar. I understand that the basement rooms are also very rustic and if not already opened for business will be soon,. It's definitely a go back to place. An excellent find.
I went when it was just opening. The downstairs was not even set up yet. It was quite a wait so we sat at the bar. Ordered the fritto misto, the octopus and potato salad and the spaghetti vongole. I think the fritto was pretty tasty. I could have skipped the octopus dish and ordered something a bit more interesting. The pasta with clams was unbelievably delicious. We split a yummy carafe of red wine. No bread, however, was offered to any of the tables. I don't know if they decided to change that policy. They only had two desserts that night. We settled on the tiramisu. It was light, fluffy and a nice end to the meal. I would go back and try another pasta dish or meat dish. The aromas wafting from the kitchen were very enticing. I def suggest you pay Bacaro a visit.