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Oct 7, 2009 03:30 PM

Baci- Rockville

Is this really a Roberto Donna restaurant? Is it any good I'm thinking of visiting for Rockville Restaurant Week.

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  1. He consulted on the menu. He has no involvement in the day-to-day operations.

    If you're local, it's probably worth stopping in, especially on a RW promotion. It's certainly not a destination restaurant, and there is better Italian nearby in the same price range (Il Pizzico and Amici Miei).

    1 Reply
    1. re: DanielK

      I have been to the other two and lately have found Il Pizzico slumping so I wanted to try something else. Thanks for the advice.

    2. You may want to check this out:

      I also agree w/ DanielK's comments. Rockville Restaurant Week sounds like a good deal, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat at Baci.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Gigi007

        Don't get me wrong - I had a perfectly decent meal there, but if you go thinking of getting a meal from Roberto Donna you'll be disappointed.

        1. re: DanielK

          That's what I heard from friends in Rockville who went there once, with "once" being the operative word. They didn't have any complaints, but simply decided that they prefer other Italian restaurants like Teatro Goldoni, Tosca, and Al Tiramisu (all are in DC though, and not Rockville).

          TK, if you do go, let us know what you think.

        2. re: Gigi007

          Thanks for the link. I got the same impression from the web site as the Post did. Still may give it a try.

        3. What a coincidence that you posted. I have been familiar with this place for months, I have seen the web site, and I have been a long time fan of Roberto's cooking (but not necessarily his service), both at Galileo, but also at the many tratorias that he had a hand in incubating back in the 80s and 90s, especially I Matti, et al.

          So we finally went for dinner last Friday. We arrived about 8PM to find the place basically empty. I kinda liked the look of the place. It's nicely dark and has tableclothes, both of which are probably more important to me than they should be.

          The wine list is not acceptable, and you can try blaming the County for that, but somehow Grapeseed and others manage to succeed. I ordered one of the better bottles on the list, and it came out with two nice wine glasses. Unfortunately the wine was a tepid 80 something degrees (maybe even 90). They thought my request of putting it in a ice bucket for 8 minutes was great, and it was clearly something they had never thought of themselves.

          Starters were dismal. Calamari was chewy and fishy. Cesare (their spelling) salad was inedibly bland. Spinach salad was overdressed and wanting. Pastas were just barely better. Plain fettuccine with a basic bolognese was the best of the lot, if monotonous. It didn't have the creaminess of a good bolognese though, nor did it have real shredded meat like a good bolognese. Instead, it was much more of a marinara sauce with ground beef. But the pasta was nice, perhaps even made in house. Orecchiette with sausage and brocolli (or in this case, broccolini) was no more than an assemblage of those three ingredients in a pool of pasta water (Now I know that that is all this dish is supposed to be, but even when I make it at home and use good sausage and real broc rabe and toss with good olive oil and good cheeses it comes out a lot better than this) The special risotto with artichoke and lamb was the best of the lot. Nothing I would remember the next day, but nothing I would complain about either.

          The prices were kinda cheap. Probably not cheap for Rockville, but cheap compared to Bethesda. The service started off real shaky, but I think they swapped the rookie waiter for the veteran after I ordered a good bottle of wine and the rookie broke the cork off in the bottle.

          I'm not a big fan of Amici Miei, and I don't like waiting for a table at Il Pizzico, but I would choose either of those before returning to Baci, and (barring going downtown) I would probably go to Cesco's in Bethesda before those two.