Friday, November 27, 2009

Visit to Bacco Wine Bar and Pasticceria - no longer alone

Isn't it strange (or is that ironic) when you don't see someone for years, then you bump into them several times in a matter of weeks?  So it was when I went back to Bacco Wine Bar and Pasticceria in Chifley Plaza - it had been ages since my first (lone) visit, then I ended up there twice in as many weeks.

So what you see here is a combination of the lunches that I had with some friends...

The Bacco Wine Bar is a cafe that is at the back of the foyer of the Chifley building.  It's a dark, inviting space with a preparation area to one side, where fresh pasta is rolled out, and a separate wine 'cellar' that has a door handle shaped like a bunch of grapes.

The menu is Italian, and is split into sections, including Antipasti, Formaggi, Salumi, and Pesci.  You also get bread with olive oil when you order.  On both occasions that I ate there, my friends and I stuck with the Primi pasta dishes (same menu both times).

First visit: The risotto con scampi ($24) was a reasonable serve of creamy risotto in scampi bisque topped with scampi pieces.  Slightly over-salted, but flavoursome, so I'm told. 
I had the gnocchi di rape rose ($23), which was beetroot gnocchi with calamari pieces and broccolini puree.  This was really good, with the small-sized  gnocchi being smooth and beautifully cooked. 
The tortelli di asparagi ($22) was tortelli filled with asparagus puree and fresh ricotta, served with 'montasio fondue', which was a cheese sauce.  My friend was hoping that this wasn't going to be a single tortelli, so was pleased when five fat tortelli arrived on the plate.

A nice touch: the waitstaff place the plates with the Bacco insignia facing the diner.

Second visit: I wanted to have the beetroot gnocchi again, but decided to go with the fettucine al cervo ($22), which was pasta tossed with venison ragu.  While the fettucine and sauce were very good, I found the venison pieces a bit dry.  And while I was eating, I thought I tasted cleaning product - has this ever happened to you? You know, where you get a whiff of fragrance but don't actually taste it?  Strange.

Another strange thing - whenever someone at the table orders dessert, I have to have a dessert, too!  So we had a tiramisu ($12) and the cestino di ricotta alla Siciliana ($12). I was disappointed with my cestino - it was a pastry basket, according to the menu, with 'ricotta, berries and vanilla sauce'.  They must have run out of berries, because it came with a bunch of grapes, so I felt a bit ripped off.  The pastry basket had gone soft sticky so it was hard to snap pieces off it, so I left most of it.  The tiramisu was a much better option.

We also had a variety of coffees - another nice touch is that the ladies' coffees had a heart drawn into the foam...

All up, both meals were good, reasonable value.  The service is friendly and efficient, and you feel like you are being looked after.

On the way out, you have to walk past the Pasticceria, where there is an amazing array of cakes displayed in the glass cabinet.

Being quite satisfied from lunch, I bought some macarons to take away - can't remember what was what although the white one was coconut.  No discernible flavour (except sweet), but they did look good.  The Pasticceria remains a place to ogle the cakes and plan my next visit.  I might take bets on when that will be.

Bacco Wine Bar and Pasticceria is on the ground floor of 2 Chifley Square, Sydney, NSW.  Ph: 02 9223 9552
Bacco Wine Bar Pasticceria on Urbanspoon


  1. I know what you mean when something tastes like cleaning product - sometimes I forget to thoroughly wash the rice cooker...hehe... anyway, I would love to try the gnocchi di rape - looks amazing!

  2. Can't stop gawking at the dessert. Glad you are back with friends, not alone anymore :)

  3. i love the little details- insignia + coffee designs and of course the free bread. shame about the cleaning product taste!

  4. Grapes instead of berries? Hmph.

    Love the photos, I can see why you'd want to have more of the beetroot gnocchi!

    Not sure I've tasted cleaning product in a restaurant before, but my housemate had a very fruity lunch a few weeks ago after eating her leftovers out of a container that I normally keep jelly in :)

  5. Oh Belle- why of course you had to come back a 2nd time! LOL I concur, I should be doing that more often to ensure there's consistency at an eatery.

    Yep- macarons takeaway- perfect choice!

  6. I love the colour of the gnocchi! You must have been disappointed with the ragu in comparison.

  7. hi Trissa - the taste of cleaning product is awful, but is it bad for you? Maybe in large doses, hehe!

    hi chocolatesuze - yes, it's the little things that leave a good impression.

    hi Ellie - well, since I changed my deodorant, my friends are flocking back...!

    hi Conor - that's another thing - tasting something sweet when you're expecting salty, and vice versa - weird!

    hi Adrian - you have to be consistent, that's right! It helps when the food is good, too.

    hi Arwen - the beetroot gnocchi was outstanding. It was just a shame the venison was a bit dry.

  8. I once went to a cafe and had a frozen coffee frappe and it tasted like dish washing detergent. When I took it back to the counter and raised my concerns, the waitress took a huge sip out of the straw I had been using and replied "I don't taste anything wrong". Brave, considering I had never met the waitress and I could have any number of communicable diseases spread through salivia. I ended up paying and leaving because I was no longer brave enough to eat there.