Nestled within the no mans land at edge of Chinatown (especially with the sad loss of Good World) the Venetian small plates restaurant Bacaro is truly a hidden neighborhood gem with underground arched hallways and romantic private dining nooks. With real candle and crystal chandeliers, faded brick, rustic table settings, and general castle-like feel, it's a transportative atmosphere that alone is worth a recommendation. Fortunately, the food is equal to the setting.
My sister and brother-in-law did the honors of ordering since they are huge fans and know all the best dishes. The spicy fried meatballs and fried rice balls were excellent and not at all greasy nor too heavy. For pasta we had a great duck ragu with whole wheat pasta and the gnocci which is a favorite of just about anyone who's dined there. Since most dishes are shared it's wise to order a couple of these if you have a larger party.
Jim and I split the daily gelato for dessert, because we can never, ever say no to olive oil ice cream, and wow! It was some of the best I have ever had the pleasure to try. Cocktails here are also good, and more interesting than your standard offerings.
We got here early enough to accommodate a large group, though later in the evening you may have to wait – though there are worse fates than to drink in their airy, grand bar. It would be a perfect spot for romance, especially if you love and know each other well enough to excuse a big belly from all the rich and delicious pastas, fried appetizers, and dessert.?