Bacco Wine Cafe- Melbourne- 5 Stars
When a restaurant has been in business for 18 years, I know one of two things. It's either the only restaurant in town, or it's the best. I am here to say that Bacco Wine Cafe in Melbourne is the latter of the two. The place is run by a husband and wife team, the husband, Loris, takes care of the front while his wife, Rafaella, runs the kitchen.
As the place is reservation only, we were very fortunate and grateful that Loris gave us a table. He said we arrived early enough so it wouldn't be a problem. As my eyes began to devour the choices on the menu handed to us by Loris, I thought this was sure to be an amazing meal. However, our server, Jennifer had me briefly second guessing that assumption as she came across as a zombie. Or your typical 25-year-old. She was adequate enough as she got our order right but, really seemed to just go through the motions. I ordered a three-course meal consisting of Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese, the Veal Chop Alla Marsala and for dessert, I went with the Pere Cotte Al Vino Rosso.
Jennifer was soon doing the zombie shuffle towards our table with a tray of culinary science concocted in the laboratory of Chef Rafaella, Ph.D. in foodology. As our gastronomical treasure was set before us, my sense of smell became overwhelmed with scrumptiousness. The odors spirling up from the plated art in wisps of steam would make a dead man salivate (which I found exceedingly ironic given the mortal condition of our server). My comestible journey began with the order of Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese. Sadly, this recipe has been hacked the world over. It has been reduced to "common" food status when in reality it was the dish of nobility as traditionally it consisted of beef and fresh cream, items not easily obtainable by the commoners. Chef Rafaella reminds everybody of the true origins of this dish by elevating it once again to noble standards. She starts by making her own pasta and finishes with the freshest cuts of prime meat around and tops it all off with a homemade Bolognese sauce that recalled to mind one of the nicknames of the city it hails from, "la grassa" or "the fat" in reference to the city's culinary mastery.
After literally licking the plate clean (thatsa some sauce!), I directed my appetite towards the Veal Chop Alla Marsala. As my loyal followers know, this is my "barometer" for measuring a good Italian eatery. The Veal was obviously USDA Prime as it was so tender it practically melted on the palate. The mushrooms were fresh cut (YAY!) and Chef Rafaella really took it to the next level by using shaved garlic in her sauce. Served with riced garlic mashed potatoes and bedded atop a bevy of market fresh veggies this was truly a dish from a chef at the top of her game. However, Rafaella's chef-d'oeuvre this evening was her take on the classic Pere Cotte Al Vino Russo. What can I say about this delicious masterpiece of dessert? Was it perfect? Was it divine? Everything falls short. The pear was cooked unerringly to perfection and the red wine reduction sauce was out of this world. A dollop of fresh cream was the exclamation point to a fabulous meal.
The Big Boy says, "What are you doing still reading this? Call Bacco and make a reservation. Now. Boun Appetito!!" #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy