Restaurant review - Bacaro, Liverpool
- Credit: Archant
This Liverpool restaurant may serve small plates but the flavours are huge
If you’re looking to dine at Bacaro then you better have a reservation, as this Italian restaurant has swiftly become one of Liverpool’s top destinations.
This is the youngest venture from independent restaurant group, Red and Blue, which also owns the popular Salt House Tapas and Hanover Street Social. Inside, Bacaro is rustic with industrial touches: fairy lights string their way above the wooden bar, where people sit eating or clinking bellinis.
It’s a long way from the origins of a bacaro - they started in Venice as working men’s pubs; dark canteens with snacks called cicchetti served in small plates. Nowadays, some bàcari have become elegant restaurants, but some still maintain the authenticity and joyfulness of their humble beginnings – as this Liverpool restaurant does effortlessly.
To start we ordered a selection of spuntini to whet our appetites, including pancetta croquettes (£1.50 each). They were little fried rolls of heaven, the potato whipped so creamily and small chunks of pancetta adding a smoky bite.
A favourite of mine, burrata mozzarella, started the main courses. This glossy ball of cheese crafted from Italian buffalo milk sat on top of a bed of tangy salsa rossa and guacamole and when I cut into it, the creamy contents spilled onto crostini bread (£6.50).
Next was the pizzette, topped with slow cooked harissa lamb with yoghurt and watercress (£5.95). The base was thin and crispy at the edges, the flavours of the harissa lamb bursting alongside the tomato sauce and the yogurt added freshness.
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A hearty portion of slow cooked sausage ragu, tagliolini pasta and pecorini (£6.50) was next. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente and the rich ragu coated each strand of tagliolini – a thicker style of spaghetti – in a deliciously seasoned sauce lightly flavoured by the slow cooked sausage.
The final main course dish, braised ox cheek (£6.95), was a triumph. Each spoonful of the melt-in-your-mouth meat was rich, sticky goodness, and the celeriac puree added lightness to the devilishly good dish.
For dessert, I decided to order the affogato (£6.95) – three scoops of vanilla ice cream served with a shot of espresso and amaretto. An Italian classic, it transformed the Cheshire Farm ice cream into a sumptuous dessert fuelled by boozy and caffeine hits.
We left buzzing, full of authentic Italian food that could only have been cooked by someone who has joy and passion in their work. It may not be Venice, but it comes pretty close.
Bacaro, 47 Castle Street, Liverpool, L2 9UB Tel: 0151 665 0047, www.salthousebacaro.co.uk