Romance is not dead. It escaped the chill and ambled into Il Bacaro to take comfort amongst the tea lights, white linen and flattering Italian attention. If the current climate of Melbourne dining: the no reservations, line waiting, rushed service and Mexican influence has left you jaded then embrace a well established modern Italian restaurant that will allow you to make a booking, take your jacket and seductively guide you through the forward thinking menu. Service is flawless and polished, but the attraction is the menu. It is exquisite.
The seared quail with caramelized fig, blue cheese ice cream, pine nuts and vin cotto is delicate but modestly portioned. The blue cheese ice cream has a tendency to disintegrate on your plate (and your palate) rather rapidly but so lavish and sumptuous it is. If only the quail was a slightly larger bird.
The venison carpaccio is slightly confusing – the sweetness of the hazelnut soil and baked ricotta does not quite complement the venison in fact it completely overrides it and feels like a meaty dessert. Though I applaud the bold unorthodox combination of flavours, it could have been simpler and the venison better highlighted.
The spaghettini with Moreton Bay bugs, garlic and rocket is a stand out. The spaghettini is perfectly al dente. It is simple and simply marvellous.
The braised goat was wintry and comforting but a little difficult to handle. The bones were overwhelming and I felt as if it was entree sized rather than main once the bones were discarded.
If you aren’t completely gorged from the extravagance, you must order the Agave nectar cheesecake with honeycomb, chocolate pop rocks, violet sorbet and fairy floss. The textures, flavours and delicate sweetness of the cheesecake is orgasmic. The silkiness of the sorbet contrasts with the crunch of the honeycomb and pop rocks. POP ROCKS. Chocolate literally popping in your mouth. Forget the mains, go straight to the dolci. The chocolate and hazelnut praline pudding with aerated chocolate and spearmint ice cream is slightly less beguiling the ice cream so pigmented it feels as if you are eating paint.
I adore Il Bacaro It is far and beyond one of the finer Italian restaurants in the Melbourne CBD. It is moderately priced and the experience is pure indulgence. It will seduce you. Just let it.
168-170 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654 6778