About

"The reluctant Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bacco -- Restaurant Review


13, rue Mademoiselle 15eme
Tel: 04 42 50 35 29
Metro: 8 (Commerce)
Website: www.bacco.paris 
Call for opening times
Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)


3.75 - Star......................................................€€......................................................... 2 - Bell


A friend of ours is staying close to the 15eme arrondissement, which also happens to be in our neighborhood, so I selected this restaurant, primarily because of its reviews and the close proximity to us.

This restaurant is known for it's Italian and French flavors, and combining the two to make it uniquely theirs.


As we entered we noticed it wasn't very crowded, probably because it's getting closer to vacation time. It was simply decorated and the tables were nicely spaced and not crammed together, as in most restaurants. They had a full bar and you could see the kitchen from the dining room, which I've always liked.


We perused the menus and they had quite the interesting mix of dishes. They also had a suggestion of the day which sounded really good.

For our amuse bouche we got a little mouseline of carrots flavored with turmeric and sprinkled with toasted sesames topped with a watercress. It was a nice 2 or 3 teaspoons bites and it was very good, but a little sweet for my liking, but the others found it delicious. This was a good start.










ENTRÉES

La Burratina. We decided the 3 of us would share 2-entrées. First one was a nice appetizer of burrata cheese, a  pistachio pesto, and Parma ham and a sweet confiture. It also had a wonderful parmesan crispy wafer. We had some olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar which livened up the cheese and made it even more delicious and brought it to a new level. A great combination, and quite the sizable portion, which we could not even finish.



Ravioles de ris de veau. A ravioli stuffed with sweetbreads and served with some pecorino cream. Atop the ravioli were also chunks of sweetbreads lightly battered and fried. It was a delicious dish, and we managed to finish this dish. The only odd thing I noticed was a radish was just sort of misplaced. Don't really know why it was on the dish, made no sense. Otherwise a very tasty dish.



PLATS

Le Thon rouge.  Bluefin tuna lightly seared, just on the exterior, a sauce of langoustine bisque, an egg roll of sweet and sour seasoned vegetables. If this fish had not been lightly seared, it would have been a perfect sashimi. The tuna was very moist and the juxtaposition of the seared exterior and raw interior brought the 2 distinct flavors of the fish. At first I wasn't sure why there were egg rolls on the dish, but after tasting the combination, it made sense. The was the vegetable portion of the dish, it just happened to be an egg roll. I loved the dish and the bisque was light and not overwhelming strong, as are most bisques. A very well rounded dish.



Tagliatelle a la crema tartufata et truffe diete d’Italie.  If you like truffles, this is the dish for you. The tagliatelle was cooked perfectly al-dente and the sauce of creamed truffles was perfect. I don't think I've ever seen a dish covered with so much sliced truffles. It should've been called "truffles with pasta". One of my best friends would've died over this dish. She's a big lover of truffles. It had a very characteristic earthy taste combined with the refined tagliatelle. The cream was just the right amount. It wasn't my favorite dish, but overall it was a very good dish.




Risotto au Safran, gambas rotis et chaire crabe. At first glance when this dish was served to me, I thought oh-oh, it looks pretty dry. Well looks can be deceiving. The risotto was extremely moist. You have to like saffron though. The dish was ladened with saffron. I find typically when seafood is incorporated in risotto that there's a tendency to overcook it. Not in this case, the shrimp was perfectly cooked. The crab were small pieces and I think it was used more to flavor the rice. As for the green, they were actually chunks of asparagus, nice and al-dente. Overall, I thought this was an excellent risotto. Rich, flavorful and also had a small amount of citrus to counterbalance the richest. A big hit with me.


DESSERTS


Choco (Strato) Sphère. A hard chocolate Chocolate sphere encasing a mango mousse with also fresh mango and passion fruit. It was a  beautifully presented dish. Interestingly we could not get the sphere opened. First Jack tried and then I tried. You actually needed a chisel. After a couple of tries, we were finally able to get the sphere opened. Much to our delight, we did not break the plate in our attempts. I think the problem was that the chocolate sphere was just way, way too thick, it had to have been at least 1/4 of an inch thick. The easy solution was to either make it thinner, or leave a hole on top so you can slice into it. But alas we got it open, and the mango mousse was out of this world delicious. No mistaking that it tasted like mango. The chocolate was a dark chocolate, and there was even crumble for a textural component. An excellent flavor composition, but not an easy dessert to eat.



Le cheese cake. Avocado and pineapple confit, zest of cumbawa on biscuit speculoos. To those not initiated, avocados are actually used as a dessert in most of Asia. In fact, I myself never had a savory dish of avocados, e.g., guacamole until I moved to the US. The cheesecake was good, but the speculoos crust (similar to a graham cracker) was a bit soggy for my taste. However, the cream cheese itself was good. The infused avocado was mild and the topping of pineapples as well as a layer of it in the actual cheesecake was interesting. Our waiter told us that the lime was a Japanese lime, but in actuality it was flavored with the rind of a kaffir lime. Not my favorite dessert.


WINES. Le Maestrelle Toscana Santa Cristina 2014. A deep red almost purple red Italian wine from Tuscany with flavor notes and nose of aromas of red fruit, chocolate, and mint.



















SUMMARY 

What a great find in our neighborhood. The 15eme has come a long way since we moved here in 2009. Restaurants are popping up all around us. And, interestingly enough there are pockets of the 15eme that are known for certain ethnic foods, e.g., Ethiopian, Korean, and Persian. I thought the food here was very good. The one thing that drove me crazy is that they had jazz music piped through the restaurant; I found it annoying. Don't get me wrong, I love jazz music, but maybe they could've toned down a little. The restaurant was near empty, so I wonder what the noise level would've been had it been crowded. The entrées and the plats I thought were exceptionally good; however, the desserts I found a bit strange, not only in its ease of eating as in the chocolate sphere, but also in one of the flavor profiles, e.g., cheese cake. As for price-point, it's a bit pricey, comparatively speaking. However, we would definitely go back.

For 2-entrées, 3-plats, 2-desserts, 1-glass of white wine, 1-bottle of red wine, 1-soda, 1-bottled water, for 3-people our bill would've been 212€, but because I booked on "la fourchette" I got a discount of 60.80€ for a net total of 151.20€ or 50.40€ per person. So as you can see, this is not an inexpensive restaurant, even with the discount.




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