My heels click on the lavic cobblestones as I leave the tourist crush of the Pantheon behind. Only a quick turn of a corner and my wish to escape the chaos of Rome’s centro storico is immediately granted at the quiet tables of il Bacaro.
This is a romantic and low-key spot on a hidden backstreet where, under a canopy of vines, or in the cozy interior, I come to feast on insanely delicious food. Among the antipasti, I love the exquisite octopus carpaccio served with radicchio and arugula on a black olive wafer. Then there’s droolworthy primi, like the homemade pasta with prawns, cherry tomatoes, truffle and pecorino cheese.
I make it a point to peruse il Bacaro’s entire menu, trying out new things each time I dine here. But it’s hard not to give in and repeat the mystic experience offered by the delicately braised skewer of prawns wrapped in precious melting strips of lardo, bruised by a splash of cognac. In summer, I simply cannot resist the tuna steak with pistachios baked in a breadcrumb crust.
The wine list at il Bacaro features more than 600 labels, many well-priced varietals from all over the Italian peninsula. The dessert selection is ambrosial, requiring one must absolutely leave some room for a sweet meal ending.
Il Bacaro is a good value restaurant, with courteous, attentive service, and above all my ideal place for a special date. Nothing spells romance better than a candlelit dinner on a hidden alley, behind the Pantheon.