Heavy iron candelabras, crumbling stone walls and communal wooden tables lend a sultry vibe to this underground labyrinth, named for a Venetian bacaro (or counter for casual grazing of snacks and wine). The first floor’s marble-topped bar beckons for small bites and a glass of wine, while nooks beneath those low stone ceilings in the downstairs dining room call for a romantic evening over candlelight.
Crafted by Frank DeCarlo, the same chef/owner of Peasant in Nolita, Bacaro’s menu focuses on Northern Italian cuisine with an eye toward polenta and seafood. Insalata di granchio, fresh crab set atop a delicately fried polenta cake, is triumphant. For dessert, the velvety flourless chocolate cake topped with dried apricots, is as decadent as the setting.- MICHELIN guide inspectors