We ate at Il Bacaro twice, the first time was on the Thursday when we arrived in Melbourne via Sydney after having our flight to Melbourne cancelled because of imminent death and destruction from a Volcano some 10,000 km away in some country called Chile, which can produce a good drop I’ve been told, even though my most memorable bottle of wine from their country was the worst Pinot Noir I have had the misfortune to drink. Also via James Squire and an ale or two, sat down at 8:00pm in the mood for some good wine and food, which was had by all. Didn’t take any notes so we went back on Tuesday for dinner before taking on that Chilean Ash Cloud again this time we went with, Wine
2010 Hoddles Creek Chardonnay
Not much on the nose except some tight lime citrus notes that followed through on the palate, more that modern style of chardonnay, which I think and is designed to be served cold and drunk young. Enjoyable and worked OK without food, a reasonably refreshing start to the evening.
2008 G. D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo
G. D. Vajra is a popular Piemonte producer here in Melbourne, have seen their wines on a number of restaurant wine lists and at places like the City Wine Shop. The waiter suggested he decant the wine because of its youth, to help it open up, a good idea as the initial nose showed off more oak than fruit, after a little bit of air time the fruit showed itself. A beautiful balance of soft red fruits with a hint of French oak, maybe some of it new, a top flight Langhe.
2009 Pio Cesare ‘Il Nebbio’ Nebbiolo
Big with a lot of grunt compared to the Vajra, glad we followed up with this and not the other way around. If I was asked to guess this wine blind and was given the hint that it was from Piemonte, I would have picked it as a Langhe Rosso blend of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, not as a straight Nebbiolo. Dark dry red fruits, subtle this is not, but a good wine to finish with, it would have gone well with cheese.
On the food front started with a pasta
“cres tasa di polenta con pomodoro, cipolla, cervo e pecorino
A hand cut polenta pasta with slow cooked onions, cherry tomato, venison carpaccio and pecorino.”
Not had polenta pasta before so gave it a try, very much like non polenta pasta, which is a good thing as I kind of like non polenta pasta, excellent dish as the pasta was not drowned in sauce and was just the right texture, the small pieces of venison on top were quite tasty as well. A good start to the meal, much prefer pasta as an entrée than as a main as it can be too heavy and filling as a main.
This was followed by
the “capretto brasato con piselli, carota, patate e pecorino al tartu
Roman-style braised goat with peas, heirloom carrots, potato and truffled pecorino.”
This dish was more like a stew, I say stew as the only dish which I have had that comes close to as good as this was an Irish Stew, that I had at an Irish Rugby Club in Dublin during the 1999 Rugby World Cup. 12 years ago and I can still see and taste the Irish stew. This is up there with that stew, a simple dish that speaks volumes about the chef and his ability to make this piece of goat tell us where and what it came from, there was no hiding the goat behind an over the top sauce, braised and delivered in its own broth, simply delicious.
If you have not been to Il Bacaro, then next time you are in Melbourne I seriously suggest you do, booking is essential as it is a small restaurant and it is very popular. Apart from the food the wine list is a good selection of local and Italian wines and there are staff with knowledge happy to help with selecting something to sate your palate.
BTW that Chilean ash cloud delayed our return flight by 3 hours so we were able to have a nice sleep in after a night of a little over indulgence.