A pleasant, well-priced Italian restaurant, Bacco is worth a visit if you’re in the area and get a sudden craving for pasta.
Bacco is a pleasant, if simple, proposition. Large canopies hang low over the street, marking its presence and partially shading the big windows and plants outside. Inside, the decor is comforting and homely with lots of woods, wine bottles acting as decorative points of interest, nicely dressed up tables partially covered with little white tablecloths and gleaming glassware everywhere you look. The leather seating is comfortable and shows that it’s not all style over substance. It’s the kind of place you can happily settle into for a long evening of drinking wine and slurping spaghetti.
There’s a relaxed vibe at Bacco and one that’s conducive to a lazy, boozy dinner. The staff can be a little abrupt at times, which is surprising if the restaurant isn’t full to bursting, but the service is quick and efficient and their knowledge of the menu strong enough that they can offer good recommendations. Being located where it is, there is a strong tourist contingent in the customer base, but a trickle of local office workers make their way across the threshold, too.
The menu at Bacco is competitively priced and two people can quite easily dine here for £30 with wine. The pasta dishes are decent, as you’d expect from an Italian restaurant, with risottos also making a mark. For example, the risotto con funghi selvatici e parmigiano (£10.50) is well portioned with plenty of chunks of plump, earthy mushrooms countering the creamy, gooey rice. However, it is a little on the bland side and is just lacking a bit of seasoning. Far better is the spaghetti al pomodoro (£7.50), which is conversely perfectly seasoned. The spaghetti is al dente and light and is served in a very simple, slightly sweet pomodoro tomato sauce, which is lifted by some peppery basil leaves.
The wine menu is lengthy and has clearly been well thought out with some interesting grape varieties and regions thrown in. However, the price quickly escalates from £15.90 to £30 and over so if you’re watching the pennies you’ll find your options distinctly more limited. The strangest addition to the drink selection, however, is the cocktails. Cocktails in an Italian restaurant? Really? Try these at your peril – for £7 a pop you’re probably better off going to a proper cocktail bar after dinner and sticking to the wine.
The Last Word
Restaurants like Bacco are ten-a-penny in London, but it’s not a bad option if you’re in Holborn and fancy some pasta.