Saturday, April 11, 2009

Baci & Abbracci, Pt II

Secondi 1: Pasta Farfalle with Cherry Tomatoes, Shrimp and Chickpeas


Wow. If I was already half full with my beans-infused appetizer, this dish just solidified the "well-fed" factor. Somehow, the blend of herbs and oils in the pasta farfalle was so flavorful I just had to finish it! The combination of textures thrown together kept my mouth happy -- thick chickpeas and fun bow-tie (farfalle) pasta. What's not to love?

Secondi 2: Pan seared salmon and mussels with broccoli

Vicky's salmon was tender and not overly seasoned. I sense that Baci & Abbracci is a family-friendly home-style Italian eatery. We noticed clientele trickling through into the later hours (7:30..8:30...). By 9 p.m, the restaurant was three-quarters full, compared to the empty house two hours earlier. A family of four was sitting behind us sipping wine. Next to us, two older gentlemen in ironed suits discussed a topic with rapid hand motions.

Our waiter asked if I wanted another caipirinha (a Brazilian drink made from cacacha -- a light rum, lime and sugar). At just $7 a drink, I would have readily said 'yes'! The caipirinha was at once refreshing and light on liquor, which is great for seconds. But this time, I left it at one. At first, I thought the bartender had diluted the drink, but on second thought I reconsidered that it could be due to an inherent property of cacacha (light rum being, well, light).

Dolci 1: Tiramisu

Time for dessert! My tiramisu arrived as I was contemplating how I was possibly going to finish it. In days of yore, I could have easily downed it, despite being stuffed. I mustered three bites...and those three bites were worth it. I loved the chocolate and espresso flecks. Powdered sugar on top completed the ensemble. Since I enjoy my coffee strong, I dug the hint-of-coffee flavor. Although the tiramisu's texture was rather light, don't let its airiness deceive you. It goes down heavier than you think (as I realized, patting my stomach five minutes later). It's how tiramisu should always taste. Not too heavy, whipped right.

Dolci 2: Yogurt Panacotta with Strawberries

My, that panacotta was sumptuous. Its tart sourness gave the dessert a luxurious feel, a far cry from frozen yogurt. The word that comes to mind is "elevated." Vicky and I readily give the panacotta two thumbs up.

Conclusion: Baci & Abbracci, which means "hugs and kisses" in Italian, surely delivered an intimate, welcome atmosphere. I would gladly go again, even on a non-restaurant week day. At $11 to $13 an entree, the prices are very reasonable. Ciao bella!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars is the out-of-the-way location. I don't go to Williamsburg much, but when I'm here, I'll stop by again. Flavors could be a little more distinct, drinks could be stronger.

Baci & Abbracci
204 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
718.599.6599 (can anyone tell me why they have a Queens area code?)

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