Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Il Bacio

Yikes, I haven't blogged much in the last month. It's been a whirlwind several weeks, between holiday travel to stay with my family and an eight-day work trip to Florida for our Liver Life Challenge program...I've been busy. Life just gets in the way of blogging sometimes. But, that's okay, because now I have a lot of fun content to share with you. It's not like I stopped having some dining adventures over the last month!

With January 1st looming, I still had three restaurants left on my 2013 To Dine Challenge that I needed to hit. "R" and I headed to Il Bacio Ristorante Italiano in Little Italy for a date night on one snowy evening. Pasta just sounds better when the weather is cold, right?
It is located on Murray Hill Road, right across the street from Washington Place Bistro. Free street parking was hard to locate, but we eventually found a spot after circling a few blocks. That's one of my biggest complaints about the Little Italy area.

Inside, it was warm and intimate, with a nice street view from our table.
We were clearly the "outsiders" there that evening, and this Italian restaurant has its regulars. Service was pleasant and helpful, however, more attentive to the other tables.

We started with a special, breaded eggplant with marinara and ricotta.
Often, marinara sauce in restaurants leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion. They don't have the depth of flavor that a good homemade sauce can have. This version? Not too bad! Personally, I would have liked a little more seasoning, but overall it was nice. I just wish that the bread hadn't been served cold and a tad stale. It would have made for a great dipping sauce. The eggplant wasn't greasy, the light breading gave it some great texture, and the ricotta was smooth and light.

"R" ordered the seafood risotto special- Shrimp Scampi, and I went with a similar variation from their regular menu (sorry, no website means no accurate menu posted online for reference).
My dish was absolutely packed with mussels, clams, shrimp, and scallops. My broth was clearly better than the one that "R" ordered, but the rice was a real disappointment in both. Not the consistency or flavor that I truly enjoy from a risotto.

So, overall there were some hits and misses that evening. We enjoyed being tucked away in a cozy restaurant on a snowy night, with great smells coming from the kitchen and neighborly conversation flowing in the dining room. But, this meal didn't leave us wanting more from Il Bacio.

Il Bacio
2181 Murray Hill Road
Cleveland, OH 44106


eatdrinkcleveland said...

That risotto looks like rice soup!

Bite Buff said...

Crystal- yeah, no good on texture, but at least the flavor was great! R's had problems with both. Bummer.

Anonymous said...

Hm, what's your favorite restaurant in that area? I'm meeting some friends next Wednesday and I could use a good tip!

Bite Buff said...

Beth- Maxi's for traditional Italian, otherwise Washington Place Bistro!