Monday, September 15, 2008

Italian kisses in Kailua

Baci Bistro

30 Aulike St
, HI 96734

(808) 262-7555

Yelp reviews

So I have to say that this evening’s dinner started out in a very disappointing manner. We wanted to try out Formaggio Grill – a new outpost of Formaggio wine bar in Kailua – but they don’t take reservations. We showed up around 7 pm on a Saturday, hoping that it wouldn’t be too crowded, with the rain and the Saturday night movie showings, but that didn’t work out. The sweet hostess told us it would be a 45 minute wait. We weren’t in the mood to wait so long. She recommended Saeng’s Thai (in the same strip) but we decided to go look around Kailua for something else.

Our 2nd choice was Casablanca, for some Moroccan fare. Unfortunately, they were full as well, and told us it would be a 20-30 minute wait. Finally, we found a table at Baci Bistro. I had very low expectations, plus I wasn’t even really in the mood for Italian. If there’s any Western food that’s easy to find in Shanghai, it’s Italian. But since it was a crowded Saturday night in Kailua, we went for it.

It turned out to be a lovely evening. From the outdoor seating (despite the rain), to the friendly service, to the amazing cheesecake, Baci comes highly recommended.

We started with the garlic toast (roasted garlic with toasted Italian bread) so-so, and the eggplant tower (roasted eggplant served with an eggplant spread and fresh tomatoes) which was much better.

The yummy eggplant

Pass on the roasted garlic...there's not even very much garlic!

Our entrees included both pastas and meat dishes. The pastas tasted primarily freshly made (with the exception of my spaghetti) Everyone’s favorite by far was the gnocchi, in a delish cheese sauce.

The gnocchi are to die for:

Lobster with spaghetti: excellent buttery lobster, just average spaghetti in a plain tomato sauce

Black fettuccine with scallops

Meat lovers papperdalle: chicken, beef and sausage

Veal (I am blanking on the name) with your choice of veggies or pasta

Even though we were stuffed after all of the pasta, I felt the need to splurge on dessert. The manager recommended the marscapone cheesecake, and we also threw in some vanilla-chocolate profiteroles and the crème brulee. The cheesecake was absolutely to die for: high, white and creamier than a new york style cheesecake, served with raspberry sauce made from fresh berries. The crème brulee was just so-so (a little too soft and runny under the burnt sugar crust), and I can’t report on the profiteroles, since I don’t eat anything with chocolate in it.

On top of the lovely meal, I also learned that baci means ‘kiss’ in Italian…as evidenced by the big set of lips on the restaurant’s sign outside, as well as the copy of ‘il bacio’ in the restrooms

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