It was time to “Feed The Beast” so we ventured to Dongan Hills, Staten Island and found ourselves at Baci Ristorante. Let me start off by giving a tremendous thank you to everyone at Baci for treating “The Beast” with such professionalism and hospitality. We never had to search for assistance, every question we had was answered in detail and we never felt rushed being that we sat there for hours to the point of practically closing the place. In addition the friendliness of the staff was well above par. Our server immediately approached us and introduced himself. His first name was “Allessandro” which coincidently is my mother’s maiden last name. Between this and the company I was with, I instantly knew this was going to be a special evening.
Baci Ristorante is an upscale family run Italian restaurant with a second location in Bay Ridge Brooklyn. As for the Staten Island location, there is two floors for dining. It is also a great location if you want to host a private party. The front of the first floor dining room is lined with glass doors that go from the ceiling to the floor creating a fantastic open feel. There is a long bar when you first walk in. During “Pre-Covid” restrictions, this was a great place to spend time at the bar, have a drink and mingle with some of the other patrons. Hopefully this will be the case again soon. Also, if you are looking for a place to have brunch on the weekend, I would recommend checking out their brunch menu. It is very inviting and they even offer a “Kids brunch” menu.
Their main menu is diverse offering several Italian classics, a variety of pizza, elegant modern day Italian fare and a raw bar. The only negative of the evening, was we physically could not try everything on the menu. However on a positive note, a return trip is already in the works. Some items that are a must try on the next visit is the “Italian Long Hots” and the “Angry Lobster”. Yet, for this night I truly believe everything we ordered was the perfect selection.
How can “The Beast” be in a restaurant with a a raw bar and not order a dish? It’s simply not going to happen. A decision was made. West coast oysters were the winner. For those that are not in the know, there is differences between east coast and west coast oysters. There are actually four types of east coast oysters. But we will dive into that on an upcoming blog dedicated to this pearl of a shellfish. In comparison, west coast oysters have a creamier and smoother texture. They also tend to be sweeter than their east coast counterpart. With the ones Baci offers, you could taste the freshness of the oysters and honestly you didn’t even need to put anything on them. The natural sweetness of the oysters was all that you need.
Next on the hit list was the Octopus Baci. The octopus was grilled perfectly. It melted in your mouth and the flavor from the char was on point. The vinaigrette and tomato salad that accompanied the octopus was light and refreshing. Making it an extremely well balanced dish.
The tuna tartare arrived next and was beautifully plated. The chopped tuna was on top of fresh avocado, English cucumber and a miso glaze. It was served with crostini chips. From tasting it, you could easily tell they use a high grade tuna. Besides how well it tasted, the color of the tuna is what you would expect in a restaurant of this caliber.
Then there was the star of the evening. It was time for the stuffed gnocchi in a truffle cream sauce. These stuffed homemade gnocchi were larger then you would normally have but they were not as dense as you would expect and were extremely light. The gnocchi was presented with a delightful truffle cream sauce that you couldn’t get enough of. Pass the bread because “The Beast” was going to wipe his plate clean. It got to the point that our server “Allsessandro” inquired if we would like an additional order for the road. We laughed and politely declined. What were we thinking? Should of said yes.
If you have never been to Baci I have one word for you. Go!! If you live in Brooklyn go to their Bay Ridge location and if you live on Staten Island, get there. It is a fantastic restaurant regardless if you go with your family, a group of friends and especially if you are looking to go for “Date Night”.