We made a compromise this weekend. I would go see "Kill Bill" with J if he took me out for a good true Italian meal - that is, straight Italian with little Californian interpretation if possible. I had been craving some great Italian and after reading some reviews on the board, we made reservations at Bacco last night.
The food was wonderful. We started with the reknowned fava bean crostini appetizer. We voted this dish "Best of Show" of the meal. I could have ordered a couple of these for myself and made a meal of them. The fava mean mixture was hummus-like in it's texture, bursting with the flavor of the beans and garlic, counterbalanced by some simple greens in oil. Delicious.
We also had the fig and prosciutto appetizer, which was well presented and good.
I had the risotto quattro formaggi. Chalk me up as one of those people who orders risotto, hoping that it's going to be good but not counting on it. This dish was almost like a double dare -- pull off risotto AND quattro formaggi and make it good, please.
At Bacco, I decided to take the chance and it paid off. The risotto was creamy and wonderful in taste. Not gloppy, not boring. Each piece of risotto was well defined and toothsome. I felt like I was eating a plate of wonderful comfort food.
Jason was informed that his first order was not available, and decided on the tagliata served with cannellini and broccoli rabe. I kind of cringed. Both of us love tagliata, but hadn't had it since an amazing rendition of it in Florence. I thought that it was too much to expect Bacco to live up to this memory. I am happy to report that the tagliata was wonderful and was served differently enough from Il Ritrovo in Florence that we didn't feel that every bite was a comparison. We both loved the bitterness of the broccoli rabe contrasted with the wonderful rare steak and the cannelini beans.
The restaurant was very busy. Seemed completely full. It was noisy, service was fairly abrupt, and there were a couple of unusual situations going on -- emergency service vehicles outside due to an incident on the street, and an older man sitting next to me talking VERY loudly about some political views that I didn't agree with. I have a feeling that all of this was just circumstance, and will hope for better on the ambience front in the future.
We will gladly return -- I can't wait till the next time!