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Penang, Malaysia - Il Bacaro, the Best Italian Spot in Georgetown?

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Penang, Malaysia - Il Bacaro, the Best Italian Spot in Georgetown?

klyeoh | Dec 4, 2011 04:46 AM

This new restaurant owned by Venetian, Roberto Dreon, at Campbell House in Georgetown's Old Quarter oozes cool comfort & charm. Beige and browns dominate the beautiful interior of this restaurant, with tastefully-restored sepia-toned portraits of the owner's hometown and its inhabitants hung around the walls.

The food was perhaps the most authentic Italian I'd ever tasted in Penang. One piece of advice: don't miss the foccacia, served in a Chinese dim sum bamboo basket - it's the moistest, best bread you'd have had in a long while. The olive oil and balsamico dip on the side seemed almost superfluous.

Some of the dishes we had:

- Vongole Al Pepe - soft plump clams in a deep, flavorsome broth;

- Rucola Salad with Grilled Vegetables - served drizzled with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Ultra-fresh peppery-bitterish arugula leaves. Delish.

- Baked Parmigiano with arugula salad - served at the right temperature and was, to me, the perfect start to my lunch here. The salad hit all the right notes.

- Homemade Fettuccine Al Pomodoro, complemented with slices of grilled chicken breast strips. The pasta's texture was pitch-perfect, and the flavors can seduce the fussiest palate;

- Stuffed Chicken with Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Basil with oven-roasted potatoes. The chicken was tasty, and the sauce had the right, thick, mushy consistency, but the potatoes were slightly burnt :-(

- Pizza With Rucola, Cherry Tomatoes, Egg & Parmigiano. This was a thin-crusted pizza - I loved the simple, authentic flavors, without the American-style razzamatazz which you'd get in other pseudo-American-Italian restaurants in Penang. This Venetian place here is the real deal.

Desserts:

- Deep-fried gnocchi fritter with chocolate sauce & vanilla ice-cream - unfortunately, this sweet did nothing for me.

- Zablaglione with stewed fruits - this one fared better, but not something I'd return for.

All in all, a good meal. If I ever hanker for Italian when I'm in Georgetown, this place would be up there - together with Amelie Cafe over at Armenian Street which has better pasta dishes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/806406

Address details
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Il Bacaro Venetian Restaurant
106 Campbell Street
10100 Georgetown
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +604 261 8290

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