106, Lebuh Campbell,
10100, Pulau Pinang.
IL Bacaro’s scrumptious Italian offerings highlight the best seasonal produce, ensuring there are constantly new treats to savour.
The restaurant, which is part of the Campbell House boutique hotel in George Town, Penang, takes pride in using quality ingredients, and cooking them with lots of love and care.
This approach is reminiscent of the cosy, backstreet taverns in Venice which it is named after — places where people would gather to have good food and good times.
While they stay true to Italian culinary traditions, some dishes are tweaked or updated slightly.
It accommodates local palates, yet does not lose its soul.
Proprietor Roberto Dreon said they recently introduced new dishes like the Roasted Capsicum Peppers with Buffalo Mozzarella, Olive Oil and Anchovy Dressing (top pic).
A typical summer offering, its fluffy ball of cheese melts in the mouth, while the light drizzle adds a savoury edge. Sprinkle on sea salt, for added taste.
Also new is the Fritto Misto, a mix of seafood deep fried in batter, that is served with mustard for dipping, and a side of salad.
Great as a snack for sharing, or as a main course on its own, it comprises whitebait, shrimps, calamari and zucchini.
“It is a common street food in Venice, and you’ll find stalls selling it on the sidewalks along the seafront. People would munch on it as they walk around.
“We also serve ours in a paper cone as a nod to the real thing,” he said.
The Chicken Pizza, a fellow newcomer, is laden with shredded, mesquite-smoked poultry, wilted spinach, as well as rich and creamy goat’s cheese.
“Traditionally in Italy, chicken is seldom found on pizzas. As a topping, it is an American trend.
“But we have to evolve with the times,” he explained.
Roberto said the traditional Italian pizza crust should ideally be a little crispy and not too chewy.
Brother Mario, who runs the kitchen, said it is achieved with the correct balance of flour and yeast, and tweaking the ratios according to the weather and humidity, as those have an effect on how the dough behaves.
It is then smeared with a thin layer of tomato sauce, cooked down from fresh canned tomatoes and onions. The toppings then go on.
For desserts, try the Mascarpone Ricotta Cream with Italian Meringue and Fresh Strawberries. The meringue, a softer Italian, lends the rich yet light treat an interesting, crumbly texture.
Il Bacaro’s opening hours are from noon to 3pm, and 6pm to 10.30pm daily.