Saturday, 11 September 2021

Bacareto, Venetian bar and restaurant, Cardiff city centre

There's almost nowhere in Cardiff which oozes effortless cool like the recently opened Bacareto.

Based on Church Street on the former site of a gambling shop and the New China restaurant, the venue has been taken over by the team from Spit and Sawdust skate park and overhauled into a Venetian bar, cafe and restaurant. They also share the building with the new headquarters for Cardiff Skate Club.

The refurbishment has been done beautifully with a sweeping wood-panelled bar, terrazzo tiling, canary yellow banquette seating, roof terrace and wall-mounted planters.

If that wasn’t lush enough, they've also got the hugely-talented Grady Atkins, at the helm of the kitchen serving a menu of Venetian small plates (cicchetti) downstairs as well as a menu of more substantial rustic Italian cooking upstairs.

I visited with the downstairs bar with mates after a clutch of craft beers at Bubs a few doors down. Bacareto’s booze menu is impressive in its own right - a fully Italian wine list includes house red served in traditional 100ml ombre glasses, craft beers include Lost and Grounded helles and Bristol Beer Factory’s milk stout, and a spritz menu has eight different options.

I knocked back a really good citrus and bergamot fragranced Italicus spritz (£5.50) as well as a classic bitter Campari spritz (£5.50).

Cicchetti are ordered at the bar so you can work your way through a load as you order your drinks. They’re brought on sharing plates as and when they’re ready.

Bacala (£2.70) saw brown bread loaded with addictively soft-textured, savoury and slightly fishy mashed salt pollock.

A cube of summery watermelon (£1.50) was topped with a leaf of fragrant fresh mint and a piece of firm and salty vegan Trimma cheese, which bore an uncannily good likeness to feta.

A retro devilled egg (£1) was dialled up to 11 on the flavour scale, the yolk seasoned with a big thump of mustard and topped with a pile of salty anchovies. It perhaps would have benefited from being reigned in slightly but it certainly had me reaching for my drink.

Nutty rye bread (£3) was topped with a creamy funk of gorgonzola, sweet honey and crunchy hazelnuts. This simple yet killer flavour combination was my pick of the night.

A crisp arancino (£3), fresh out of the fryer, was loaded with distinct grained risotto and a creamy salty ooze of taleggio. This was quality deep-fried booze food.

Across the table, friends enjoyed slices of soft brown bread loaded with delicate salami (£2.50) and various dried tomatoes of different intensities and sweetness.

Finally a massive wodge of creamy melted and stringy buffalo mozzarella (£3) was coated in a crisp herb crumb. Mozzarella sticks can get in the sea compared to this.

For dessert, two scoops of pistachio gelato (£3) were milky, smooth and well-flavoured with their billed ingredient.

Bacareto is exactly the kind of place I could spend many an evening - they serve lovely bites to eat and booze in a cool setting and it’s great value to boot. I’ll certainly be back soon to explore their upstairs menu.

The Details:

Address - Bacareto, 13 Church St, Cardiff CF10 1BG
Email -

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