February 3, 2014

Birthday Dinner #3: Baci Ristorante

I normally wouldn't venture out to a restaurant located inside a Hotel because lets be honest, they usually have a really bad reputation and are more there for convenience than anything - unless of course we're talking a four star property where things can get pretty real with big names like Gordan Ramsay and Daniel Boulud - that's a whole other story.

I'd been hearing some buzz about Baci located inside C Hotel and with the hotel itself being rated number 1 on Trip Advisor - I figured Baci couldn't be too shabby.  So I definitely wasn't gunna say no when my girlfriend Kandi chose Baci for my birthday dinner. Yes, another Birthday dinner - can you say spoiled?! 
After a few minutes of huming and hawing about appetizers I managed to talk everyone into getting a pizza to share - and then I talked everyone into ordering a pizza with potatoes and egg on it! Trust me - if it wasn't for "But it's my birthday!" nobody would have gone for this one.

Kudos to me because the Mezzanotte ($15)  - sausage, red onion, slivered potatoes, bacon, mozzarella, and cracked eggs on a pesto - tomato base - was excellent! the combination of  potato and sausage and that ooey gooey egg were phenomenal. The pizza dough was absolute perfection - just crispy enough to hold all the toppings but still soft and chewy on the inside. My mouth was definitely doing a happy dance - especially when I took my left over crust and started sopping up all the yolk. We were all pleasantly thrilled and couldn't stop gushing about how deliciouis this was. I'll definitely be ordering this again!
The mains on the other hand didn't quite bring out the happy dance like the pizza did. Kandi ordered the Arabbiatta ($13) - bacon, onions, roasted sweet peppers. I'll say this now - the presentation on all the pasta dishes were horrendous! It looked like they were mass produced and spooned out to you in a cafeteria line up. No garnish or anything! But, with that being said - the portions were very, very generous. We all took left overs home. Maybe they were going for the "served right out of nonnas kitchen" who knows - we were all just surprised with the boring white bowls.
I ordered the Carbonara ($14) - sautéed bacon & onions whipped up with beaten eggs and parmesan cheese in a béchamel sauce.  Again, a little parsley would have gone a long way - just something to offset the beige, on beige. The carbonara itself was pretty tasty, although very rich. I prefer the carbonara over at Eatalia's more. But if I'm in the neighbourhood - this'll scratch the itch. 
I also talked one of the other girls into ordering the Bistecca Di Manzo ($19) - espresso rubbed prime New York strip. This was served with your choice of pasta or fresh vegetables. I'm not a huge fan of espresso but I always find it interesting when combined with a protein. We all really enjoyed this dish and found the espresso to be pretty mild - it was a pretty decent portion as well. 

My friend Sam ordered Mama Yolanda's gourmet Lasagna ($13) - ten layer meat lasagna topped with homemade tomato sauce, melted parmigiano and mozzarella. There was nothing wrong with this dish but it also wasn't mind blowing either - just meat sauce and noodles baked with alotta cheese. 
The service was excellent - we had a really young and bubbly server who was very chatty. The decor and atmosphere on the other hand needed a bit of a makeover. The chairs were hard and the open concept kitchen took up way too much space. The bar was pretty inviting and as a hotel guest I could picture enjoying some solo meals there.  I didn't notice if there was any banquet seating or not but they needed something warm or upholstered thrown in the room. There were just so many hard edges. The portions and prices were definitely a great bang for your buck and I'll be back in a heart beat for the pizza!   


Check out the other dinners in my Birthday Series : Birthday Dinner #00 | Birthday Dinner #01 | Birthday Dinner #02



Happy Eating! 



Baci Ristorante
1530 Stone Church Road
Hamilton, On
www.baciristorante.ca
Baci Ristorante on Urbanspoon
I guess that concludes my Birthday Extravaganza! The fourth & firth birthday meals involved my moms home cooking and my girlfriends hello kitty cupcakes and hot pot. What can I say? The people in my life definitely know how to get to my heart.  It's been a fantastic year and I'm looking forward to my 21st* birthday dinner(s) this year.

*may not be an accurate representation of my actual age




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