• John Boccellari

BACI ITALIAN GRILL


Baci Westwood

(Photo of restaurant interior taken from Baci website)

I moved to Westwood a few years ago and I walked into Baci one day when I was getting to know the town better. I am a big fan of Italian food and I think that there is nothing better than a great dish of pasta. Judging from the appealing brick work on the outside and the beautiful dining room, I had his expectations as I walked into the restaurant. Needless to say, I have frequently visited Baci many times since that first encounter. It has been a while since I have been to Baci and today's lunch was every bit as perfect as my first visit. Baci's manager, Juan, was at the front door ready to greet me. He had a welcoming smile and embraced me like a dear friend that had longed to see me. Juan is a great example of perfect hospitality. We began to catch up and he asked me about my wife and daughter as he made me a refreshing Tangueray and Tonic. Juan has remembered my drink of choice for lunch since my very first visit.

Clams oreganata

I started lunch with the Clams Oreganata appetizer. These wonderful Clams coated with seasoned bread crumbs and the lemon white wine sauce was a perfect way to re familiarize myself with Baci. Every now and then the chef at Baci puts Linguine and Clam Sauce on the specials menu. The sauce with the Clams Oreganata makes me wish that the Linguine and Clams Sauce was a permanent fixture of the main menu. Fortunately I had plenty of bread to soak up all the clam essence.

My entree came with an Escarole and White Bean Soup. I will go on record by saying that this is by far the best Escarole and White Bean Soup that I have ever had. The broth was the perfect soother for my soar throat. I honestly could have made this soup my lunch if I had another bowl. Maybe next time.

On to the main event. The Shrimp Rigati is the reason I keep coming back. This dish consists of perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp. I find that when I go out to eat sometimes that shrimp that I order are slightly overcooked. it can really ruin the dish for me. I have never had this issue at Baci. The Linguine is always perfectly al dente like it was freshly cooked just for me. The sauce is made up of White Wine, Garlic and a Light Tomato Sauce. It's simple. In this case like more often the not, simplicity is best. The big thing i want o point out is the garlic. Baci does not thinly slice or dice the garlic, they leave the garlic in nice large chunks. Trust me you get plenty of the flavor from the garlic but it does not leave the offensive heavy garlic odor on the breath. My wife and I appreciate this greatly.

Baci topped off my afternoon with them with a delicious scoop of ice cream. It was included with my lunch along with coffee. They have other choices if you do not want vanilla ice cream such as other flavors of ice cream and gelato, plus they have cannoli as well. I felt it was a nice way to end my visit.

Baci like in the past has once again blown me away with their service and food. I recommend that everyone please visit them and allow Juan and the Baci staff to give you a memorable experience.

#pasta #clams #shrimp #ginandtonic #icecream #whitebeans #escarole #oreganata #westwoodNj #NJfood #BergenCountyrestaurant #northjerseyfood #Italianfood

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