Restaurants, Italian Chinatown
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Bacaro (Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur)
Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Bacaro (Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur)
Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Bacaro (Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur)
Photograph: Deniz Ozuygur


Frank DeCarlo (Peasant) has brought a stylish Italian eatery to a weathered strip of Chinatown. Blown-glass chandeliers and a marble bar on the upper floor and a lower level that recalls medieval catacombs are easy on the eyes. (Good luck getting a table—it doesn’t take reservations.) Competent Italian food makes the gamble worthwhile: Pillowy gnocchi with mushrooms nestle in a velvety brown-butter sauce, and fritto misto has loads of tender octopus. Beware weak spots, such as white lasagna with bitter radicchio, and save room for a creamy panna cotta topped with stewed cherries.


Venue name: Bacaro
Address: 119 Lexington Ave
New York
Cross street: between Ludlow and Orchard Sts
Opening hours: Tue–Sun 6pm–midnight
Transport: Subway: F to East Broadway
Price: Average main course: $15. AmEx, MC, V
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Average User Rating

5 / 5

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On paper, Bacaro is an Italian restaurant with no signage out front on a street in Chinatown that makes you extra thankful for Google Maps.

In reality, Bacaro is one of the most intimate, romantic restaurants I've been to in New York. 

The food here is good-not-great. Typical northern Italian fare, with highlights like the cuttlefish spaghetti and braised pork. The wine selection is standard for any place that fancies itself a "wine bar".

So why am I recommending this place? Because... simply... IT'S SO DAMN COOL. Seriously, the vibe here is unlike most other spots I've ever been to. Located in a wine cellar, the dining room is super dark, super rustic, and super romantic. Plenty of little corners and nooks where you and your date can feel like you're the only ones there (in a good way). And small plates make sharing easy, so order a few things.

Side note- though I've never been there for this, Bacaro also has a private dining room for groups. And the menu is incredibly reasonable, so feel free to splurge on that extra bottle.