Words and photos by Shannon Minor
When I arrived at Bacchus, located in the Fan, the vibe felt slightly uncomfortable. Greeted by stares, the waiters and hostesses behind the bar looked at my friend and I as if to question, why are you even here?
Once I said I had a reservation though, the mood quickly shifted and ourwaiter was prompt to seat us with a friendly attitude.
Serving Italian based food; Bacchus is named after the Roman God of Wine. The restaurant feels very mellow, with dimmed lights and candles around the bar and on the walls. The tables are colorful and the dark wooden booths created a comfortable, cozy atmosphere.
Our waitress started off our Restaurant Week experience with two bread rolls and olive oil for a dipping. Our Hostess told us the full Restaurant Week menu featured a combination of popular dishes that could also be made quickly.
She also said that the chef wanted to make sure the food brought people back for more. The menu consisted of 11 different appetizers, six entrees and three desserts to choose from.
With the vast amount of appetizers to choose from, the decision was a little difficult to make. I went with the baked polenta and marinara with mozzarella or gorgonzola. Our waiter was helpful and encouraged me to try gorgonzola cheese. He insisted it was the better of the two cheeses.
The dish had an overall interesting texture, much like cornbread. The marinara sauce was delicious with chunks of tomatoes. Our waiter was certainly right with the choice of gorgonzola cheese, as it added a balance and subtle, cool flavor to the warmness of the sauce.
As the night went on, the restaurant started to fill up with a mix of old and young adults. The music fit the mood and not too loud, contributing to the pleasant atmosphere and allowing tableside conversation.
For my main course, I chose the seared salmon withartichoke and lemon sauce. Our waiter served the meal quickly, but I was surprised by how small the serving was. Nonetheless, the seasoning on the salmon was mouthwatering and the fish was cooked perfectly with crispness on top. The artichoke and lemon sauce heightened the flavor and made it even more appetizing and strong.
The mixed vegetables that accompanied the meal were squash, onions, carrots, asparagus, zucchini and mashed potatoes. The vegetables paired together with the salmon made the overall dish well balanced and savory.
Choosing a dessert was also a difficult decision. As a sucker for chocolate and peanut butter, I went with the chocolate peanut butter pie. Our hostess Valentine said that the peanut butter is mixed with cream cheese, which explained its amazing, creamy texture.
The crust tasted like chocolate graham crackers combined with melted chocolate candy bars. Both the chocolate and peanut butter were not too rich or sweet, allowing my friend and I to easily share without being overwhelmed by the flavors.
It is questionable whether I would return to Bacchus anytime soon. The food was delectable; however, the portions were small.The servers were very personable, attentive and happy to answer any questions I had. I also appreciated their input and suggestions about the food. Overall, the experience was enjoyable but nothing I would go running back for more.
Bacchus is open from 5 p.m. and has no set closing time, seven days a week. The restaurant is about a 10-minute walk from campus.