Since I am still thinking about the documentary film “Dinner in Abruzzo: A Journey Home with My Culinary Godfather” I will mention one more memory of a great dinner under the guidance of Luciano Del Signore. We don’t get a chance to visit with Luciano as often as we did at Fonte d’Amore, but we still try to have special dinners at his new location of Bacco. This restaurant opened in 2002 and took the culinary writers to new extremes with their accolades for what he has accomplished, to the point of winning Best Restaurant of the Year by a couple of different publications. Since his initial opening, he has since created an outdoor patio for dining, some private dining rooms for parties and an off-site catering company. Luciano is always on the move and not one to rest on his laurels.
One night that we were there, which as I said I wish we could go there more often, we had another exceptional dinner. We started off with a plate of a classic interpretation of Beef Carpaccio, which they do as an accommodation to those diners like me, that adore that dish without any alterations. We also enjoyed a plate of Salsiccia, which is a house made sausage, along with hot peppers, red onions and polenta, a very nice upscale version of sausage and peppers. My Bride had the Branzino, sea bass, potato encrusted with roasted tomato, capers and olives. I had Luciano’s take on the classic Italian dish of Osso Bucco, braised veal shank with rappini and polenta, and it was probably the finest example of the dish that I have ever had.
As for the wine list at Bacco, since the restaurant is named after Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine, it is the fines assemblage of Italian wines in the whole area, and perhaps in the state. Bacco is also selling from his cellar, wines for retail as well, and he has the selection and in depth. That evening we had a wonderful bottle of Ornellaia 1990, which back then only had a Vino da Tavola di Toscana designation, though it was a hell of a table wine. The winery was founded in 1981 and their first vintage was 1985 and since they were using French varietals, instead of classic Italian varietals, they had to accept the table wine listing until 1994 when their neighbor Sassicaia and the whole Bolgheri region were recognized with their own DOC. This particular vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc and it was aged for fifteen months in French Oak and then another sixteen months in glass, before it was released. Another new venture for Luciano is that he now has a winery in the Leelanau County of Michigan and he is making some wines in the Northern Italian style, so that will give me another excuse to go to Bacco.