Thursday, March 13, 2008


Bacco blends two traditions close to Ralph Brennan's heart: Italian cooking and New Orleans seafood. It is the result of a long family practice stemming from Ralph Brennan's grandmother, Philomena Vaccaro. This shows in the menu, with dishes like Crawfish Ravioli and Creole Calamari. End with one of Bacco's delicious desserts like the Lemon Ice Box Pie, and it's easy to see why the restaurant has become a New Orleans tradition.

From the Bacco website:
Our childhood memories are similar to many New Orleanians because historically Italians have made up the largest immigrant population in the city. Our maternal grandmother, Philomena Vaccaro, was raised in the French Quarter- overlooking the French Market. Her love of food and passion to feed others was a natural in an Italian family household. How ironic we all ended up in the restaurant business!
First opened in 1991, Bacco was the first major, fine dining establishment to reopen in the French Quarter after Hurricane Katrina in early October, 2005. They even hosted a Presidential visit on October 10, 2005. About this visit, Ralph Brennan said, "It is an honor to showcase for [President Bush] the bold flavors and gracious hospitality for which New Orleans is internationally known."

A review by 2Honest dated February 7, 2008, on Trip Advisor refers to the "celebrity factor" as well as the excellent food and accommodating chefs. Another review on Trip Advisor by DrJRC dated February 28, 2008, lauds the customer service he received during two visits. Trip Advisor ranks Bacco 59 out of 797 restaurants in New Orleans.

Frommer's gives a nod to Bacco's fighting spirit in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and mentions how paper plates and plastic tableware were used when the restaurant initially reopened. (Real china and silverware were broken out for the President during his visit, however.) Special attention is paid to the fact that Bacco is not your average Italian dining experience, replacing the typical dishes of spaghetti and marinara with a rich menu of Italian dishes utilizing local seafood.

SOURCE: "Bacco Home Page"
SOURCE: "President and Mrs. Bush Dine at Bacco" 10/05
SOURCE: "Bacco Restaurant: Traveler Reviews"
SOURCE: Frommer's review

photo courtesy of Ralph Brennan's Restaurant Group


Anonymous said...

This blog on Brennan's seafood makes me want to try iy out for sure. As picky as I am, that is no small feat. The author did an excellent job.

Anonymous said...

This winter I returned to New Orleans and Bacco was one of my first stops. This was my second time at the restaurant and again everything was fantastic. Form the meal, service, wine, and atmosphere Ralph Brennan certainly knows how to take care of his guests. The food was great and I left wanting more. I can't wait to get this cookbook and try out some of the recipes at home.

George Williams said...

Thank you for the kind words! If you enjoyed eating at Bacco then you are in for a real treat when you pick this cookbook up.

This is one blog that makes me hungry every day I work on it!

Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy what we do with the blog from here on out (hint: you can always leave us feedback as a comment).

-George, Your Culinary Blogmaster Du Jour!