Michael Bauer heads to Bacar, one of the ‘90s-era stalwarts. Earlier this year, Chef Robbie Lewis took over the kitchen and has gradually transformed the one-time behemoth into something a bit more … personal. As Bauer notes, the transformation has been neither seamless nor complete:
When Bacar opened about seven years ago, it was one of the restaurants that helped define the dot-com era, with its lofty surroundings, live jazz and extensive wine list, including 100 by the glass. Now there are about 60 by-the-glass selections - and the live music has been moved downstairs, further moderating the noise.The changes have made the restaurant feel more grown-up, while Lewis has made the menu more contemporary, with foams and unusual combinations such as a complimentary appetizer - beet macaroon and goat cheese sandwich. However, it tasted like dessert and foreshadowed other minor miscalculations that cropped up during two recent visits.
Things didn’t improve for the MB, though dessert “offered comic relief,” albeit unintentionally. Despite the myriad problems, Bacar still is a “pleasant” dining experience; it’s just not the ethereal experience that defines a great restaurant. The result: a slight yet telling downgrade from 3 to 2.5 stars. [SFGate]
More reviews, post jump.
Elsewhere in the valley of reviews: Paul Reidinger goes to the “restaurant row of the Mission” and gets in touch with his Greekish side at Parea, L.E. Leone gets thrifty at cheap eats destinations like Memphis Minnie’s, Patricia Unterman discusses Rosh Hashanah treats at various Bay Area bakeries, the Chronicle’s Mandy Erickson heads to San Rafael’s Citrus & Spice and the Chowhounds share thoughts on the Hayes Valley location of Peninsula breakfast standby Stacks.
[Photo courtesy: Flickr/amacedo]