The Other Critics

Bauer Revisits Bacco; Bay Wolf’s Still Got It; Bistro Central Parc Is ‘Both a Hit and a Miss’

Michael Bauer revisits Bacco in Noe Valley to update his three-star review from 2002. As some might remember, chef-owner Paolo Dominici died while spearfishing in Hawaii last year, but the place is still going strong under the leadership of widow Shari Dominici and one of the original opening chefs, Vincenzo Cucco. Bauer’s a fan of the pappardelle and the moscardini (“tender braised octopus in a thick rich red wine and tomato sauce that has the color and the vague flavor of chocolate, refreshed by a loose topknot of shaved celery”), but he finds several poorly executed dishes coming out of the kitchen, writing that “the items that were likely made ahead, such as the soup and pasta sauces, were good, but the à la minute items overwhelmed the kitchen.” Overall, given three-star service: two and a half stars. [Chron]

Matt Stafford at the East Bay Express revisits the 35-year-old Bay Wolf on Piedmont Avenue, which far predates all the recent hubbaloo about Oakland cuisine. He says that the space still works “wonderfull well” and the food still solid. He compliments the multiple preparations of duck, including the duck liver flan (“a lighter, more delicate variation on pâté, but with all the organ’s rich, gamy flavor intact”) and the duck three ways, as well as the roasted rack of pork (“a huge strip of tender, juicy pigmeat with an edge of peppers and cumin that gave it a spicy Southwestern glow”). [East Bay Express]

Allen Matthews at the Chron submits one of the first reviews of five-month old Bistro Central Parc, calling it “both a hit and a miss that still needs time to grow.” He loves the salad Lyonnaise, the sweetbreads, the duck confit, and the tournedos Rossini. But three of the entrées, he writes were “overpowering[ly]” salty, including the beef bourguignon, trout almondine, and the bouillabaisse. [Chron]

Bauer Revisits Bacco; Bay Wolf’s Still Got It; Bistro Central Parc Is