Boy was it a night to remember. We had gone to see the award-winning “future of Greek cinema,” Kynodontas (Dogtooth), after reading more than a few amazing reviews. We left the theatre really pissed off, in a really bad mood, feeling as though we had just spent two hours inside the disturbed, deranged mind of someone in desperate need of some serious psychotherapy. (That said, the film left a dent in my conscience; it is memorable and highly original). We needed a little fun. The bars on Christou Lada str. were already packed—maybe with earlier movie-goers in need of some alcohol to relieve—pun intended—something worse than a toothache. We headed to Bacaro, in a stoa off Sofokleous Street and readied ourselves for a party.
Bacaro is an unusual place. It’s situated both inside the stoa and inside a regular space. There is live music on the weekends. The band that night was impressive. A Nigerian singer rapped in perfect Greek and bounced around to the well-honed rhythms of the jazz-funk group. We drank and ate and drank and ate in a conscious effort to fix our collective mood.
The food at Bacaro is pretty good! The starters are all artfully presented and tasty. Even simple dishes such as the small pita wedges with tomato, grilled haloumi cheese and basil purée looked pretty and tasted good. A napoleon of grilled vegetables and manouri cheese was balanced and robust, with a balsamic dressing. The savory loukoumades (dough fritters) filled with cheese and dressed with honey and sesame were delicious, a definite advance on the cheese croquette theme that was once part of every menu in town.
I liked the Caesar’s salad, despite the fact that it wasn’t quite authentic. The anchovies were, if not absent completely, then very hard to see or taste. The bacon added a tangy note in their place. Other salads included an arugula and cherry tomato mélange, with sliced olives, grilled haloumi, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette; spinach and carrot salad with mushrooms, sesame, prosciutto and honey vinaigrette; and a mixed winter salad with oranges, gorgonzola, hazelnuts and berry vinaigrette.
The linguine with vegetables, thyme, roasted tomatoes and manouri was very nice. Other pasta and risotto selections included penne with salmon and saffron, an interpretation of carbonara with bacon, mushrooms, zucchini and tarragon, and a risotto with marinated zucchini, dry vermouth and thyme.
Main courses included grilled chicken with honey-mustard sauce, beef fillet with wine sauce, pork loin stuffed with smoked metsovone cheese and eggplant purée, and a cheese burger.
We didn’t try the main courses, but with all that we did eat we drank a delicious bottle of Refosco, then another, and another. Numbed to the pain of an aching Dogtooth, we swayed to the music and enjoyed the rest of the night.
Cuisine: Mediterranean grazing food, perfect for the venue
Athens Area: Athens downtown
Decor-Atmosphere: Easy, casual fun in a great little downtown restaurant-cabaret
Prices: 30-40 euro per person, with wine
Address: Sofokleous 1, Athens center
Telephone: 210- 3211882