Bacio Italian Cuisine is located on busy Rt. 130 in Cinaminnson, NJ. and it’s a bit of a ride from our homes in Washington Twp. A couple of our dining companions had been there previously and, if their memory was correct, they weren’t totally sure it was worth the drive. It was a BYOB that I had read about often and I wanted to find out for myself what it was like. Six of us made the ride last Saturday evening for a 7:30 reservation. (I have had one of these those writing “lulls” and it’s now been 3 weeks since our visit and I will attempt to recall the evening. I do know we all enjoyed our meal).
I thought about saying that we didn’t bring any wine with us but, in keeping with a policy of total honesty, I had with me a 2009 Cupcake, Red Velvet, Wine. This is a zinfandel blend and there is a story to go with it. Several months ago I attended a wine tasting at The Mansion in Voorhees, NJ with my friend, Gerry B. There were hundreds of wines available and one of the producers tending a booth implored me to try the Cupcake Red Velvet. I tasted it to be nice and was slightly surprised that it wasn’t bad. The recent sale at $7.49 a bottle convinced me to give it one more try. It didn’t really deliver. The initial mouth feel is ok with some bright fruit and pepper but it disappears quickly, something that is almost a trademark of weak wines in that price area.
I totally enjoyed my choice of an appetizer, the Crispelle della Nonna, Italian crepe stuffed with jumbo lump crabmeat, spinach and artichokes, baked in a gorgonzola cream sauce. This would have made a nice entree with an additional crepe but by itself was a great start to the meal. Here are some of the other items that our party of six chose to start off their meal.
Left to right we have the Roast Pork Bruschetta, slow-roasted pork, broccoli rabe and aged provolone baked on top of Tuscan-style, hearth-baked bruschetta. The interesting concoction titled Olive all Ascolana, fried olives stuffed with ground veal and pork and served with a cucumber salsa. I almost went with this one but Joe B. commented that it was just OK. My wife, Kathy, went with the Arugula Salad, crisp baby arugula, cherry tomatoes and marinated artichoke hearts tossed with fresh lemon and extra virgin olive oil, topped with pan-roasted pignoli nuts and shaved grana padano cheese. She thought her salad was very good.
One of the entrees that we enjoyed was the Cold Water Rock Lobster and Crabmeat, sauteed with Roma tomatoes, roasted garlic, white wine and lemon over capelinni. Carol and Joe thought the lobster consisted of generous portions and was well prepared.
Kathy had the Penne a la Amatriciana, tossed with grilled chicken breast, spinach, prosciutta, pomadora and fresh mozzarella. Nice rich flavors and expertly prepared pasta had Kathy pleased with her entree.
I went with the Roast Pork Casoulet, slow roasted pulled pork shoulder cooked with sausage, cannellini beans, roasted peppers and broccoli rabe. This wasn’t quite as good as my crepe appetizer but it was still a tasty dish and another generous portion.
We skipped desserts but all of us were pleased with our dinner at Bacio and we were glad we had driven the extra distance.