Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bacar, San Francisco

Fine dining with jazz near Pac Bell AT&T Park in San Francisco

We haven't technically had dinner at Bacar yet. We attended a party there, where the superb appetizers brought it to our notice. We have ended up there twice looking for dessert, because they're open 'til midnight. The first time, we realized we were hungry for more than just dessert, got appetizers and bar pizza, and were too full after that to get dessert. This time, we went right for the good stuff.

They have a pastry chef onsite, so we opted for the "assortment of cookies and confections," and were not disappointed. Eleven little pastries were brought out for us to split, and though we had a few favorites, we weren't disappointed in any one of them. Our waitress confided that she found it hard to resist sneaking one or two of them from the back when the pastry chef wasn't looking, and we could understand that. If we had to pick just one, we'd be hard-pressed, but I think it would be between the ginger-lemon cookie, the chocolate chip walnut cookie, and the coconut rice pudding with caramel (served on a little spoon, also available as its own dish on the menu). We're suckers for ginger, and the cookie had just the right blend of spicy ginger with sweet, tart lemon. A good chocolate chip cookie is a joy forever, and this one was crunchy, sweet, and dark, the walnuts adding a nice depth to the flavor (and I usually don't like nuts in my chocolate confections). And the coconut rice pudding: creamy and sweet, the caramel setting it off, a caramelized banana on top. Lovely tropical blend of flavors, with the caramelization of the banana providing enough crunch to offset the softness of the other ingredients.

We took turns dividing up these and the others, choosing the easy-to-split (cookies) and trying to leave the hard ones for each other (like the pudding). Besides the three listed above, there were: a white chocolate almond haystack, a marshmallow, a chocolate tart with kumquat, a meringue layer cookie, a cigar with chocolate creme, a fruit jelly (like a Sunkist one, only softer, smoother, and with a gentler fruity taste), a dried apricot coated in white chocolate with pistachio, and an almond tea cookie.

After that, we had just enough room to try a cheese plate, and decided to sample the Testun Occelli al Barolo, a cow and goat's milk cheese aged in must of Nebbiolo Grapes. It's almost as sharp as a blue cheese, with a nice purple shading on the outside where it sat in the must. It came with small slices of bread, some quince jelly, and marcona almonds, which were perfect to go with the sharp flavor of the cheese.

Mark got a dessert wine flight, too: the one we both liked best was a Gróf Degenfeld 2000 "Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos" from Hungary (from the website, I'm guessing that "Tokaji Aszú" is the type of wine and "5 Puttonyos" is the specific label). It was a nice, sweet wine, not overpoweringly so, but sweet enough that I enjoyed it.

Someday we'll have to go to dinner at Bacar, but in the meantime, it's a great option for appetizers, cheese, or dessert. We'll keep going back and recommend it highly to anyone who might want a quick bite after a ballgame or a Moscone event.

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