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  • bacaro

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  • Address:
    113 North Walnut
    Champaign, IL 61820
    Champaign / Monticello
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

bacaro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.bacarowinelounge.com/
  • Email: info@bacarowinelounge.com
  • Phone: (217) 398-6982
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner:
    Monday 5:00pm-10:00pm, Market Monday set menu, varies weekly, please call for details
    Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Thad Morrow & Drew Starkey
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: There is a semi private room located off the main dining room. This room can accommodate up to 20 people.
  • Private Party Contact: Thad Morrow (217) 398-6982

Getting there

  • Cross Street: University Avenue
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from bacaro
Opened in 2001, bacaro sets the standard for fine dining in the Champaign-Urbana area. The contemporary and minimal interior features a sleek full service wine bar and lounge. In addition, a semi-private back room can accommodate larger parties. Chefs Thad Morrow and Drew Starkey work with over 12 local and sustainably driven farms, and the eclectic menu reflects the cultivation of these partnerships. Bacaro's "Market Monday", a weekly prix fixe dinner menu inspired by the local Farmer's Market, invites guests to enjoy the tastes and flavors of the season. The knowledgeable and polite staff can guide any guest through the menu and the extensive wine list.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Server named Benjamin was fantastic. Never felt like we were being "hovered" over. Very friendly, informative, and patient. My girlfriend and I also ordered pasta dishes and the portions were just right. Enough to leave you feeling content but not too much to make you feel that you over did it. Atmosphere was great. Our table looked out the windows into the street. Great experience. Two thumbs up."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We loved it just as much as 8 months ago. Elegant and delicious. Knowledgable waiter"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "We've been here multiple times and always come away pleased. This time, we chose to order the seven course tasting menu and the supplemental wine pairings. Each course was outstanding while the duck fat fried morels course and the sea scallops course were particular highlights. The wine pairings add a great opportunity to taste wines chosen specifically to compliment each course. The service is top-notch. The wait staff is knowledgeable, personable, polite, and prompt without ever being self-important or fussy. The tables by the windows are optimal. The tables along the wall can sometimes seem a bit close to each other and other guests. We've never been disappointed here."
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "We did the tasting menu with the wine pairing and it was absolutely amazing. All the food was delicious and the wine was very good. Even my mom who is somewhat of a wine snob really enjoyed it. I would definitely recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We were down for Mom's weekend and have been to this restaurant before. It was equally good this time. I really like the variety and the fact that you can eat vegetarian/fish/meat. Well prepared. Great service!!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "My son and I had dinner at this hidden gem during mom's weekend. The food and wine were great. We had the roasted cauliflower, chicken en croute, the truffle pappardelle and the scallops. We will be back next year!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "A nice evening. Usually one of the best establishments in town."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "An excellent overall experience for my wife and I. Although not as many American wines as I'd prefer, the selection is robust and covers several well known wine regions. The food was excellent and the service was very good."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Awesome service, good food, great ambiance. Was looking for gluten free bc of health needs and listed that on the reservation. Staff was so accommodating, prepared, and knowledgeable. Great experience!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "My wife and I celebrated our 9th Anniversary here. We had the octopus, the steak, and the veal. All very good, very moist, and rich with flavor. The atmosphere was pleasant, with good lighting, ample space, and an easy noise level. (I don't actually remember the noise-level of the restaurant, so that's actually great in my book.) The music dipped back n'forth between classical and modern; though I didn't know any of the songs. Our server was kind and paid the right kind of attention to us. (Didn't leave us hanging, but didn't interrupt us every 15 minutes.) My overall experience was very good! I would come back to eat here; but likely only on special occasions."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Service and quality of food is top-notch. Excellent cocktails and excellent wine selection. Staff is trained on wine and offers excellent recommendations and free "tastes" when they can."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We dine at Bacaro about once a year when we visit Chambana. Bacaro is always our first choice restaurant. With an advance email, the restaurant also provided several delicious vegan options for our party. The service is excellent and the setting is lovely."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I'm from NY and wanted a nicer restaurant with farm to table type food. The food was really good but the service was extremely slow it took 30 mins for entrees to come out and the restaurant was not crowded. I would go back as not too many upper scale restaurants in this area since your not far from the college most of the restaurants are pubs, mediocre steak places or very casual dining."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Bacaro is fairly pricey, but completely and totally worth it. The food was absolutely amazing, the service was great, our server was extremely friendly and helpful. We loved it 100%."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Nice try with good intentions, but WAY too expensive for what's offered. Food was good but not great. Would have been right at half the price. But hanger steak in Champaign Illinois for $39? Sets expectations way too high and falls way too short. So we wouldn't go back nor recommend it to others."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Our last visit to Bacaro was better than the previous several visits in that the portions of the entrees were larger and filling. Unfortunately, the dessert portion was appropriate for a child on a diet. The slice of tart was tiny and most chefs would be embarrassed to serve such a small sliver. Wishing that the chef would serve an amuse bouche and bread right (upon being seated.) As always, great wine."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "This restaurant experience was made fantastic by our wonderful server Tiffany. To bad she is moving to Seattle later this year."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I can always rely on Bacaro to serve up the very best food for any occasion. A friends 50 birthday and of course the staff were their usual friendly ~ but it feels like a family to share such events with. They know food, wine, and the atmosphere is warm & professional without being unfriendly. Love!"
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "The food was fantastic, the wait staff was impeccable, great wine...all-in-all a memorable night. Bacaro will always be special to me because it was my first date with the "last love" of my life. Thank you!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Over priced for the area on the tasting menu. That being said, a great experience over all."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This restaurant is continental in menu and style. It reminds one of stylish neighborhood Chicago dinning. Chef Thad reinvents many Italian favorites. I strongly recommend for dinning with that "special partner"."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Not a better place to eat in chambana period. Great atmosphere, awesome food, lovely ambience."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We loved the atmosphere and the service was timely without being intrusive. The menu offered an optimistic variety, but we each settled on pasta dishes that were delicious. We went for mid-ranged pricing and Italian on the wine selection and were delighted with the results."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "Great food and great wine. I got a chance to hang with 2 of my favorite Italian wine makers. Great evening."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "This is a romantic beautiful resturant that I will go to again. The staff is great and know how to treat their customers."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Always love going to bacaro. Great service in a casual atmosphere."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "This is the third time we have eaten at Bacaro and were pleasantly surprised to find that it was even better than before. The menu offered a diverse number of items; there were four of us and we all ordered something different. Everyone was very pleased with their choices. The portions are on the small side so you don't feel stuffed or uncomfortable when you are done. And, we found a very good bottle of wine for just $28."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Outstanding!!! A Must for all who appreciate the culinary arts."
    Dined on 5/4/2013
  • "We went for the Spanish Market Monday. We've been to Bacaro 4 times, and only my first visit had been amazing. The baby octopus was so-so, not particularly tasty, the texture had neither bite, nor was it soft all the way, instead, it was in the middle, undecided between either. The gazpacho with chickpeas tasted like canned soup. The paella lacked seafood flavor and just tasted like fried rice. The rabbit was dry and if I said it tasted like chicken, it'll be an insult to chicken. Churros for dessert had a gooey center.. Is the dough uncooked or is it meant to be that way? Overall, it was a waste of time and money. Ambiance was great though."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "We were taken in from the minute we walked in the door. We were seated by the window which was very romantic. The server was awesome and explained everything to us. We did the tasting menu which was wonderful. I also did the wine pairing with the meal. Our favorite was the gnocchi and the scallops. But, everything we had was 100% delicious. OH, and the chocolate cake with bacon....to die for. We will certainly return for another wonderful dining experience!!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The dinner was so good, it made me wish that I could eat every meal at bacaro."
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "Bacaro provides world class dining in the heart of the mid-west. Apart from the lovely service and the beautifully appointed restaurant the food is simply outstanding. I had a seared snapper with carrot purée, fennel, radish salad, and green onion. The fish was perfect and the puree so delicious I almost licked the plate (thank goodness for the bowl of perfectly textured bread). I also had the twice fried egg which was another absolute winner. My brother had the steak, could only eat half and finished the second half for dinner last night to equal pleasure. Can't recommend this wonderful restaurant enough! It's worth coming down to Champaign just to try it."
    Dined on 1/9/2014
  • "Excellent food and service for yet another anniversary. We go every year and treat ourselves to the tasting menu. The staff is knowledgeable about the wine."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "for fine food in champaign there are not any better than here, though i find myself wishing for a a few more entrees and salads on the lighter side. ( free of oils and cream ). the ambiance is very comfortable and the service is good. always a nice evening."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "As part of our 37th wedding anniversary celebration, we thoroughly enjoyed the 7-course tasting and wine appointment, our service was warm and friendly, our table was comfortable. At first, i felt a bit cramped amongst the other guests dining, but soon adjusted. Each time our server presented a dish, we felt like Chopped judges testing the chef! Three hours later the two of us stepped out into the wintry flurry, feeling like a million bucks!"
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "We had a light dinner and drinks here on New Years Eve. Our server was less than friendly from the start. When we could not have the set menu due to dietary restrictions we asked if we could order a la carte. Server and chef said no. Ok. So we ordered off the "supplental menu" and our server acted like even that was an issue. Strip steak was good but $30 for 4 ounces is insane this is Champaign, not New York. Ambiance is lack luster. Will not go back."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We dined on New Years eve and it was the perfect special occasion meal. While the meals was expensive, you get what you pay for. The service and the ability to try different food items was excellent!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Superb dinner for New Year's Eve. The wine pairing were as good as the food and something that you will not find anywhere near CU. Why eat anywhere else?"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Excellent food and service. Staff knows their wines and are able to suggest pairings with the food. No need to go all the way to Chicago for excellent gourmet food as Bacaro is better than Chicago places AND a lot less expensive."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "Our entire dining experience was excellent, from the cocktails and appetizer, through the main courses with wine, to the dessert and coffee. Inspired menu offerings gave us a range of choices. The duck confit was spectacular, and the grouper was delicious especially if you appreciate bacon. We left the restaurant determined to return soon."
    Dined on 12/4/2013