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

bacaro Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.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
  • "Up to regular high standards. Service was exceptional on this occasion."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "This place is great on its own, but when its for a special occasion, they really go all our - the had a special menu printed and at the top it said Happy Birthday to my husband. Nice touch. Food was spectacular and the wine pairings were spot on. Will definitely return."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "We had dinner here on a recent Saturday night. It was our first visit and we had a very nice time. We liked the decor and the ambience. The food was for the most part exceptional. We thought the wine list was good but ordered a second bottle which they didn't have. The service was excellent-attentive but not hovering and certainly not stuffy. We are going to add this to our local list of restaurants worthy of a future visits."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "I'm not sure what we loved more, the food or our amazing server Tiffany! With everything we had, there wasn't one dish that wasn't worth its price tag. Living in Chicago, I joke "the more expensive the menu, the smaller the portions," most of which don't ever live up to its expensive price tag, but I can't say that here. Everything we had tasted fresh which you have to love when dining out. Growing up in Chambana, I'm surprised my wife and I hadn't heard of Bacaro before, especially having been around for 12+ years. However, I'm sure we'll make it back there before another decades passes ^_^"
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "Food is excellent! Highly recommend this restaurant."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Bacaro offers a seven course taste menue along with recommended wines with most of the courses. Yes, the portions are tiny,but it is intended to be a taste. Everything is wonderfully prepared. Unusual enough to be interesting, but not so curious that it felt weird. Server was knowledgeable and discrete. This was an anniversary event for us so we felt free to splurge in terms of cost. With all seven courses it was a three hour taste event and very enjoyable to us both."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Have you ever eaten at a restaurant where every course had its element of surprise and delight? That's how I found bacaro's. I was in Champaign over a weekend and ate at bacaro's twice. I'd go back again. Unfortunately, you will have to contend with street parking."
    Dined on 6/29/2014
  • "Fixed price dinner at a highly rated restaurant -- what could go wrong?. Well, things started well with a lovely salad. Then came the cheviche, microscopic bits of scallop with shaved radish, all fairly bland. The main course was described as pork with curried vegetables and rice. This was absolutely tasteless. The curry must have gone to other diners. The desert was a decent tres leches cake, but it didn't make up for the main course. On the plus side, the service was excellent. If we go again, we'll choose from the menu."
    Dined on 6/23/2014
  • "We have eaten at Bacaro's multiple times. It is our go-to place when we have visitors in town or have a special occasion to celebrate. The food is always outstanding and they have an excellent wine list. It is a good place to go when you have people with varying tastes. Our group included steak lovers, fish lovers, and vegetarians and everyone easily found a dish to satisfy their tastes. They use a lot of seasonal and locally grown ingredients and the portion sizes are not humongous so you can try a starter and still enjoy your entrée. Overall, Bacaro's is my top pick in Champaign-Urbana."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Bacaro is a good choice if you want an expensive restaurant with an extensive wine collection. If you have simple tastes (i.e., just a steak/potatoes person) this is not the place for you. We had a difficult time selecting a meal from the menu that appealed to us. Many items were quite expensive (for example, $38 for a steak). There were only a few diners here on a Friday night, but most nearby restaurants were bustling at this time. It's definitely not a place for kids, as there would be few, if any, choices for children. Our waiter was excellent; she described dishes when we asked about them and was attentive. We hoped for a nice dessert but found the dessert selections limited."
    Dined on 6/13/2014
  • "Had family in town for a birthday celebration and went to dinner at Bacaro on a Saturday night. Usually enjoy Bacaro's food, but this time both my spouse and I thought our meal was quite fatty (lamb) and while someone else in our group said the scallops were wonderful, the dish was small (3 scallops for $32). The same person ordered the beet salad for a starter, which had 5 beet cubes on it (for $12). The other disappointment was that someone in our party ordered a drink that the bar couldn't or wouldn't make, even though he's had it there before. Usually I would give Bacaro a higher rating, but this particular experience wasn't anything to write home about."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Take advantage of the ever-changing Monday menu... Always fresh, always in inventive, always delicious. Watch Facebook for advance notice on the week's special menu based off of the bounty from the Farmer's Market."
    Dined on 6/9/2014
  • "We went for our anniversary to a Monday tasting menu, which featured truffles, and the wine pairing. A splurge. It was delightful and well paced. Hard to return to the everyday after that! A meat course would have rounded it out a little more and suited the truffles. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "We enjoyed our 30th anniversary at Bacaro, on a Market Monday. We've been several times and always enjoy the tasting menu when we can. The truffle-infused menu was superb and the service excellent. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "Most of all we enjoyed the Tasting Menu with wine pairing, but we also appreciated the ambiance and service. We were delighted with the second course's generous portion of fried morel mushrooms; a real seasonal treat. My wife found a wine she really enjoyed that we were able to purchase and take home. "
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Our server, Melody, was superb, as were the bartenders, managers, and all of the other staff. They accommodated all of ours group's reasonable requests (and some excessive requests). We were celebrating a birthday and Melody made it fun, memorable and special. Thanks to all!"
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "The food has always been outstanding, and the presentation is excellent. Each food item has so much flavor, and it is clear that a lot of thought goes in to each individual ingredient, as they all compliment one another."
    Dined on 5/29/2014
  • "Went out for anniversary dinner 1 week after having baby...so lots to celebrate. I dont think the waiter realized we were foodies willing to spend $$$ for our meal. We ordered 2 starters and 1 pasta to split, plus 2 entres. Server brought out the 1st three dishes together, not serving the pasta as 2nd course. He did make great wine recommendation for entres. He was fine for any other restaurant in town but bacaro has much higher standards and I did not feel he met those."
    Dined on 5/18/2014
  • "We went for a tasting of Tuscan wines and we're disappointed. $20 per person for a few sips. No bread or snacks of any kind. We won't do this again. Service was excellent, however."
    Dined on 5/15/2014
  • "This is considered a hot spot in the C-U area. It's indeed different from most restaurants, in several aspects: food style, ambience, and cost. They have two rooms, one for dining, one bar-like. We wanted a quiet dinner but ended up near on the table near the door to the bar, so it was not that quiet. The portions are relatively small. The prices take shoes off."
    Dined on 5/13/2014
  • "My wife and I had a wonderful romantic dinner at Bacaro on Mother's Day. This was our first visit. From the appetizer to the dessert, the food was impeccable! We enjoyed the deliciously tasty sea scallops and the cooked to perfection seared prime ribeye. A bottle of moscata (at half price) completed the meal. The service was very good and the ambiance was very fitting for a romantic dinner. We drove from Bloomington, Illinois (50 miles away) to visit Bacaro. It was certainly worth the drive and we definitely plan to return."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "Very good food, but not $30/entree good. Also, portions were very small. Other restaurants in the area have lower prices for food of equal quality. "
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "The menu always has creative and delicious items, but the last time we went the service was slow and we realized that a rather sophisticated palate is required. Not quite right for hungry teenagers. Our beverage glasses remained empty too long. The appetizers are rather limited. But still friendly, special and delicious."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Mothers Day was coming up. I wanted someplace special for my wife and since we had not been to Bacaro's in awhile I made a reservation (on open table). We had to dine early and that worked out great on a Friday night. Had a good parking place and we had a table by the window and watched all the activity on the street (and sidewalk). Waitress excellent, food great (we both had the Seared Scallops)...they were awesome. Salad and a glass of pinot grigio's topped off the meal. It has been at least 4 years since we'd been there. It won't be that long before we go back. We were very pleased (and we dine out several times a week) so we'll return soon."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Experience started rocky when we arrived on time for our reservation table. They kindly offered to move us to the table in the next room by the window which we gladly agreed to wait at the bar until said party left. The other people didn't end up leaving their table for over a half hour, but our waitress promptly realized their mistake in suggesting this and treated us to a free drink. After this minor hiccup dinner went flawlessly. We tried the 7 course paired with the wine and loved every entree (The fried morels were amazing!). It was a great experience and the staff was very friendly and professional. By the time the meal was all said and done, we had spent a very enjoyable 3 hours at Bacaro!"
    Dined on 5/4/2014
  • "The food was phenomenal. I live in Chicago and would be confident in comparing the food and presentation to anything out here. "
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The food is reliably great. The tasting menu is the perfect introduction on your first visit. Good wine selection and pairs well with the food. Staff are also helpful and knowledgeable to assist selections. Request a seat by the window to watch the kaleidoscope of downtown Champaign pass by."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "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