Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Chef/Owner Drew Starkey and culinary team work with local, sustainably driven farms as well as the finest purveyors and importers with reach around the world, to produce the best possible product for their customers. The always friendly and knowledgeable wait staff can guide any guest through our ever changing menu and extensive wine list all the while creating an relaxing and comfortable atmosphere for your dining experience.
Champaign, IL 61820
Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Private Party Facilities:
There is a semi private room located off the main dining room. This room can accommodate up to 25 people.
Private Party Contact:
Drew Starkey: (217) 398-6982
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
bacaro Ratings and Reviews
This used to a five-star place. This time, they already ran out of one entree (and when you only have five, that diminishes your options significantly). The brusselsprouts were burned, the tagliatelle was cold and the meatballs hard as rock. The whole time there was loud music coming from the kitchen that competed with the moody jazz in the dining area. Sorry to see this place following most Champaign-Urbana restaurants trend to start out high and then becoming mediocre...
The overall experience was very good and we really enjoyed our entrees. The three entrees we had were the Butternut Squash Risotto, the Duck, and the Scallops. Each were very tasty and the presentations were excellent. Although they should think about their small presentations in very large bowls and plates. What was a little disappointing were the appetizers and desserts. The brussel sprouts were good but the overall taste on your pallet went from crunchy sweet to vinegary and sharp. The Porcini Pizzette while it looked great was a little bland. Our desserts were similar. The Peach Ice Cream was sent back due to tasting more like shaved ice and cream with no peach and the S'mores was a lot of graham crackers and no marshmallow. I would definitely go back as the entrees were excellent. Wines were pricey but a number of excellent choices.
I do consider this a 5 star restaurant as the food and service are always top notch. However do be warned the portion sizes are very small. Don't, for example, have cocktails somewhere else and arrive here hungry (as we did). For us, it is more of a special occasion experience, but they know what they are doing and it is always a nice experience (as long as you are not too hungry ha!!!!)
I have always been a fan of Bacaro, even when friends complained that it was too expensive and that the portions are small. But this trip was disappointing; the flavor combinations were original but not entirely successful. For that price, I would rather have had two delightful dinners elsewhere.
Bacaro is our go-to restaurant for special occasions as well as just going out for a terrific meal. Chef Drew Starkey had just unveiled his fall menu as well as an extremely well priced tasting menu. Good wine list; tried some unusual Italian whites with our salad and scallops. A wonderful evening
My husband and I each had an appetizer and entree. Three of the four were excellent. However, my chicken entree had burnt vegetables and the chicken was definitely not tender. Given their reputation and prices, they need to do better than this. We have had great meals at Bacaro in the past and we will be giving them another chance, but this entree should not have left the kitchen.
In town for our annual conference, and remembered our meal last year. Once again we had the tasting menu with the wine pairing, and it did not disappoint. The Riesling paired with the asparagus was the best, simply exploding in our mouths. There was a large group - apparently some sort of wine dinner or the like - nearby, and the noise from that was a bit loud. Perhaps, too, that contributed to the extremely long delay between the first two courses. We were not in a hurry, more or less enjoyed the slow pace, and at the end of the meal, the server did apologize, but we really had to stretch the glass of wine that arrived right after the first course was cleared away. Nevertheless, we'll be back again.
I keep coming back to Bacaro because the food is reliably inventive and delicious. Sometimes I wish it was just a hair less expensive than it is, but this is a mid-size city, and I'm sure they're delivering quality pretty close to the margins. Their bar is excellent. Reasonable house specialty cocktails at 8 dollars. Wine selection is fantastic, but if you're looking for a range of bourbon or ryes, you're better off going to Black Dog.
Our meal was incredible. The ricotta gnocchi was loaded with morels and incredibly flavorful. The rhubarb tart was delicious without being overwhelmingly heavy. The cocktails were lovely, and the wine menu extensive. All around, I would highly recommend Bacaro for a special night out. Thanks!
We have been to Bacaro four times including this time that I am reviewing. The previous times, we have had very pleasant experiences. Not sure what happened this time. It was a Thursday night – I can't imagine that would make such a difference in the quality of things. Our waitress was very kind and we had questions that she couldn't answer, but she found the answers for us. The wine was good – but the food was just really off. My salad barely had any dressing on it at all- it was just like eating a bowl of greens. My husband's fish was very dry and the barley soup was so salty, it was in edible. We thought we would go ahead and try dessert and the beignets were so dry and hard we could not finish them either. The white asparagus, was delicious. There was a door right next to our table that was propped open with a chair and we had flies buzzing around our heads all night. For the prices you pay, this was just unacceptable. We have always saved Bacaro for special occasions – but unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever be back.
This was really a nice atmosphere, quiet. The food was very good. What affected my ratings more than anything was the service. It took us over 20 minutes to get someone to even take our drink order and the waitress rarely checked back with us. Has potential but if you are in a hurry, forget it.
Went to Bacaro for our anniversary. The food was delicious. Would enjoy going more is it wasnt so expensive. But the quality of ingredients is understandable why it is pricey. It was a nice atmosphere, but the bar got a little noisier later in the evening. Still enjoyable. Would go back for a special occasion.
The restaurant has a ventilation problem that we've tried to ignore because the food is so very good. By the time we left, our eyes were burning (3/4 of wear contacts) and the fourth immediately went home to take a shower to wash away the smoke. Opening the outside door (which they do to try and reduce the smoke) is NOT A SOLUTION.
Thus was Mother's Day and my son's graduation (he received a PhD). We always order the priciest item on the menu (their tasting menu). It has 7 courses. The waitress grew bored between courses 2 and 3, but was snippy as soon as we ordered. She first claimed they were out of one of the main courses and when we inquired about the substitution, she acted surprised. Upon returning from the kitchen, she told us that the original fish was available. Her descriptions of the courses included; " it should contain....." instead of what it did contain.
I made the reservation as soon as I could (but granted, it was for a busy weekend). My open table reservation was for 8;30 but a few slots after that (9, 9:15, 9:30) were still available. It's clear that we were the last diners and it was clear that this staff member was not happy to wait on us.
This is the first disappointing meal that I have had at Bacaro. The wine list is impressive, but very pricey. My braised lamb was nothing special and my wife's halibut filet was about the size of three quarters. I still recommend this restaurant because of excellent meals in the past. We'll give them any another try.
This was our best meal in Champaign ever. All the dishes were top notch - the salmon, halibut and filet were beautifully presented and the most delectable we have ever had. The tomato risotto brought back fond memories of Hungarian cabbage rolls made by my father. Would recommend for special occasion when you can enjoy company and savor the ambiance.
Always enjoy Bacaro! The tasting menu this season is fantastic! This is the place to try foods that you otherwise do not enjoy, because the chef can turn those items into foods you will crave! Bacaro is truly a hidden gem in Illinois. I'm not sure if reservations are required, because we always make them because we would be devastated if they were full! This is a great place to dine, and we encourage our friends to try it just once...they will become instant fans!
I had one of the best meals ever--halibut in a morel mushroom sauce. Our waiter was prompt, professional, and knowledgeable. When we asked if they would lower the music they accommodated our request graciously. The waiter also recommended a fantastic scotch.
Sarah was our server and she was great! The food is creatively prepared and absolutely delicious. Some say servings aren't large enough, I say it's not the quantity but the quality. If you want quantity, try country buffet. The wine list by the glass was OK and best of all they do a half pour. Highly recommend!
It's way too crowded by the bar and it was much louder than I would expect. Our table was about mid-length of the bar, so I was in an excellent location to be witness to servers trying to slide past loud patrons, some on their phones, at the bar. Multiple times they had to ask people to move.
The food was good, but certainly didn't justify the price. My wife didn't even get what she wanted; albeit, she only said she wanted the risotto, and she wasn't aware that there were two risotto dishes. She was really looking forward to the dish with morels. I would have expected better waiters/waitresses, which know to ask which dish was being requested.
The sub-par night continues: for a place that is supposedly upscale, I don't think they should be refilling my wife's soda at the table from a can. My wife never complains at restaurants, and even she commented on how classy it was to get refills from a can. Also, a server nearly put someone's meal on our table, which I had to tell him that it wasn't ours (we were eating dessert).
Other than the class-act refill from a can, the issues were small by themselves, but the overall picture was less than stellar. We won't be back.
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