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bacaro - Permanently Closed

4.4
4.4
1066 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American

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.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner:
    Monday: Closed
    Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

  • Phone number

    (217) 398-6982

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Drew Starkey

  • Catering

    Light Catering<br />Email info@bacarochampaign.com with any Catering Inquiries.

  • 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

  • Neighborhood

    Champaign

  • Cross street

    University Avenue

  • Parking details

    Street Parking Runs til 9pm Monday through Friday.<br />Street parking is free on Saturday and Sunday

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Menu

Main

  • Mixed Greens$11.00

    mixed berries, shaved pecorino, walnuts, lemon vinaigrette

    • Bacaro Fries$8.00

      parmigiano reggiano, black truffle aioli, parsley

      • Charcuterie$15.00

        coppa, fireball, mortadella, house pickles, rhubarb mostarda, Mark's sourdough

        • Grilled Watermelon$12.00

          crispy pancetta, feta, mint, balsamic

          • Mixed Seafood$15.00

            scallops, lobster, fried calamari, corn, potato, spicy tomato broth

            • Small Pizza$12.00

              fresh burrata, tomato soffritto, basil

              • Fettuccine$18.00

                cherry tomatoes, pesto, black pepper ricotta

                • Thin Spaghetti$18.00

                  squash blossoms, black truffle, parmesan

                  • Risotto Bianco$18.00

                    grilled sweetcorn, bacon, parsley

                    • Red Grouper$32.00

                      local summer squash, grilled garlic scapes, pea shoots, chive butter

                      • Seared King Salmon$32.00

                        roasted summer beets, gooseberries, pistachio vinaigrette, micro lettuce

                        • Fried Chicken$29.00

                          steamed summer vegetables, petite greens, ranch aioli

                          • Steak & Potatoes$38.00

                            seared 12oz prime strip steak, parmesan fries, bordelaise, chili butter

                            For menu edits, please contact SinglePlatform at (866) 237-4564.

                            What 1,066 people are saying

                            Overall ratings and reviews

                            4.4
                            4.4 based on recent ratings
                            • 4.4Food
                            • 4.6Service
                            • 4.5Ambience
                            • 4.1Value

                            NoiseModerate

                            Sort by

                            Filters

                            1. AS

                              ASD1

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on December 30, 2018

                              overall5food4service5ambience4

                              Great tasting menu with optional wine pairing. Service was excellent. But the grinding sound of a machine behind the bar made it hard to talk for a bit, but thankfully the noise stopped.

                            2. C

                              Champaigndiner

                              1 review

                              3.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on December 23, 2018

                              overall3food3service5ambience4

                              Food was good but the portions were extremely small. Spent over $100.00 for two and went away hungry.

                            3. CP

                              CarrieP

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on December 20, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              We love Bacaro and are SO SAD they are closing. In our opinion they are the best fine dining in Champaign. Delicious, high quality food. Great staff. Nice, upscale ambiance. There will be a hole in our community when they are gone.

                            4. A

                              Anonymous

                              Chicago

                              2 reviews

                              5.0

                              2 reviews

                              Dined on December 20, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Saying Goodbye

                            5. NW

                              NateW

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              2.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on December 1, 2018

                              overall2food2service1ambience2

                              Made a reservation for a birthday, our seat location was subpar and our server did not seem very engaged. Service felt slow, the server mentioned the birthday person once, and never mentioned it again, overall it did not feel like they put much emphasis on birthdays, which is fine, it’s just not the restaurant for a birthday celebration based on our experience. The gnocchi the birthday person got did not feel cooked great, scallops were very good, but expensive for Portion and flavor profile. Overall it did not live up to expectation.

                            6. c

                              chicagoguy360

                              Chicago

                              28 reviews

                              2.0

                              28 reviews

                              Dined on November 10, 2018

                              overall2food2service4ambience4

                              My wife and I really wanted to like this restaurant. We knew, going in, that the menu was limited but there were a couple of items that interested us. Low and behold, the items we wanted to try were not on the menu that night. The food we eventually ordered were not very inspired. The plating was average and the food was average. Considering the prices, we were, to say the least, unimpressed.

                            7. AC

                              AnnC

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on November 5, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Bacaro's is a great place for a special occasion or indeed any occasion

                            8. BS

                              BSC2

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on November 4, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Great food and wine.....awesome restaurant for a special occasion!

                            9. JS

                              JohnS

                              Chicago

                              20 reviews

                              vip
                              5.0

                              20 reviews

                              Dined on November 4, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              We went to Bacaro for a nice dinner on a Saturday night. We tried the tasting menu with wines to match and it was delicious. Each course was great and the wines were both good and adventurous. Our server clearly knew how to describe each dish and wine complement. This is definitely on our “repeat often” list.

                            10. AH

                              AnneH

                              Baltimore

                              4 reviews

                              5.0

                              4 reviews

                              Dined on November 3, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience4

                              Delicious! We were really pleased with our meal. The seared tuna, sweet potato cheesecake and chocolate pot de creme were standouts.

                            11. KG

                              KingGaryP

                              Chicago

                              42 reviews

                              vip
                              3.0

                              42 reviews

                              Dined on October 14, 2018

                              overall3food4service3ambience3

                              Unfortunately, our 3rd trip to Bacaro was not the best. We still really like the restaurant, but it seems like something has changed over the past 4 years. Menu appears to be much more limited (basically 4 entrees), and not as unique. And adding to the limited menu, on a Saturday night, they were all out of the best dinner plate (pork chop), and the best dessert (peach cobbler). Gluten Free options were nowhere to be found. I would hope the next time, on a big football weekend, the restaurant is much more prepared with their usual "A" game that we were used to.

                            12. e

                              entertainer

                              Chicago

                              35 reviews

                              3.0

                              35 reviews

                              Dined on October 12, 2018

                              overall3food4service1ambience4

                              Menu extremely limited. If you don't eat beef or pork, you have even fewer choices. Our waiter was inattentive and unenthusiastic. Once served, everyone liked their dishes except one, the burrata.

                            13. AM

                              AlexM

                              Atlanta

                              2 reviews

                              vip
                              4.0

                              2 reviews

                              Dined on September 18, 2018

                              overall4food5service4ambience5

                              The food is great but the portions are tiny.

                            14. PH

                              PaulinaH

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on September 12, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              They brought out surprise (complementary) glasses of Prosecco to start off our anniversary celebration. The food and service were exquisite. We’re definitely going back!

                            15. OT

                              OpenTable Diner

                              1 review

                              3.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on September 10, 2018

                              overall3food3service5ambience5

                              Wonderful over the past years and everything has been AMAZING!!! Sad to notice a difference last 2 times we were there. It almost seems as though the previous chef left. The pesto pasta had WAY too much salt. The grouper was undercooked. The peach “cobbler” was actually a cake with no flavor. When I see the word “cobbler” on the menu, I think a pie crust should be involved....and it wasn’t. Drastic change to the overall quality of the food. Please bring the “old” Bacaro back!

                            16. DH

                              DoveHeart

                              Chicago

                              19 reviews

                              vip
                              5.0

                              19 reviews

                              Dined on September 5, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              We were in Champaign from Chicago's western suburbs for a concert and it happened to also be our 25th wedding anniversary. I mentioned it when I made the reservation. When we arrived, we were greeted with prosecco and treated really well the entire time. Service was excellent. Wine, mostly Italian, was very good. Close to Chicago prices, but food was very good. I had salmon, my husband had halibut. We highly recommend them both, maybe the halibut winning overall. The peach cobbler had almost no peaches, so that was the only disappointment.

                            17. CG

                              CraigG

                              Chicago

                              5 reviews

                              5.0

                              5 reviews

                              Dined on September 4, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Excellent meal and wines as always at this location.

                            18. SB

                              SarahB

                              Chicago

                              3 reviews

                              5.0

                              3 reviews

                              Dined on August 29, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Did the tasting menus with pairings. Every course seemed well thought out and beautifully prepared.

                            19. AC

                              AmyC

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on August 25, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Friends had told us about this dinner for years but we never visited until recently for our tenth wedding anniversary. We were so blown away (and our expectations were high!) that we're telling everyone we know where to go for their next special occasion!

                            20. D

                              Dave

                              Chicago

                              3 reviews

                              5.0

                              3 reviews

                              Dined on August 25, 2018

                              overall5food4service5ambience4

                              We always go here for special occasions. In this case it was our 50th wedding anniversary. We began with 2 complimentary drinks followed by the usual delicious meal. My only complaint was the fact that my salmon was slightly overdone. Having said that we'll return for certain.

                            21. DH

                              DHYD

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on August 18, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Possible the best upper tier fine dining in C-U. Limited menu, but everything we had was wonderful.

                            22. H

                              Happycreatures2

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on August 14, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience4

                              My fiancée and I enjoyed an early intimate dinner at this excellent restaurant on a weekday just at 5:00, as it opened. The service was beautiful, impeccable. The room was sparklingly clean, artistically inspired, and organized in a way that created a sweetly calm, pleasing, assuring effect. Attention to detail and quality is evident everywhere. Our salads were large, subtly dressed, and marvelously fresh. Our entrée was fish: absolute perfection - a lovely portion cooked just to the moment of doneness, then given a golden finish of heavenly flavor. It was served surrounded with summer squash in an exquisite sauce. We were unable to resist dessert but, being very, very happily sated, we ordered only a scoop of ice cream each. Once again, outstandingly delicious! We were very grateful for a beautiful early evening experience in this lovely, quality place.

                            23. SB

                              SurabhiB

                              Chicago

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on August 11, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              My husband and I both tried the tasting menu. I supplemented mine with the wine pairing, which I highly recommend since the restaurant does a great job at introducing you to some great wines that go really well with each entree. The chef does a fantastic job at staggering the menu so that you start with artfully crafted simple appetizers like the charcuterie platter, that then increases in complexity and finesse course by course. Our meal ended our meal on a high note - peach cobbler, that had a very nostalgic feel to it. The ambiance was great; very modern yet comfortable, with just the right amount of upscale. Overall, highly recommend, whether it be for date night, girls night, friends catch up, or a business dinner.

                            24. b

                              bamboo

                              1 review

                              3.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on August 4, 2018

                              overall3food3service4ambience3

                              There are too FEW options on the menu. We had a difficult time ordering dishes for two. Small-portion dishes. Grilled watermelon tastes good.

                            25. E

                              Eccezionale

                              Chicago

                              54 reviews

                              3.0

                              54 reviews

                              Dined on July 29, 2018

                              overall3food3service4ambience3

                              the meal was very well prepared albeit a bit on the small side. For us small eaters, it was o.k. but some people might have a problem with the size. Service and wine were excellent. Caveat: the menu is extremely limited; only 4 entrees, one being steak and potatoes! The appetizers also were small in numbers and not very original. For the price of the food, one would expect some more creativity and a larger selection. As a result, we won't go back very soon.

                            26. TJ

                              TJD936

                              Chicago

                              36 reviews

                              vip
                              3.0

                              36 reviews

                              Dined on July 7, 2018

                              overall3food4service3ambience2

                              The service, seating/layout and menu have really degraded in the past couple of years. Used to be cozy romantic seating in the dining area--now filled with wine coolers. Background music was random and too loud. Menu is less than half the size it used to be. Two wines offered on their list we're not available. Also hostess needs training--she got in the way hurryingly trying to put menus down on table while I was trying to pull the chair out for my wife to sit. Waitress was confused saying one of the only four or five entrees would not be available for 2 hours only to be later corrected by what seemed like the bartender.

                            27. M

                              Mimi

                              San Francisco

                              17 reviews

                              vip
                              5.0

                              17 reviews

                              Dined on July 7, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Great food, nice atmosphere...probably best restaurant in Champaign-Urbana, IL

                            28. AG

                              AnnG

                              Phoenix

                              4 reviews

                              vip
                              5.0

                              4 reviews

                              Dined on July 1, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Wonderful experience as always. Have to say Clay was probably one of the best servers ever!

                            29. 5

                              5stardiner

                              Atlanta

                              10 reviews

                              5.0

                              10 reviews

                              Dined on June 23, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Sophisticated food, wine and décor in a traditional small town downtown. Perfectly prepared food served with style and grace.

                            30. WM

                              WMassFoodie

                              New England

                              20 reviews

                              5.0

                              20 reviews

                              Dined on June 21, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              We are in Urbana-Champaign once a year for a conference, and we are always sure to set aside one dinner for Bacaro. We enjoy the farm-to-table emphasis and the incorporation of seasonal, local produce into the menu. On previous visits, we have done the tasting menu, which is a wonderful way to explore the chef's offerings and wine pairings, but this time we decided to order off the main menu, which includes most of the tasting menu choices anyway. The halibut was sublime, clearly the highlight of the evening. The soft shell crab special was nice, letting the flavor of the crab come through on its own. This was a case of chef knowing to get out of the way of the ingredients. The two starters, gnocchi and white asparagus panzanella were a bit less successful, both suffering from excess caramelizing that the rich sofrito on the gnocchi helped offset but really kept the panzanella from reaching it full flavor. Our New Zealand chardonnay paired well, and the special fermented rhubarb crumb cake dessert was a nice way to complete the experience. The service was excellent.

                            31. d

                              davidj

                              San Francisco

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on June 17, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience4

                              Novel cuisine artfully prepared. Menu is not extensive, but provides an excellent means of tasty new flavors. Incorporates locally produced foods. Definitely a location for a special occasion.

                            32. GH

                              GailH

                              Chicago

                              2 reviews

                              5.0

                              2 reviews

                              Dined on June 16, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience3

                              I hadn't been to Bacaro's for awhile and was pleasantly surprised by the truly excellent food. It's always been superior but, if anything, it's gotten even better. Great menu and great service!

                            33. KE

                              KyeE

                              1 review

                              5.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on June 13, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              We always have fantastic experiences here - great service, incredible food and drinks, wonderful atmosphere. Will continue to come back as often as possible!

                            34. TH

                              TimH

                              San Diego

                              140 reviews

                              vip
                              5.0

                              140 reviews

                              Dined on June 1, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience4

                              Great experience. Did the wonderful tasting menu with the wine pairing. Was extraordinary all the way around! Highly recommended.

                            35. H

                              Handz98

                              Philadelphia

                              8 reviews

                              5.0

                              8 reviews

                              Dined on May 29, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience4

                              The Chef’s spring tasting menu was fantastic! Gnocchi - BestBite

                            36. B

                              Bday

                              1 review

                              4.0

                              1 review

                              Dined on May 25, 2018

                              overall4food5service3ambience4

                              Server was very nice, friendly. However, it seemed slow-paced. To get drinks seemed to take very long. The food was excellent, but limited in variety / choice. Price and that limitation would be our reason for it being less likely to visit again soon. Can live with the slower service but my experience with many service establishments over many years is that can really harm a restaraunt's future. A very nice place, though.

                            37. OT

                              OpenTable Diner

                              Indiana

                              18 reviews

                              5.0

                              18 reviews

                              Dined on May 25, 2018

                              overall5food5service5ambience5

                              Our favorite dining spot in Champaign The chef never fails to create some wonderful dishes Try the fried lamb shoulder—truly an outstanding entree

                            38. KH

                              KimberlyH

                              Chicago

                              6 reviews

                              3.0

                              6 reviews

                              Dined on May 19, 2018

                              overall3food4service4ambience4

                              Tasting menu was excellent--except the dessert (chocolate beet cake) and the small brownies were extremely dry. (The frosting was great though.) However, one of us ordered the pasta carbonara---absolutely horrible. I am not exaggerating when I describe it as tasting like a 50 cent package of ramen noodles. I would have immediately returned it, but didn't want to draw attention to it with my guest there.

                            39. B

                              Bubbalew

                              Chicago

                              6 reviews

                              3.0

                              6 reviews

                              Dined on May 14, 2018

                              overall3food3service4ambience4

                              Bacaro was OK. But way over priced. The food was just so-so. We were disappointed. The servers were great, however.

                            40. b

                              beckys

                              Chicago

                              10 reviews

                              vip
                              2.0

                              10 reviews

                              Dined on May 13, 2018

                              overall2food2service1ambience2

                              unable to handle the busy graduation weekend. waited 35 minutes when we had a reservation then waited about 1 hr and 15 minutes for our food. Half the food was cold and my fish was the tiniest piece of halibut I have ever seen for $38 (I think it was actually 1/4 of a filet). My son's graduation dinner was EXTREMELY disappointing.

                            FAQs

                            bacaro - Permanently Closed is rated 4.4 stars by 1066 OpenTable diners.

                            Permanently Closed

                            This restaurant is permanently closed.

                            • Cross street

                              University Avenue

                            • Neighborhood

                              Champaign

                            • Hours of operation

                              Dinner:
                              Monday: Closed
                              Tuesday - Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm

                            • Cuisines

                              Contemporary American

                            • Dining style

                              Casual Elegant

                            • Dress code

                              Business Casual

                            • Parking details

                              Street Parking Runs til 9pm Monday through Friday.<br />Street parking is free on Saturday and Sunday

                            • Payment options

                              AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

                            • Executive chef

                              Drew Starkey

                            • Additional

                              Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Non-Smoking, Outdoor Smoking Area, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

                            • Phone number

                              (217) 398-6982

                            • Catering

                              Light Catering<br />Email info@bacarochampaign.com with any Catering Inquiries.

                            • 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

                            • Privacy Policy
                            • Terms of Use
                            • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
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