Bacchus’ Kitchen – Pasadena, CA

Good Food Just Around The Corner

IMG_3122Bacchus’ Kitchen – Pasadena, CA

Visited: July 24th, 2015
Restaurant Type: New American
(review by Tracy)

P1030624Now we really have a neighborhood restaurant we can walk to for dinner.

Bacchus’ Kitchen is a small restaurant located on the edge of Bungalow Heaven, an historical neighborhood in Pasadena (technically the restaurant is in East Washington Village).  It’s situated in the space formerly occupied by the Lebanese Kitchen and The Cook Book Store (by the way, if you are a cook book aficionado of used and rare cook books, check out Cookbooks by Janet Jarvits Bookseller, which is now located across the street and around the corner on Hill).

This little corner of Bungalow Heaven is starting to become a happening area with the addition of the popular coffee house Lavender & Honey, Lark Cake Shop, a children’s resale store, nail salon, gym and yoga.  Sadly, they’ve also included a Domino’s.

We were giving this relatively new restaurant from Claude Beltran (formerly of Noir and a few other area eateries) another try, as we were a little disappointed the first time we dined here.  In all fairness, we visited the very first week they were open, so there were bound be some kinks to be worked out.

In any event, we were very excited to see this restaurant go into our neighborhood as we really enjoy the sister restaurant, The Eatery (on the corner of Allen Avenue and Villa Street…review is on this site), and this one is very walkable from our home (good news considering Tom’s wine consumption).  The Eatery is actually walkable, also (about 1 1/2 miles), and if we were on vacation in Europe we would definitely walk there, but since this is Southern California (and my beloved husband suddenly gets lazy when not on vacation), it’s easier to jump in our car.

Coincidentally, we had the same server at Bacchus’ Kitchen as on our first visit, and he claimed to remember us.   The hostess was very personable and filled us in on upcoming improvements including a new patio area.  This evening, we had 7 p.m. reservations, and the restaurant was already 2/3 full.

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The first thing you notice when is a wrought iron chandelier.  The restaurant, configured with two rooms, has lots of exposed brick.

IMG_3111Fresh flowers spruce up the interior with color.

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The open kitchen also lends itself to a pleasurable dining experience.

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And it’s not called Bacchus’ Kitchen for thing!

IMG_3120While we perused the restaurant’s wine menu, we were brought an amuse bouche, which consisted of thin cucumber slices wrapped around goat cheese flavored with dill to taste like a pickle.

IMG_3128 (1)Pickles are one of the only foods Tom actually refuses to eat, but in the spirit of this review he ate one and …. Liked it!  So much so, in fact, the kitchen sent us another one to enjoy (for Free).

IMG_3118The corkage fee is different from The Eatery ($6 per stem there).  The corkage fee at Bacchus’ Kitchen is $25 per bottle, which seems a tad steep, however it is waived if you bring a bottle more than ten years old or purchase one from their menu.

IMG_3122We had brought a bottle, and as there were three of us dining (our friend Jack…aka Stephen from San Diego joined us on Tom’s birthday), and since we were walking home, we purchased a bottle from their list (Jack Hammer Pinot Noir, $30).

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To start, we splurged for Tom’s birthday and shared the appetizer special of sautéed foie gras with figs ($25). Yes, foie gras is legal again.  It was excellent and quickly devoured.

IMG_3130Tom started with the spectacular grilled yellow corn chowder with smoked tomato cream ($8).

IMG_3133Tracy had the nectarine and watercress salad with candied pistachios and curried lemon vinaigrette to start ($9).

IMG_3134For dinner Tom tried the grilled lamb t-bone served with grilled potatoes and sautéed dill carrots ($28).

IMG_3139Jack ordered the Thai grilled swordfish ($27) with a thai basil dressing…

IMG_3140…and I opted for the rosemary fried chicken, which came with a side of blue cheese coleslaw with candied pecans, large wedge cut potato and mustard sauce ($22).

IMG_3141All three entrees were huge and could be shared, unless you were as hungry as we were.

IMG_3145Although we were stuffed, we somehow managed to share a terrific lemon olive oil cake with Blueberry compote and crème fraîche ($8).

IMG_3146The menu is eclectic and changes quarterly.  I’d like to return to try the shitake, grilled corn and pasilla pepper tamales and get her own bowl of the grilled yellow corn chowder. Meanwhile, Tom is interested in Burrata Rosemary Pasta, Blistered cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, caramelized onions and fried rosemary ($16)

Our total bill for dinner was $171 for three people, but the foie gras and wine added a hefty chunk to that bill, so you could get out much more inexpensively.

IMG_3123Bacchus’ Kitchen is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.  In addition, there are special events (jazz and wine tasting events), so be sure to check their website regularly.

P1030628We’ll certainly be back.  Every once in a while, Tom says he needs to pig out close to home.

P1030621MaiTai Tom Rating:  4.3 maitais out of 5

FACTS:
Bacchus’ Kitchen
1384 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104
Phone: 626.594.6377 (reservations highly recommended)
Website: www.bacchuskitchen.com
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday: 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Parking: Free (lot and street)

 

 

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