Vassar Student Association

Exploring the Hudson Valley: Pizzeria Bacio

Pizzeria Bacio


When we first saw the “Now Open!” sign outside of Pizzeria Bacio, we were so excited to see that an Italian restaurant had opened up right around the corner that we decided to go there for dinner that very night. Having prepared ourselves for a treat, we were admittedly disappointed overall with the experience, and our subsequent trips did not improve our opinion.

Bacio is a second-floor pizzeria and restaurant with an open kitchen, prominent ovens and plate glass windows. This structural design has a fundamental problem: heat. While it may make Bacio a warm retreat come wintertime, when Collegeview Avenue is buried four feet deep in snow, in the non-chilly months the indoor temperature can be sweltering. One can be forgiven for thinking that the brick fireplace is overkill. While the Italian-styled décor was nice, the intrusive radio and its selections of contemporary American pop and dance music wasn’t; say what you will about tradition, but there’s something a little more charming and appropriate about Frank Sinatra, mandolins, and “La Tarantella Napoletana.”

Although the presentation of (complimentary) bread at one’s table at an Italian restaurant usually brings great joy, at least for us, Bacio’s bread only let us down. The bread itself is not bad—a little on the cheap side, but not bad— but the thin, runny oil, saturated with garlic and pepper balls was unappetizing, to say the least. The salads range from adequate to good; while the Caesar salad was simply fine, we found the grilled chicken salad to be top notch. The soup selection, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. The tortellini in brodo was salty enough to suggest that the broth was derived from the water of the Dead Sea; chunks of garlic spoiled the rather plain pasta fagioli; and the soup of the day was never in stock.

The pasta portions are enormous, and could easily provide two or three meals for some.The penne vodka was satisfactory, but not great. The pizzas, however, are Bacio’s standout feature. The pizza rustica—which is just another word for meat lover’s—was very tasty and, judging by the samples we’ve had, most of their sauce-based pizzas are first-rate. However, the pizza bianca, which is sans sauce and made of multiple kinds of cheese, was not even half-eaten before we attempted to pass it off on friends and, finally, left it in a dorm hallway for passersby (we don’t believe it was ever picked up).

As for the desserts, which certainly look tempting inside of their glass case, choices range from cannoli to carrot cake. But the chocolate cake that we tried was not enough to redeem our overall impressions.

The service is slow, but friendly, and perhaps this will change if their “now hiring” sign is answered in the future, as they seem a bit overwhelmed. Be sure to check your bill, as ours had several errors (charging us an extra $35). Large parties should make reservations in advance due to limited seating. The price isn’t that high, around $15-25 per person, but you may find yourself wishing that you had gone somewhere else that could offer you a little more bang for your buck.

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