Bacaro

136 Division StNew York, NY 10002 • (212) 941-5060 • bacaronyc.com

Bacaro is like Don Juan in restaurant form, dripping with romance and charm (pictured). But sadly, this quaint veneer is all built around one dish, the gnocceti. And if you stick with that and a glass of wine, you will think this place is the cat’s pajamas. But should venture beyond it, you will soon find that the emperor has no clothes.

All three starters were non-starters for me. The asparagus with egg and grana was relatively bland. The caprese was served with mealy tomatoes. And the spicy meatballs, while the best of the trio, weren’t all that spicy- or meaty, for that matter.

The other two entrées I tried were equal parts letdown, the duck ragu was dry and lacking complexity and the pork shank over soft polenta also left me wanting more depth of flavor.

Hell, even the wine was disappointing as was the service, asking us to leave after only 2 hours at our table. Blasphemy!

Flirting with disaster, Bacaro raised the Titanic with a strong Tiramisu to just barely eke out a second knife.

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Commander’s Palace

1403 Washington Ave. New Orleans, LA 70130(504) 899-8221commanderspalace.com

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I know this place is the paragon of Cajun cuisine, having birthed both Paul Prudhomme (K. Paul’s) and Emeril Lagasse, icons unto themselves, but that does very little for the meal sitting in front of me in the here and now. And I hate to say it, but there, the here and now sucked up and down.

The moment we set foot inside, our tourist trap meter was pegged. From the clientele to the decor there is absolutely nothing desirable about the inside of this place, including the food. It was the worst meal we had in New Orleans by a wide margin.

With so many phenomenal restaurants in the French Quarter, please don’t waste your time going here. It is the quintessential  emperor, or should I say commander, having no clothes.

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