A real bacaro in Padua: Frascoli Bacaro
Back on the job with 2NightVenezia, I went on a mission to find out if this place was as good as I heard. You can read the original Italian article here.
Frascoli Bacaro is a lively and contemporary restaurant with typical Venetian cuisine, a few steps from the Basilica del Santo.
With a strong reference to a typical trattoria of the past, where the menu is scribbled on a blackboard every day, Frascoli Bacaro keeps a modern and elegant style.
I went there a few months ago with a friend, on a cold November evening.
Upon entering the restaurant, you are visually greeted by a myriad of inviting cicchetti, nicely arranged on the counter, and by a steaming pot from which, every now and then, a large boiled octopus peeps out.
The boiled “folpo” is one of the specialties of this restaurant / cicchetteria, run by Marco Frascoli and his family. Marco was born in Ferrara, but grew up in Venice, where he has managed many restaurants and bacari over the years.
Having moved to Padua for love, he married a local woman and in 2019 he decided to open a real Venetian tavern in the heart of the city, to offer Paduans the opportunity to taste Venetian delicacies here too. So here is a real bacaro where you can have an aperitif with cicchetti, but also have lunch or dinner with an “à la carte menu” in the heart of Padua.
And the à la carte menu is full of delicacies, and not just fish!
Welcomed by Marco himself, we took a seat in the second of the three rooms making up the restaurant. The restaurant has about sixty seats.
All the furniture is recycled and comes directly from ships: from the metal tables to the chairs, from the vintage pendant lamps to the beautiful rudder hanging on the wall. All interiors are nautical themed in brown and black tones, with reclaimed wood and blackened steel. Keeping in the Venetian theme.
The meal at Frascoli Bacaro
Following Marco’s advice, we started our tasting with a seasonal dish: Moeche Fritte with polenta.
Available for a few days a year in spring and autumn, according to tradition, moeche (soft shell crabs) should be eaten fried, accompanied by a soft polenta. Moeche literally means “soft” and, in fact, softness is their peculiarity.
I can honestly say that the ones I have tasted here are among the best I have ever tried and believe me, I have eaten a lot in my life, being Venetian. And with six moeche, this was a very large starter!
We then continued with a classic Venetian mixed fish antipasto, which was all but an appetizer, being a very generous dish in portions, as you can see in the photo.
A riot of boiled octopus, stewed cuttlefish, creamed cod, cuttlefish dairy products, sardines in saor, shrimp in saor, scallops, telescope, all accompanied by a lot of soft polenta.
A nice selection of typical appetizers linked to the tradition of Venice, expertly prepared.
Given the large portions of the starters, we preferred not to take a first course, but we opted for two seconds: a Grilled fish and the Stracotto di musso with polenta, the dish of the day.
Let me talk about Stracotto di Musso or Donkey’s Stew, a dish that I haven’t tasted since I was a child and which, as soon as I glimpsed it written on the blackboard, immediately made me salivate and brought me back to my childhood in the Venetian countryside.
Stracotto di musso is a typical dish of the peasant tradition of the lower Veneto-Lombard plain, the stew of the past. A fairly simple recipe, to tell the truth, but which requires very long cooking times and with an undoubted nutritional and gustatory charge.
With the first forkful I was with a second a child again: the meat literally melted in the mouth and the sauce from the stew was so tasty that I wanted to clear the plate immediately.
My friend chose to try the Grilled fish consisting of a Fillet of Sea Brim, swordfish, prawns, cuttlefish, squid, scallop. A nice tasty and tasty dish, made the freshest fish.
The dinner was accompanied by a Ronco dei Tassi Ribolla Gialla Collio Doc, with a savoury and pleasant taste, good persistence, fresh and harmonious.
We concluded with a mix of typical Venetian Biscuits accompanied by a Mascarpone Cream. Three types of biscuits, including the famous bussolai, made with egg yolk, flour and lots of butter, which, in the past, accompanied Venetian fishermen on their travels. I really liked the idea of being able to “dip” the biscuits in the cream, which was very light, but nice, thick and creamy.
At Frascoli Bacaro there are no gimmicks, but only perfect interpretations of the typical classic Venetian dishes. You can find them open for both lunch and dinner, except on Mondays, when they are closed, and on Sunday evenings.
So if you feel like Venetian cicchetti or a good feast of fish, you don’t need to go to Venice, just go to Frascoli Bacaro!
Via del Santo, 93, 35123 Padova PD
tel. +39 049 660505
+++Disclaimer: I was sent to this restaurant for the purposes of reviewing it by 2night Venezia. The fact I got the meal for free has not influenced the review in anyway.0