Bocca di Bacco: I say PotaTO, You say PoTATo

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I can’t seem to keep the “o” and “a” straight, but when I get it right, I have to say Bocca di Bacco has a nice ring to it — particularly when coming from the attractive, thickly accented Italian bartender serving my drink. I found myself in uncharted waters again last night — second visit to midtown in two weeks, second time I was pleasantly surprised.

Two large front windows welcome skeptical Ninth Ave. passersby to explore the midtown gem. Brightly lit and perfect for street viewing on a spring day, the bar is a great afternoon or early evening stop to grab a drink, sit back and watch. What’s on tap? The options here are only limited if you are a beer drinker: Peroni vs. 40 wines. 40 wines on tap, you say? Yes, the future of wines by the glass cleverly borrows from the old keg of beer contraption to remove oxygen, protect the open bottle and seamlessly pour your grape of choice without the risk of 40 open bottles going bad before midtowners can fully imbibe each selection. Brilliant.

With such an enticing bar setup, it seemed only right to give the Bocca di Bacco menu a shot. A quick accented chat with my bartender and I was armed with his top suggestions — one he said I could not miss was the Grilled Octopus. The Octopus was grilled perfectly and served over a bed of celery and potato. With such a successful seafood starter, I decided to stick with the theme for my entree and got the generously portioned grilled branzino with broccoli rabe and herbed potatoes. This may have been one of the few times I went to an Italian restaurant and didn’t even think of getting the pasta, but there were plenty of enticing options on that part of the menu too.

The Skim: You’re going to midtown to see a show or just got swept up in the sea of tourists and are looking for a reprieve to grab a glass of vino or a delicious bite to eat? Look no further, Bocca di Bacco is both a worthy wine bar and delicious restaurant, that is actually reasonably priced given the neighborhood. Bon Appetito! {828 9th Ave btw. 54th & 55th St}

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