corner" scrolled on the wall.
We chose to begin with the classico7 antipasti freddi f7 (cold
appetizer)o7 prosciutto e melonef7 ($6.25), six slices of juicy
cantaloupe topped with very thin slices of aged ham from Parma. It's
dewdrop fresh and sets your taste buds up for whatever follows.
Another choice is fresh o7 insalata di spinacif7 ($4.95). Like the
melon, this is a salad generous enough to share -- the oil-slicked leaves
are tossed with small pieces of real bacon and loads of sliced mushrooms
in a homemade dressing -- combined with a bowl of o7 pasta e fagiolif7
($4.50), white bean soup, it could also be a great lunch.
If the choice is pasta,o7 lasagna pasticciataf7 ($11.50) is my
choice. It consists of layers of firm and slightly chewy pasta, plenty of
lumpy ricotta cheese and meat sauce topped with mozzarella cheese and
baked in its own ceramic skillet. Baking in the dish keeps the food hot
throughout the meal.
This is not so with another pasta dish,o7 rigatoni all'
abbruzzesef7 ($12.95) short, grooved tube pasta with homemade sausage
and meatballs in a fresh tomato sauce. Only barely warm, it cooled off
quickly, which robbed the dish of its flavor. It deserves better.
Italy, surrounded as it is by water, does fish well as in the o7
salmone allo champagnef7 ($16.95), a thick generous cut in a delicate
creamy wine sauce. It exemplifies another slogan written on one of the
arches -- o7 Se magna e se bene in allegriaf7 -- "Eat and drink in
The separate dessert menu pictures manyo7 coupesf7 or ice cream
topped with fruit. There's o7 coupe melbaf7 in a soda glass with ice
cream, peach slices, lots of whipped cream and a dash of liqueur. A
traditional Sicilian dessert is o7 cassatta Sicilianof7 ($4.50), a
slice of semi-frozen ice cream-like dessert with o7 zabaglione f7 (egg
yolk and sugar with white wine and Marsala liqueur). The slender slice
carries an intense sweetness. A o7 creme brullef7 ($5) has a thin
crisp crust over very rich creamy custard -- also an excellent choice.
Juliano, who trained at the Culinary Institute in Lucerne,
Switzerland, opened the award-winning Baci eight years ago after stints
in England, Bermuda, New York and Georgio's on Balboa Island.
In addition to the two charming dining rooms, Baci has a lounge with a
pink marble bar and soft piano and flute music in the evenings.
It's easy to see why Baci is one of the most romantic restaurants in
Huntington Beach -- a place someone special will want to "kiss" and tell
about on this Valentine's Day.
* MARY FURR is the Independent restaurant critic. If you have comments
or suggestions for her, call (562) 493-5062.
Baci Italian Restaurant
ADDRESS: 18748 Beach Blvd., Huntington Beach
PHONE: (714) 965-1194
FAX: (714) 965-4106
HOURS: Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday to Friday; dinner: 5 to
10:15 p.m. daily MISC.: Credit cards accepted