***CLOSED*** Bacio Mia ~ Southlake, Texas

November 29, 2008 update: Bacio Mia is no longer in business. Too bad, as they were a unique Italian restaurant in an area all too dominated with the same recipes and formulas.

So we've already talked about, in past postings, the Albanian / Yugoslavian heritage of most of the Northeast Tarrant county Italian restaurants. Bacio Mia is one of the rare exceptions. We first ran into Rocky, who is from New Yawk, when he was a partner in a restaurant called Joe's (the most overused named in DFW, but this one was not related to any other) in Farmers Branch. Farmers Branch (or FB as many call it) is near where Mr. RJG grew up, so it was a natural place for Mrs. RJG and I to take Mr. RJG's parents. FB is another tough place to secure a liquor license, so the restaurant was always BYOB. Even better, especially in my Dad's view, is they offered free glasses of red wine (the law doesn't say you can't give it away, just that you can't sell it). Eventually the owners sold out to raise enough cash to start Michael Anthony's, a high end steakhouse in the high end suburb of Southlake. And now, perhaps not surprisingly, Rocky (who also runs Sofio Grill in Flower Mound) has opened an Italian restaurant down the road, in a pretty swanky strip mall, taking over the former Classic Cafe and Red Sage spot.

Despite the obvious expensive overhead, prices are very reasonable, and Rocky has eschewed a liquor license in favor of BYOB. In other words, Bacio Mia is a great deal, especially given the locale!

Everything at Bacio Mia is different from just about any other Italian restaurant in NE Tarrant. From the soft bread, to the tangy vinaigrette to the entrees, rest assured you will experience a unique Italian meal. We did notice there were differences in flavor from one visit to the next. The bolognese sauce on one visit had a strong wine flavor, while on another it was too salty. The chicken parm is good, though it's not as crisp as I'd like - but Mr. Jose understands what he likes in chicken parm is not the norm. The baked dishes could use a little more sauce as well (and we're into dry - but not BONE dry). So a little inconsistent, but we'll chalk that up to being a relatively new place, and getting the chefs to master the recipes at hand.

The Star-Telepoop made a big deal of how great it is that there's a daycare right across the sidewalk. In a peculiar way, I kind of agree. Nothing funnier than watching a bunch of "pretender" Mom's drive up in their Hummers and yak on the cell phone while dropping off the precious ones. It does provide entertainment, if you subscribe to Mr. RJG's warped view of life.

ANYWAY, Bacio Mia is definitely worth a visit. If they can make any kind of margin, given their low prices, then this place will be around awhile. Maybe the best deal in Southlake.

Last visit: April 2008


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