Experience Italy without leaving Williamsburg at Bacàn (79 Grand St.), an Italian bistro and bar that opened a few months ago in the neighborhood. The restaurant aims for guests to feel transported to Venice through the food, design, and ambiance.
The restaurant’s interior is inviting with small decadent details that escalate the experience. There is a cozy corner for two near the bar, a beautiful larger table on the opposite end for a group, and several well-spaced tables in between. Though the walls are dark, there is greenery throughout the space and globe lights that make the restaurant feel modern, warm and welcoming.
Bacàn offers lunch, brunch, and dinner, but is perhaps at its best during the afternoon. Everyday from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bacàn offers its version of Happy Hour, called Aperitivo Hour, featuring discounted drinks and snacks to share, which the Venetians call cicchetti. The Aperitivo menu includes cocktails like a Paradiso Spritz and a Negroni Sbagliatissimo plus wines by the glass, beer, pizza, and a charcuterie board.
Dinner is also an excellent time to try this new spot. The menu is meant to be shared, allowing guests to sample several different Venetian delicacies, including a wider selection of cicchetti.
Don’t miss the burrata with anchovies, pine nuts, and lime zest on sourdough bread or the capesante with scallops, parsnip purée, eggplant, and Taleggio cheese. You also can’t go wrong with the agnolotti. It is homemade and served cacio e pepe style, with cheese and pepper.
Other dinner menu highlights include the uovo with parmigiano fondue, a poached egg, and black truffle on sourdough bread, the filet mignon tartare, served with egg yolk and parmesan cheese, plus homemade pizza.
On the lunch menu, guests will also see the tartare, the uovo, the burrata, pasta, and pizza, plus a vegetarian portobello sandwich with shiitake-tofu mayo, baby watercress, and a spicy pepper spread called bomba calabrese. The brunch menu features all of the previously mentioned options plus classics like an omelette, avocado toast, and French toast.
Co-owner Nico Donà is passionate about his most recent project. He explained that in his native Venetian dialect, the word bacàn refers to a party. Donà is already seeing the name translate to real life at his restaurant, especially in the later hours. Donà aims for Bacàn to be a place where good food and good times mix well.
In addition to the attractive interior, Bacàn offers a charming outdoor seating area. The restaurant is open Tuesday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Wednesday through Friday noon – 11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.