With an overwhelming number of Italian dining establishments on this tiny island, you may mistake PerBacco for yet another Italian restaurant in Singapore, but the game changes when you visit the Bacchus (Italian name for PerBacco – the Roman god of wine) as the owners seek to create a convivial atmosphere coupled with great food and wine at affordable rates.
As the name suggest, PerBacco offers an extensive selection of thoughtfully curated wine bottles from Italy and France. Much attention has been paid to the curation of the wines and guests can enjoy over 10 wines by the glass and carafe, priced affordably for all budgets and appetites.
Wines on tap start from as low as ($12 per glass, $45 per carafe) for Cesari Mara Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore red wine, ($12 per glass, $44 per carafe) La Tunella Sauvignon Blanc 2013/14 white wine, and wines by the bottles are made very affordable and value for money – labels include Argeo Prosecco Treviso Brut DOC NV prosecco ($49 per bottle), Anselmi “Ca’Stella” Merlot DOC 2013 ($48 per bottle), Cesari Farina Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2013 ($65 per bottle), Vignamaggio Gherardino – Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG 2012 ($70 per bottle) and Mocali Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010 ($120 per bottle) and more.
Settle in at PerBacco’s bar on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm and enjoy a tasty cichetti (worth $12) for any order of a glass of wine. Alternatively, sip on a glass of intensely fruity and floral Marchesi Gavi DOCG (white wine) or full-bodied Marchesa Vincenza Stanga Barbera D’Asti (red wine) for just $6 nett.
The establishment’s decor of rustic, unfinished red brick walls, an inviting bar area and a most eye-catching wall divider of cleverly stacked wine crates are in line with the owners’ style which is classy traditional and contemporary chic at the same time. The restaurant sits about 30 guests by the bar area and the main dining area can take up to 45 comfortably, giving business diners and couples more private space for conversations over their meal.
Helming the kitchen at PerBacco is Chef Marco Fregnan who possess 14 years of culinary expertise honed at restaurants such as Ristorante Ca delle Anfore, Ristorante Pizzeria “Da Valerio” and Michelin-starred Ristorante Gellius in Italy. The ebullient Treviso born chef focuses only on the cuisine he knows best – which is authentic Northern Italian food.
Take a snack of savoury starters – Scamorza with Soft Fritters (Frittelle alle Verdure $14); where baked scamorza cheese is cocooned in a soft, chewy parma ham served with fluffy fritters made with a batter consisting flour, butter, peas, carrots and zucchini.
Or nibble on Spicy Crab Meat Croquettes (Crocchette di Granchio $12) featuring plump and crisp nuggets of fresh crab meat with ricotta, potato, parsley and a hint of homemade chilli oil served with creamy tuna sauce, these mouth-watering morsels are a dream to eat.
A twist on the classic Venetian dish Sarde in Saor, or sweet and sour sardines, succulent Sweet and Sour Prawns (Gamberi in Saor $24) presents juicy prawns wrapped in parma ham that are seared and served on a bed of slow-cooked onions with a touch of vinegar, sweet raisins and garnished with pine nuts.
Other starter favourites include a Warm Octopus Salad (Insalata di Polipo Caldo $22), Wagyu Beef Carpaccio (Carpaccio di Manzo $19) and Grilled Vegetables and Mozzarella Strudel with Cheese Fondue (Fonduta di Formaggio $18).
Then, there are comforting homemade pasta creations such as the Gnocchi with Gorgonzola and Walnuts (Gnocchi e Fonduta al Gorgonzola $26) freshly made in-house daily and consists soft pillows of potato gnocchi complemented by a creamy gorgonzola cheese sauce and walnuts for earthiness and textural contrast.
The classic Venetian Green Pea Risotto (Risi e Bisi $20) features al dente premium Acquerello Carnaroli rice cooked in a vegetable broth with green pea puree, whole green peas and finished with a drizzle of mint-infused oil that elevates the entire dish.Guests can also indulge in time-honoured classics like Homemade Tagliatelle with Beef Bolognese (Tagliatelle Fatte in Casa alla Bolognese $22), Spaghetti Vongole (Spaghetti alla Vongole $23), and Lobster Linguine Carbonara (Linguine alla Carbonara di Astice $28).
For mains, the Milk-Stewed Codfish (Baccala’ alla Vicentina $32) that comes served with slow cooked codfish in milk, onions and anchovies and grilled polenta – is a delightful symphony of sweet-umami flavours and textures.The Stewed Veal Cheek (Guanciale di Vitello Brasato $34) which is first marinated overnight in red wine, then slow-cooked for three hours until fork-tender, and paired with whole cannelloni beans and puree is another winner with robust flavours and textures.
Other stellar presentations include the Char Grilled Black Pork Collar with Stewed Cabbage (Braciola di Maiale alla Brace con Cavolo Stufato $28); Char Grilled New Zealand Rack of Lamb with Leek and Potato Cake (Costolette di Agnello con Torta di Patate e Porro $32); or the supersized grilled T-Bone and Tomahawk steak ($108) that comes on a sizzling hot plate.The Hazelnut Panna Cotta (Pannacotta Nocciola | $12) owes its delicate nutty flavours to the luxuriance of caramelised whole hazelnuts sitting atop the divinely luscious soft-set dessert.
An easy to eat dessert both light & fluffy and smooth & creamy is the crust-less homemade Ricotta Cheesecake (Cheesecake alla Ricotta $15) served with peach compote; perfect in matching with a glass of white wine.
For busy executives on-the-go, a reasonable three-course lunch menu at $29.90 is available (including an espresso or tea). Chef Marco refreshes the menu weekly and some examples are Tuna Tartare for starters, Pan-seared Salmon or Char Grilled Beef Sirloin for mains and a selection of sorbet or gelato for dessert.
PerBacco Enoteca con Cucina
Address: 20 Craig Road, #01-03 Craig Place, Singapore 089692
Reservations: +65 6635 7130
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 10.30pm