Bacaro bacaro


Famed for my love of the mighty Negroni, I was recommended to try out the ‘Campari Bar’ which has opened beneath Polpo restaurant on Beak St. On Tuesday night at just after 6 (you need to get there early for any chance of a seat) we wandered through the main restaurant  and down the stairs into a tiny, very dingy room with red lighting and candles.  The room contains a small bar area as well as about four small tables, upon each of which you find your ‘instructions’.

The bar is decorated with classic Campari campaign posters

These (essential in our disorientation) explain that the bar is based on a traditional Venetian   where the form is to pick a wine or spritz (or cocktail!) and point at a couple of the snack or canapé style foods in a small glass cabinet at the bar.  NB – The snacks are not optional as it forms part of the license that you have some food with your Campari!

We ordered a Negroni and an Americano – they were mixed perfectly but I did feel slightly hard done by as these were served in thimble sized glasses which would hardly have satisfied a Borrower!  In the spirit of ‘when in Venice’, our drinks were accompanied by one of all six ‘snacks’ on offer.   Each served on a cocktail stick, these included a small inch-wide square of filled bread which I can only describe as a rather ordinary tuna sandwich, a similar sandwich with salmon, fennel and anchovy on a stick, ham and cheese with an olive, artichoke heart and finally two king prawns in a garlicky sauce.

In addition to Campari the other ‘hero’ spirit behind the bar was Apperol – the lovely barman informed me that  Apperol is the aperitif of choice for Venetians, usually served as a spritz.  He gave me a small taste and it was delicious – very similar to Campari but slightly sweeter and lighter.  Apparently it is not widely sold in the UK but I will be hunting a bottle down as my drink du choix this summer.

My new tipple

We sipped our miniature cocktails and devoured our miniature bar snacks in about 4 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed them.  In spite of this, I don’t think we will be rushing back to the Campari bar, it is almost uncomfortably dark and our two thimbles of cocktail and microscopic sandwiches came to a whopping £21; nevertheless,  as a one-off experience it was good fun and well worth a visit.

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