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Cafes

Caffe Bacio

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on January 13, 2012

Caffe BacioCaffe Bacio owner Gianni Salvati is a familiar face on Cumberland. "Thirty-seven years," he tells me, leaning back in a maroon high-back chair. "I've been here 37 years, and you know, now it was time for a change."

Caffe BacioHe admits that some of his friends think he's crazy for starting a new venture at age 67. Especially since Gianni has already garnered a reputation as one of the foremost high-end clothiers in Yorkville. Before Caffe Bacio opened about two weeks ago, the space was the home of Salvati Fashions, which offered Gianni's hand-picked selection of premium menswear from Italy and abroad.

Caffe Bacio"Clothing, obviously, has always been my passion," Gianni says. "But my other passion has always been food."

Motivated by his daughter, Gianni decided to finally make the swap, and named the cafe, in a sense, after her. "When she was little," he says, immediately starting to tear up, "she would stand at the top of the stairs and say, 'Bacio! Bacio!' with her arms stretched out, every time I came home."

Caffe BacioBacio, Gianni notes, means "kiss" in Italian. Appropriately, Gianni has adorned the walls of his new cafe with framed black and white photos of famous kisses.

Caffe BacioThe concept is Italian through and through, and true to form, it's insisted that I have a cappuccino ($2.80/$3.10) as we continue our conversation. The drink comes with a feeble attempt at foam art (Gianni concedes that Italians aren't great with presentation), but it is absolutely delicious. Creamy and smooth with a subtle, well-rounded richness. The coffee is a special blend by Italian roaster Lavazza, used to make regular shots ($1.85/$2.35), espresso con panna ($2.20/$2.60), lattes ($2.80/$3.10) and more.

Caffe BacioUnfortunately for me I've come at the wrong time, since pizza and panini production has halted for the day. Nevertheless, Gianni lets me peek in at where his prize-hire Italian chef makes magic with a Moretti stone pizza oven. (The pastries and baked goods, it should be noted, are French). Lunch items will be around $12 to $18, and Gianni is hoping to keep cooking until dinnertime as well. For now, the cafe is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and does not offer WiFi in a deliberate attempt to encourage conversation. Or baci.

Caffe BacioCaffe BacioCaffe BacioCaffe BacioPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

12 Comments

Maureen / January 13, 2012 at 02:59 pm
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OMG does this place look so magnifico and cooool! I gotta go there NOW!
Sandman / January 13, 2012 at 10:42 pm
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Really nice to see Yorkville FINALLY get more cafe options.
Hopefully, it means the end of "don't-know-any-better-bad-taste-trendsters" walking around with Starbucks cups.
Marc / January 16, 2012 at 01:01 pm
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Tell me about it, Sandman! And enough with the big corporations with no soul, it's time to take action ourselves by supporting local businesses, at the community or national level.
Joe / January 16, 2012 at 07:24 pm
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Great place... Nice atmosphere and the staff was very friendly!
janet jenkins / January 30, 2012 at 02:25 pm
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I love the soups the steak sandwich is amazing it is fun relaxed good service very good prices I have eaten there about 6 times in two weeks great Pizza thin crust etc
Lorella / April 12, 2012 at 10:15 am
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Hey Gianni...if I give you a bacio, can I have a cappucchino on the house???
XX
Francesca / May 12, 2012 at 05:01 pm
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Great place - nice atmosphere and coffee. Nice idea to encourage conversations with no Wi-Fi, but Yorkville needs places to sit, have a coffee and do some work on the laptop.
Stacey / June 24, 2012 at 09:43 pm
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I have now been to Bacio three times (twice for eat and once for take out) and the service, decor and FOOD are awesome!!! We tried omelette, sandwich and pizza: the ingredients are high quality and tastes and textures are very nicely balanced. I feel like we're eating good, simple, home-cooked meals when we go. The decor is very nicely, like a venetian cafè, enjoy my lunch/brunch with an authentic italian capuccino in a sunny patio. I'm so excited that there's finally some good quality, delicious, casual food in yorkville!
z / October 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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very fine coffee and pastries! I've only had one sandwich there and it was pretty disappointing, so it's not on my list for lunch, but nice to spend a few minutes in the afternoon with a cappuccino!
future coffee shop owner / March 30, 2014 at 05:14 pm
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This cafe has the worst coffee I have ever tried! It would be better if Gianni Salvati just went on with clothing business
Nadia / April 20, 2014 at 09:20 pm
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BACIO: Very BAD

I don't like it. Rip up - very expensive and bad quality food
Angie / May 11, 2014 at 01:18 pm
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Food was okay. Service was very poor! I'd rather have gone to MBCO.

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