Negombo's popular hotel strip is flush with bars, restaurants, and off-brand minimarkets (Tesco or Asda, anyone?), but it's often difficult to gauge which ones aren't overpriced tourist traps. We stepped away from our usual haunt Bijou and decided to check out another continental spot called Bacco.
With a name like that, it boded well.
I'm generally not a fan of orange, but it wasn't too horrific on Bacco's walls. It's a fairly small area - a few tall shelves of wine, an open pizza oven, and an al fresco dining area overlooking the beach. Perhaps a dozen tables in total, and a couple of bustling waiters (who may be the owners, we're not sure).
We found the service friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. Really nothing to complain about.
Their wine menu isn't massive, but it's a good selection of low-to-mid range Old and New World Wines. With a crisp and cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc on ice, we got cracking on our lazy lunch. The manager was nice enough to let us taste an open bottle of the house white to see if we'd like it, and when we didn't, suggested this one at a reasonable Rs. 2900.
We opted for the Bacco pizza (Rs. 1700) and a simple Spaghetti Carbonara (Rs. 1100). The food took a bit of time to come out (about 15-20 minutes), but it was worth it. The pizza dough was supple and well baked, with a deliciously meaty melange of meat and cheese slathered on top. It was a rich, well seasoned, and well-executed pizza that could easily serve as a meal for two.
The carbonara was delicious too, without a trace of scrambled egg or gratuitous fresh cream. Simple, tasty, and fresh, and definitely worth the moolah we paid.
Our only disappointment with the meal was the dessert. They didn't have the tiramisu we wanted, so we ended up with a rather uninspiring slice of cake ("brownie-type of cake", we were told). It came with some berry sauce and ice cream, and just didn't hold our interest at all. Fun Fact: They also spelled it "bra wine" on the bill, which we loved.
Apart from the dessert, we had a perfect dining experience. No frills, no incompetence, just simple ambience and service with great Italian fare and cheap wine. That's a recommendation from us!