Bacchus’ Kitchen up in Pasadena has been on my list of places to eat ever since I arrived in Pasadena. It would have been on the list for a much shorter period of time, however, if they hadn’t surprised my family and me with a fixed price menu on New Year’s Eve clocking in at $110 per person. This was shocking because we were never told when we made the reservation and because they normal menu is shockingly reasonably priced – with steaks in the sub-$30 range. Nonetheless, the employees were super understanding when we left and I vowed to return.
Thus, I arrived excited to grab some quality upscale food and it all began with an amuse-bouche of a mini puff with goat cheese, a chili jam and crispy rosemary. It was a hell of a way to start out for an unvegan and prepared my palette for my main course.
Of course, this was not an easy decision, but in my heart I knew I had to try the Dionysus Burger. Dionysus, by the way, is the Greek god of wine and intoxication and went by the name Bacchus in Rome. I know what you’re thinking…mind…blown!
Anyway, this burger was topped with drunken goat cheese, a port wine reduction and caramelized onions on a poppy seed and onion brioche bun. It also came with hand cut fries and curry ketchup. I ordered medium-rare without the onions and looked forward to my burger. It came out looking like a beauty and I was happy to bite in an find it was cooked perfectly. Not only that, the beef was just packed with meaty flavor and little distraction. The toppings were nice, but somehow not too relevant when it came to taste. Unfortunately, while this burger was cooked perfectly it actually turned out to be pretty dry in the middle. I’m assuming it was due to the burger being some lean cut of beef, but it didn’t work out as well as it should have.
The fries were delicious and the curry ketchup was undoubtedly a nice touch, but in the end they were nothing more than a side. I’d love to get back and test out the short ribs and New York strip, as my eating companions ordered those and loved them, because while the burger carried a boatload of potential it fell short of what it could have been.