Anything to declare at customs? Sì! Bacino è bellissimo!
It’s plush, it’s cosy and it’s inviting. Three words to describe the ambience of Havnegade’s very own bar, restaurant and grill house, Custom House. Sited in an oval building that used to be the city’s Customs department, the restaurant certainly stands out in the posh quarters of the city. Housed in the building is an Italian restaurant, Bacino, a swanky cocktail bar, a bar & grill and Ebisu, a Japanese eatery. But my evening at Custom House was all about discovering Bacino.
Like most guests, we started our evening with a drink at the cocktail bar. My drink of choice was a delicious Rhubarb Fizz, a drink made with rhubarb and ginger jam all the way from the UK, with a splash of lemon juice, sparkling water, added to which was nothing less than a portion of Sobieski vodka, from the estate of the same name, which apparently is the best vodka in the world. My dining partner chose a Honey Smash, a drink made with the same Sobieski vodka in addition to fresh raspberries, strawberries, acacia honey, lemon and mint. As the bar was still serving the summer cocktail menu, there was a range of house special cocktails made with fresh ingredients and summer fruits, so that one can almost indulge without feeling too guilty.
As I enjoyed the drink, I took a minute to examine the layout and surroundings. The set-up of Custom House is very definitely unique, for this is a restaurant where one can find three different kitchens serving as many cuisines, each with its own very distinctive décor. But yet they are all under just one roof without a dividing door. And then there is the waterfront, which can be enjoyed from three different sides of the Custom House.
Shortly, we were escorted to the part of the building that calls itself Bacino, the Italian restaurant. Our waiter for the evening, Salvatore Mastruzzo, and it must be made clear at this point that the service level was extraordinary, showed us to our seats and poured us a glass of Franciacorta Brut Storica 61 Berlucchi, Lombardia. This was followed by the house special appetiser of tomato and fresh basil, artichoke and watermelon with bread, Modena balsamic vinegar and Umbrian olive oil.
I opted for the four-course tasting menu, and my courses included an anitpasto of Grilled cuttlefish with rosemary and crispy potatoes, a primo of Black ravioli with bandade, tomato concasse dressed with basil and garlic. As is tradition, a secondo followed, which was a delicious plate of Pan-fried sea bream with tomato, capers and olive sauce. To finish off this wonderful array of courses was a serving of Millefeuille with lemon cream and berries.
With these courses we were served some well chosen glasses of wine that complemented each dish. Among the wines we were served were: the 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo, Cigliuti, the 1998 Marsala Targa Florio, Sicilia, the 2010 Dolcetto d`Alba Elio Altare, the 2009 Chardonnay Collezione de Marchi Isole & Olena , the 2010 Dolcetto d`Alba Priavino Voerzio and the 2009 Sauvignon Piere Vie di Romans.
The food and wine at Bacino certainly lives up to expectation, but where this restaurant sets a higher bar than its counterparts is in the service. At no point during the evening did we or any of the other guests have to try to get the waiting staffs’ attention or check our watches and wonder when the next course was going to arrive. Having someone like Salvatore attending to you, with his experience and knowledge of food and wine, gives dining at Bacino a whole new meaning, making the experience a crash course in Italian cuisine. What’s more, the chef at Bacino is none other than Salvatore’s brother Vincenzo.
There aren’t many restaurants in Copenhagen where one can find the combined culinary skills and service excellence of a sibling duo. So if you are looking for Italian food, and would like to experience the artistry of these two gentlemen, I recommend finding a table facing the water at Bacino.
Custom House, Havnegade 44,
Cph K; 3331 0130;
Open: Mon-Sat 18:00-22:00, closed Sun;
Top Dish: Grilled cuttlefish
Price Range: 4-course menu: 595kr, with wine: 1,200kr www.bacino.customhouse.dk