A look from the front

There’s a brand new speakeasy in Wichita and it’s called Gianni Bacci’s. They are located at 301 N. Washington, right at the northwest corner of Washington and 2nd Street. (Website Listing) They are open Sunday Noon to Midnight, Monday -Thursday 2 pm to 2 am and Friday – Saturday from Noon to 2 am.

Gianni Bacci’s is an upscale drinking establishment that features high end whiskies, wines and beers along with high end cocktails and tapas (which is essentially another word for appetizers).

They just opened up this past weekend and a couple friends and I decided to make a quick stop on Sunday to get a first hand look at Wichita’s newest bar. Between my friends and I we have over 50 years of drinking experience and a centuries worth of eating experience. So who better to go check out this new establishment than us?

Walking in, it’s a very upscale bar; limited seating to roughly 40 people and a beautiful patio that has a great view of Washington. I can imagine the patio being packed after the workday is over. The designs and colors alone bring you back to the days of 1920’s well before this blog was started…..or before there was even the Internet.

Looking at the bar seating, you may notice there are two red chairs in the middle of a row of black chairs. What is the significance of the red chairs? Back in 1940’s, the then Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini was aligned with the Axis Powers. There were plans to overthrow the government and a political leader by the name of Vincent Gianni Bacci formed a group of men to gain information to pass on to the Allied Powers. To know who to trust, members of the Allied Italian Alliance would place red jackets over their chairs as a sign of membership. The exchange of information between the members that would be sent via code to the English and American government would go on to lead to the arrest of Benito Mussolini. Thus the two red chairs you see inside Gianni Bacci’s is a badge of honor and a token of acknowledgement towards the namesake of the bar.

Now after you read all of that, I have to say I made that completely up. The two red chairs are just a random design you see inside. Nothing more.

On to more important things, what can you, the readers, expect from Gianni Bacci’s? They have an excellent cocktail menu. I should note, this bar is tailored made for people in their 30’s and older, business professionals, and people just looking to get a relaxing drink. It’s not a sports bar, it’s not a bar college kids come in and go crazy, and it’s not the type of venue you come in and ask what their drink specials are. It’s more refined for lack of a better word. I’m told they will offer wine specials in the future though. It’s not your typical downtown type of bar which is nice and a change of scenery; a much needed change of scenery from what most people envision in a bar downtown. My friends and I had a different assortment of different cocktails and they were all great. The bartender really takes his time to make sure all the cocktails are made properly. There honestly wasn’t a drink we ordered that we disliked.

As for the tapas, Gianni Bacci’s was still getting their food ordered and ready to go from the opening. Some of the items they didn’t have available but hoped to have it altogether soon. One of the items that stuck out was the Duck Platter. (At the end of this blog, I took some snippets out of the menu that I’ll post at the end of the blog). The general manager said they didn’t have the duck ready but they were still able to put together a platter for us. What the chef made for us consisted of duck confit, duck sausage, honey, pita chips, brie and havarti cheese. All of it was very good, admittedly I’ve never had something like it in a restaurant. We were all fans of the customized platter the chef prepared for us. For the record, I avoided the brie and havarti cheese.

At the recommendation of the chef and the general manager, we tried two different wings they had on the menu: the PB&J wings and the Garlic, Salt and Pepper wings. The consensus favorite from the three of us was the Garlic, Salt and Pepper wings. They were very delicious, juicy, full of flavor, and tender. Sometimes you get wings that have so much sauce that it takes away from the wing experience. That is not the case with these wings. And the PB&J wings? Yes, they have PB&J wings. This is an item that most people will see and order it at least once to see what it’s all about.  The wings are covered in peanut butter and jelly; the moment the wings are brought out you can really smell the PB&J. There’s a bit of a Thai taste to the wings, not as much PB&J as you’d think. To put it best they are interesting and unique; not bad by any means. There wasn’t any kick to the wings; I’m going to have to bring some other friends there to get their opinions on the wings.

To end our first look at Gianni Bacci’s, we ordered the Rings and Tails which is their calamari and crawfish seasoned and deep fried and served with roasted garlic lime aioli sauce. We all felt the calamari and crawfish was a great meal to end our day on. The roasted garlic lime aioli sauce needed a little bite to it, so we mixed in some sriracha in there and just went to town on the Rings and Tails. Both items were delightful. A friend noted the calamari was lightly breaded which was a good thing because too much breading on a fried item is just too much.

Fried Fishy Goodness

Throughout the day, the bartender, general manager and chef took time out of their day to see what we thought of the food we ordered. They asked for our honest opinion of the items and they took it all in with appreciation. We had a great experience on our first look into the recently opened Gianni Bacci’s. We liked we we saw from our first time in on their opening weekend. Like all new places, they still have some kinks to work out but they are on a good path. I can definitely see myself spending time there after work on a weekday on the patio in the summer.

……….and that folks is your first look into Gianni Bacci’s. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed experiencing it.

Happy Dining

Now for the menu snippets:

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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