By February 1, 2012 0 Comments Read More →

Barflys judge Mojitos & Bloodys

BarVIEW Bacchus By Kate Serpa

For whatever sick, sick reason, I absolutely LOVE Valentines Day; it just so happens to be my favorite holiday. I usually keep this declaration to myself as it often earns me skeptical looks and raised eyebrows coupled with a condescending ‘why?’ Why you ask? Beneath my compelling, beautifully cold, and perfectly eyeliner-ed visage, I do believe I may be a bit of a romantic. Or it may have to do with the abundance of See’s chocolate and cheap champagne circulating that day. And despite the fact my closet is about as color-diverse as Johnny Cash’s, Valentines Day is the one day I will voluntarily wear pink and not hate myself for it.

Valentines does pack quite the high-expectations-for-date-night punch, however, and some of you may be unawares as to where to actually take your date. Never fear, ModestoView readers, for I have written this article specifically for you. Consider it a Valentine from me to all you uniformed types. So with my father, Rick, as my Valentines interview date (cue audience: aww!) off we went to Bacchus.

I originally went to Bacchus for the mojitos. I have a barfly friend who states you can always judge a bar by their mojitos and Bloody Marys (however I think he’s a bit biased since those are just his two favorite drinks). I had heard tales of Bacchus’ fantastic mojitos (thanks to Ben, the “Mojito King”) and extensive wine list so obviously I had to make a trip on by. Upon entering Bacchus, I was struck by how damn pretty the interior of the establishment is. Bacchus boasts a ceiling-high wall of liquors, with a rigged library ladder to aid in reaching the top shelves, a huge above-ground wine cellar, and a sizable area for dining/dancing/dancing while dining. Bacchus also boasts an enormous wine list with 30 by the glass and available split bottles. For those of you who like tequila (most of you know I do not), there are over 20 tequilas available; if scotch is more your speed, the list reaches over 20 as well. In summary, there’s a ton of really delicious stuff there. Be sure to try the delectable Cappuccini.

Rod Oldfield has been working at Bacchus since day one (which would be five years ago this month), has been in the restaurant business since he was 15, and has earned major points with me for that one time he brought me out a shot glass full of bleu cheese-filled olives. Rod is also a substitute teacher for City Schools and wants to eventually become ajunior high/high schoolteacher. He was born and raised in Modesto, went to UC Santa Cruz to get his degree in politics (a perfect degree for a bartender if I do say so), and moved out of state thereafter. He ultimately decided to move back to Modesto because he fell in love with hiswife, Stacy (audience cue: aww!).

So what, according to Rod, makes Bacchus extraordinary? “This place has two phases,” he stated. “On the weekdays it’s a great restaurant and on weekend nights the tables get pushed back and becomes a great bar. The food, drinks, and atmosphere concept is basically upscale comfort. We deliver a good mix and we keep it affordable. My best experiences in bartending have been in local and independent places. They are the best spots. I never have to wear a nametag. It’s better for everything, for the city and the employees.” Rod just saved me a whole paragraph of writing with that fantastic quote; thank god I can write in shorthand so could get it all down.

In short, Valentines Day people, Bacchus is a pretty ideal location for any romantic schmoozing you may be up for on Feburary 14th; and if things don’t work out as planned, you’ll at least have quick access to a delicious drink. Either way it’s a win-win. The staff is incredibly nice, the atmposhere is lovely, and Rod always delivers out fantastic drinks.

Wed: 6-8 pm is wine tasting and food pairing night! Fri-Sat: DJ, dancing, debauchery (kidding). Sun-Mon: Closed Happy Hour is 3-6 pm every weekday: $3 well & beer, $5 mojitos, $6 appetizers

Bacchus 1200 I St. Modesto 209.576.8994 Bar Bites

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About the Author:

Kate Serpa does not live in Modesto, CA, nor does she attend court-reporting school. She has not played for the piano for a number of years and she is definitely not excited about helping out at the McHenry Museum. She detests drinking, bar hopping, and late night adventures, and thinks girls who dye their hair red are disgraceful. She has absolutely zero sense of humor and is boring as hell.