Thursday, July 15, 2010

Basta Pasta 07-14-2010

Location: 37 West 17th St.
Time: 6:30pm
People: RB and myself

Feelings: There are times when I encounter truly fantastic meals. It does not happen often, but when it happens unexpectedly, especially when I'm on a date night with RB, it is quite a treat. When the price is somewhat within a reasonable range, that is a plus too.

RB and I have been trying to dine at Japanese style Italian restaurant, Basta Pasta for years now, but we could never get a table, or defeated by their peculiar Japanese restaurant hours every time. (They are only open from 6pm-11pm Monday through Saturday, 5pm-10pm on Sunday, and for lunch, 12pm- 2:30pm on Monday through Friday.) Since Mum was babysitting CK for our date night, we made a point of getting there close to their starting hour. To our astonishment, at 6:30pm on Wednesday, the place was packed, but we managed to get a table right in front of their open kitchen space. I highly recommend making a reservation if you want a dine here.

They first served us bread with mascarpone cheese, which awoke our palates right away. It was followed by a bread basket. I am usually not a bread person and more of a noodle gal, but this was the best bread basket I have ever had. Their wine infused raisin bread contained the perfect mixture of salty and sweet, and I almost wanted to steal more from the kitchen. I even got upset when I saw the next table not finishing their delicious gift.

We shared Insalata Mista ($7, young Boston lettuce & mesclun salad) and Kakiage with tomato sauce ($14) as appetizers. The tarragon balsamic for this refreshing salad had a deliciously smokey flavor, but the kakiage was the definite winner. The crispy tempura batter with tangy sweet bright red tomato sauce created a harmonious Japanese-Italian dish. It was a perfection.

For entrees, I had Spaghetti con Uova di Pesce ($15, spaghetti with tobiko & shiso), which I would call the best pasta dish of my life without hesitation. I have never had al dente pasta cooked this well before, and the sauce was perfectly balanced and luscious. Unlike many traditional Italian restaurants, they do not over-salt their dishes here as many Japanese cuisine wouldn't unless you're having ramen.

RB's Tagliolini con Ragu di Pesce ($17, tagliolini with Chilean sea bass ragu) was slightly more rich. This delicate yet satisfying dish had meaty chunks sea bass with delectable spicy tomato sauce. I still preferred my dish more since the pasta itself was the star of the dish, but if you need meatiness in your dish, you would enjoy this sea bass offering. Also, many customers were ordering Spaghetti con Prosiutto e Parmigiano ($16), where they would bring a giant wheel of parmigiano reggiano and prepare a dish for you at the table. If you are not afraid of cheese like us, I'd recommend ordering this dish and bathe yourself in this decadent looking cheese wheel.

We finished this heavenly meal by splitting Fifi ($9, yogurt mousse with honey gelato and Campari soaked fruit). It was light and refreshing, and we were able to leave the place without any heaviness in our stomachs.

Basta Pasta was able to bring me the joy of both culinary worlds of Japanese and Italian. The delicious pasta, bread and sauce with a twist of sensible and delicate Japanese flair-- Basta Pasta let me enjoy all the things I love in the Italian world without heaviness, saltiness or grease. They of course come with superb attentive Japanese hospitality too. If you haven't tried Basta Pasta yet, I'd reserve a table for your next birthday dinner, pronto!


Anonymous said...

Same here. I want to go for lunch, but darn it, BP doesn't open on the weekends. :(

Great to have you and your posts back. Motherhood is a beautiful thing. Hope your baby is easy to care for. Have a great weekend and good eats.

Yosh. O said...

thank you! my baby is insanely handful!!! he eats A LOT more than the average newborns--so we are always feeding him.. he sure is a son of food bloggers.

Unknown said...

A friend and I went there for lunch today. So good and the service was wonderful! The lunch prix fixe is definitely worth the trip. And these guys know how to cook some salmon. Wonderful! Thanks for recommending!

Yosh. O said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it!! I cant wait to go back for the lunch prix fixe.

Unknown said...

Definitely go back soon! The wait wasn't log at all, we got seated right away. And take me with you. :-)