One of my colleagues, Abe, has been talking about Basta Pasta for a while and so, Jodi and I decided to go there for dinner. Little did I know that this place first opened in Tokyo, back in 1985, with the concept of having an open kitchen so diners could enjoy a sort of cooking show, offering entertainment as well as good food. Five years later, they opened their Chelsea location, where Chef Takada crafted a creative menu inspired from classic Italian dishes.
When we arrived, the restaurant was packed and the kitchen staff was extremely busy, going back and forth from the kitchen to the refrigerators that were right behind the bar. The dining room was nice, with some light so we could see our food, but I thought that they crammed too many tables in there, especially on the sides. Food wise, their menu was definitely mouth watering and I was not sure what to order...I started off by ordering a glass of red wine, a Pinot Nero (Pint Noir) 2015 from Lombardy:
Then, they brought us a bread basket, as well as some toast made with gorgonzola and mascarpone, a delicious way to start, although I wish there was more cheese.
Next, came the appetizers. Jodi went for the Cartoccio di Funghi Misti, a dish made of three kinds of mushrooms baked inside a cooking paper with thyme, garlic and olive oil. The presentation was great: they came with the cooking paper that was like a bag in which the mushrooms were. And it was so good, very earthy.
On my side, I went for the Polpo or braised octopus, served with fingerling potatoes, radishes, olive flakes, pangrattato (Italian for bread crumbs), and a paprika tomato sauce. It was quite good, the octopus being well cooked, very tender, made a bit too much: I wish it was a bit grilled to give a nice char to it and some bite.
Next were the entrees. Jodi went for the spaghetti con mozzarella, pomodoro e funghi, that is spaghetti with mozzarella, parmesan, shiitake mushrooms, basil and fresh tomato sauce. I should mention that it was an appetizer portion: yes, they do propose such portion for their pasta that is great for people who have a small appetite and want to order an appetizer, of for people who want to share several dishes.
On my side, I went for the Spaghetti con prosciutto e parmigiano, which is spaghetti with prosciutto di Parma and parmigiana reggiano, prepared in half wheel of parmesan cheese, table side. First, the preparation was nice, attracting the attention of dinners. They first tossed the spaghetti in the cheese, then put the pasta on a plate and added some of the melted cheese, lots of it. They finished with the prosciutto on top. This was succulent: first, I should mention that for both dishes, the spaghetti was cooked al dente and had a nice bite. This dish was so good: there was a lot of cheese and I loved the combination with the prosciutto that added a succulent saltiness to the dish.
Last was dessert. We decided to go with their signature tiramisu that was delightfully creamy. A good way to end the meal.
Our dinner at Basta Pasta was sublime: the food there was delicious and I loved watching the kitchen. I would definitely go back there and recommend this place.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post, the photos or the blog, please feel free to share it or post a comment. Merci!
Basta Pasta - 37 W 17th Street, New York, NY 10011