Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Basi Italia is A Hidden Treasure

I've heard great things about this little hidden neighborhood restaurant for a long time and my fiance couldn't figure out where exactly it is until last week. So as soon as we figured out how to get there, we were there!

The place was very small and is pretty hidden, but the restaurant was full of charm. The inside was very cozy with mood lighting, and the outdoor seating was like one of those HGTV back yard patios. I've fallen in love with the place already! Before we ordered, the waitress brought us some bread and olive oil infused with roasted garlic, basil, and balsamic vinegar. Right then and there I knew that I would love this restaurant because it actually served roasted garlic!

The menu was full of neo-Italian dishes with a mixture of flavors. I've ordered their soup special, which was strawberry with balsamic vinegar for appetizer. The soup sounded new and the balsamic vinegar and strawberry combination seemed interesting. And the soup was a pleasant surprise! The coldness of the soup and the sweetness of the strawberry were very refreshing, which was great for summer dish. The balsamic vinegar kicked up the soup a little bit, and the watercress inside the soup gave a little spiciness to the sweet soup and rounded out the dish very well. My fiance ordered s prosciutto and melon salad for an appetizer and the dish was also amazing. The saltiness of prosciutto combined with the sweetness of melon and fresh mint, combined with a little bit of black pepper, makes it not hard to understand why this dish was a summer favorite.

For the main course, I had their risotto frutti de mare, which was a mix between risotto and paella. The rice in this dish was a longer grain, so the risotto was not as starchy and creamy as a short grain, but with the combination of the seafood and saffron (that's real saffron, extremely fragrant and delicious saffron...), the dish was extremely delicious. The mussel and shrimp were done perfectly, which were hard to do because seafood is very easy to overcook. The dish was also topped with a variety of greens, which made the dish even more refreshing. My fiance had their pork chop with braised apple, sage, and maple-cherry jus and the dish was also amazing. The pork chop was done perfectly juicy and moist. The tartness of the black cherry gave the usual apple sauce a different twist, which made the otherwise plain dish more interesting. The dish was so good that even the pork chop was at least 14 oz., my fiance devoured it and left nothing on his plate.

The food was absolutely amazing and the place was charming as well. I would rank the food 4.5 out of 5 on my yummy scale. I was so happy that we found the hidden treasure, that I was even contemplating moving to the apartment next door! But then my fiance reminded me that we would be moving to our new place soon and blah, blah, blah. Anyways, if you want to try a friendly neighborhood place that had better quality of food than your regular friendly neighborhood Applebee, please go to 811 Highland St. Cols OH 43215. www.basi-italia.com


Tim J. said...

Just look for the alley with all the lined-up pastel Vespas. ;)

Love this place! My girlfriend and I went on one of our early dates, and we plan to return this month.

I had a raw tuna appetizer that was really good--almost like Italian sushi--and I remember that I had a pasta dish with raisins in it, which was a really unexpected but highly successful flavor match.

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What she didn't mention was that we dragged our friends out the next night to have it again, once again eating to painful excess...

Tim J. said...


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