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March 29, 2010

Dinner at Basta Pasta

Earlier tonight (yesterday rather) Alen and I went to see Fuerza Bruta. Fuerza Bruta is an off-Broadway show, the nature of which is hard to describe. It is a feast for the eyes, ears, body and soul. In one hour, it demonstrates a range of human emotions through dance, music, lighting and other technological effects (giant treadmills, oversized confetti, a plastic see-through ceiling on which the dancers are splashing in water, etc.) It is dream-like yet nightmarish. And before you know it, the audience is a part of the show and dancing like no one’s looking. It’s just something you have to see for yourself, so if you live in New York or ever visit, you simply must see this show! For more information: CLICK HERE.

We planned to go to Petite Abeille afterward but on our way there we noticed Basta Pasta across the street and became quite curious. We crossed the street to take a closer look and see the menu. Being intrigued by the menu and seeing the open kitchen through the window, our curiosity grew. We decided to flip a coin – heads Basta, tails Petite Abeille…Heads.

We were seated immediately, in the well-lit, simply-decorated restaurant, with a full view of the kitchen. We were confused as to why a seemingly Italian restaurant has an almost entirely Japanese staff – upon coming home and doing some quick research I found out that Basta Pasta was established in Japan in the ‘80’s and was somehow inspired by Iron Chef. I didn’t find any other information so I am still confused…maybe someone can enlighten me?

We ordered the Gnocchi di Zucca appretizer and for my main course, I ordered the Spaghetti con Prosciutto e Parmigiano.

The bread basket held four different types of bread and came with an excellent, fruity extra virgin olive oil for dipping. As I tend to judge restaurants by the bread they serve, we were off to a mighty good start. All four breads were fresh and delicious.

The gnocchi came next. Oh boy, were these good. They were like tiny pillows of clouds – the dough must’ve been kneaded by angels in heaven. The pumpkin flavor was subtle and perfectly accented by the sage cream sauce the gnocchi were served with. This was my favorite part of the meal.

My pasta was served to me tableside out of half a Parmigiano wheel! It was tossed in a cheesy cream sauce and topped with prosciutto and basil. This was a simple, homey, unpretentious dish. It was delicious but not unforgettable.

We were full after our food so we skipped dessert. Overall, it was a great dinner.

Basta Pasta

37 West 17 St.

New York, NY 10011