Birthday Dinner at Basta Pasta - Flatiron, NYC

As you may or may not know, my birthday was last month and I had multiple celebrations (good cause I ate a lot of delicious foods, but bad because the calories added up). The first celebration was at Basta Pasta with my girlfriends and Will. Will and I have already been to Basta Pasta for our 3rd year anniversary, but I wanted to give Basta Pasta a second chance. 

We came to Basta Pasta on a Friday evening and boy was it a packed house, but luckily we made reservations so we didn't have to struggle with the wait. 

Red Sangria & Pompelmo
We started off with drinks. I got a Red Sangria and everyone else got the Pompelmo. The red sangria was very refreshing and fruity, loved it!  Everyone else got the Pompelmo (fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice, fresh mint, soda, tonic *non-alcoholic*) and it was refreshing as well!

Bread & Bread sticks
We got an assortment of bread, breadsticks, and bread with fish spread. I've had the bread with fish spread before, but amazingly it didn't taste fishy at all.

Appetizers
We shared four appetizers: Asparagi Gratinati (al dente asparagus, golden Parmesan crust) , Calamari alla Griglia (grilled squid, homemade sausage stuffed with curry risotto, golden raisins, pistachios, and prosciutto), Spaghetti ai Ricci di Mare *appetizer size* (spaghetti,fresh Sea Urchin, fresh tomatoes, JalapeƱos, garlic oil, and fresh basil), and Tonno Fresco Scottato (prime tuna tataki, original wasabi tartar sauce, cucumber fingerling potatoes, hearts of palm, saffron orange sauce).

The aspragi gratinati was delicious. The asparagus was cooked al dent as the menu description said and that golden Parmesan crust had a slight crunch and was tasty. The calamari alla griglia was very different, but just a medley of delicious flavors and textures. The calamari wasn't overcooked, thankfully. My friend ordered the spaghetti ai ricci di mare, but I didn't try it only because I feel quite squeamish when I see Sea Urchin. She also ordered the Tonno Fresco Scottato which I tried and didn't enjoy because it was spicy and just not a fan of tuna at all.

Entrees
Will had the Trancio di Salmone (charcoal-grilled Scottish Salmon fillet with grilled vegetables)  and our friends ordered these for their entrees - Tagliolini con Ragu di Pesce (homemade Tagliolini, Chilean Sea Bass ragu,capers, shredded zucchini in a spicy tomato sauce), Crespelle con Funghi e Ricotta (Homemade silk handkerchief pasta, mixed mushrooms, lemon zest, and ricotta cheese) and
Spaghetti con Proscuitto e Parmigiano  served in a half wheel of Parmesan cheese at the table.

I tried the salmon from Will's dish and I wasn't very pleased with it. Although it was cooked to the right texture, it tasted very bland - could have used a little salt and pepper. I didn't try everyone's dish, but everything looked amazing!

Fettuccine alla Bolognese
I ordered the Fettuccine alla Bolognese (homemade Fettuccine with Basta Pasta original meat sauce). I really, really enjoyed my entree because the texture of the fettuccine was different compared to other pastas I've had before. The fettuccine here feels a lot thicker but tastier since it was homemade and the sauce tastes amazing.

Overall, the experience at Basta Pasta was pleasant and exquisite. Food was on point and service as well. It looks like the food at Basta Pasta has improved and I was very happy with the quality.


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