Basta Pasta is a Italian restaurant, done Japanese way. I heard world renown chefs all over the world say that Japanese chefs (in Japan) somehow perfects any cuisine from the world. That might be true… so, here at Basta Pasta, Japanese chefs do their best to bring you very delicious Italian cuisine their own way. The interior was simple and clean, and with high ceilings, it made the space feel much bigger. The servers were nice and polite, the service was good, nothing to complain about.
We went during the lunch, and they have a pretty good lunch Prix Fixe menu, which comes with soup or salad, main dish, dessert, and choice of coffee, espresso, or tea. If you choose pasta dish as the main, it is $19, if you choose meat of fish dish, it is $24. Not bad when you are getting all that. They start you off with several kinds of sliced bread and olive oil, which were really nice. Olive oil was somehow a bit creamier and tastier.
The Mixed Green Salad was super fresh, and the dressing was nice too, not too strong or too oily. It was a bit bigger than expected, great quality. The Minestrone Soup came with lots of veggies, and seems they use less seasoning, so it felt light, instead of being too salty. The veggies were nice, but the soup itself was nothing really special.
As for main dish, we chose Bow Tie Pasta with Salmon and Spaghetti with Eggplant. The Bow Tie Pasta came with Home-smoked Salmon, Asparagus, Fresh Tomatoes, and Grain Mustard Cream Sauce. It was creamy, with a little sweetness and a little kick from the mustard sauce. The salmon was cooked perfectly, soft and flaky, without being dry. Pasta had nice consistency, and it was the right kind of pasta to take all that creamy sauce up onto the bow tie crease. It was really tasty, and the sauce was sooo good, we had to get more bread so that we could soak up all that goodness into the bread and eat it clean off the plate! The Spaghetti with Eggplant came with Fresh Basil, Fresh Tomato, and Tapenade. The eggplant had great flavor, and the spaghetti also was cooked perfectly, and the sauce was very tasty as well, nice flavor from the olives, capers, and anchovies of the tapenade. They were both very delicious! Especially the pasta was very high quality and it was filling.
While we were enjoying our pasta dish, we started to see this very interesting thing that servers were bringing to other tables. It was their house specialty, “Spaghetti, Parmigiano Reggiano & Parma Prosciutto, and Basil. They bring this half cheese block to the table, and shave off the cheese off the inside, mix it with spaghetti, serve it on a plate, put some prosciutto and basil, and then the beautiful, creamy, cheesy pasta is served. Although this dish is not a part of Prix Fixe menu, I would definitely have to get this dish next time! It is $16 during lunch hours.
Their Homemade Dessert of the day was Blood Orange Panna Cotta. It was creamy yet fluffy, not overly sweet, light, very tasty. The flavor of the blood orange was really present in the panna cotta, and, having the actual fruits on top made it even better. The coffee was strong and had great coffee bean flavor. I know Italians (or Europeans in general) really enjoys their coffee, I think it is great that this place paid enough attention to their coffee quality as well.
Overall, it was a very pleasant lunch. We were full and happy. The restaurant was clean, service was good, and food was delicious. I would definitely go back to try that special pasta dish!
Basta Pasta – 37 W 17th St, New York, NY 10011