Address: 37 West 17th Street, New York, NY
Many of our friends recommended Basta Pasta restaurant in New York City and we finally got a table for dinner tonight. The restaurant has a nice open kitchen, very "Iron Chef". The food was not bad, but strangely, about 99% of the customers who ate there tonight were Asians! But it does make sense since if I were to tell my American Italian friends about Basta Pasta, they will surely say "THAT'S NOT ITALIAN!!" lol.... Gan: It was ok. I wasn't as wowed by it as Sarah but it certainly has the authentic Japanese Italian ala Iron Chef Italian Masahiko Kobe essence. Clean, small portion but still sophisticated with a French influence.
Bread sticks were addictive! We couldn't stop eating!! Gan: Great way to start the meal. Sourdoughy taste to the crunchy bread sticks and olive oil with a strong olive essence.
Foie Gras Meatball. Gan:I noticed Japanese Italian dishes uses this type of japanese cucumber a lot for garnish or salad.
Inside of the Foie Gras Meatball. Gan: This is yummy. Crispy breaded meatball outside, chewy creamy foie gras inside.
We ordered Fresh Fish Carpaccio of the day and Foie Gras Meatball for appetizers. Fresh fish of the day was Fluke, but we thought the dish was quite blend, as it needed more seasoning. The Foie Gras Meatball was good actually. It was quite crunchy on the outside and it has the Foie Gras in the center of the meatball. It tasted like an expensive hamburg steak :)
Gan: Now I understand why the judges in Iron Chefs always say things like "Oh, this evokes the feeling of being at the sea somewhere in Italy at some ancient time.... blah blah - cue for sound of sea water beating on the beach and some accompanied cheesy music". It does taste very fresh and sea-like!
Gan ordered the Langoustine Spaghetti while I decided to go with the Fish Roe Spaghetti. The Langoustine dish has a nice rich seafood flavor to it, while my Fish Roe Spaghetti was like what I've expected, light and very "Japanese". Gan: A bit disappointed to see they use the same instant spaghetti as what we use for cooking Italian at our home (De Cecco). I guess you can't expect fresh made pasta all the time. But they sure excel on the saucing part though. Maybe we would have gotten fresh made pasta if we ordered something that's less common than spaghetti like parpadelle.
Basta Pasta's Original Tiramisu
The appetizers and the main course were relatively small portions, so we had space for some desserts. Gan ordered Basta Pasta's Original Tiramisu while I went with the Parmagiano- Reggiano Cake. Tiramisu was just ok, but the Parmigiano-Reggiano cake was fantastic. Light and fluffy!
Gan: Reminds me of Joker from Batman
Gan: Yummy.. fluffy
We would definitely recommend Basta Pasta. However be sure to go in to the restaurant with an open mind if you are used to traditionally prepared/American Italian dishes, since Basta Pasta is a Japanese take on Italian cuisine. The use of Japanese ingredients in pasta dishes is what makes this restaurant interesting. The only con that we can think of is that the restaurant does not make its own pasta. Gan: Good quality food and certainly an authentic Japanese Italian place if you're into a lighter version of Italian when you're in NYC. It was part of a Tokyo-based chain.