Basi Italia, Columbus, Feels Like a Neighborhood Dinner Party

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Basi Italia by Angela Roberts

Basi Italia is a place that might entice me to move to the beautifully revitalized neighborhood, Victorian Village. I would stroll over at least once a week to see the specials and talk to my neighbors, as I’m sure this is a neighborhood hang, where people feel welcome and blessed to get treated to the unexpected amidst the charm.

I would invite you to join me, as if I’d invited you to my home, because if Spinach Tiger had a restaurant, this would be it.

We could visit together for a wine tasting on the patio on Wednesday nights for their Vino on the Veranda.

Basi offers Italian and Mediterranean food, striking the perfect balance between rustic and elegant, modern and comfort food, with as much love and attention given to their vegetables as to their meats and fish.

In many restaurants, local, seasonal and fresh are merely buzzwords where one zucchini will accompany six racks of lamb.  Not so at Basi Italia. Right from the beginning of the four courses that we enjoyed, I knew this was a place that put their heart and soul into into preparing food with love.

This is one impressive and aggressive menu for a very small restaurant, with attention not only to flavor and ingredients but plating and presentation. I felt like we were at a dinner party with a private chef, as we felt so at home.

Strawberry Beet Consomme at Basi Italia by Angela Roberts

Chilled Strawberry Beet Consomme with Horseradish Oil. I am a beet fan, and I thought I had found enough innovative ways to apply my culinary beet talent, but Basi Italia blew me away with this jewel of a starter accompanied by  savory shortbread.

Zucchini Pronto.  Roasted Zucchini with Pecorino Cheese and Toasted Almonds. This was the dish everyone is still talking about and proves my philosophy about cooking. When you keep it simple, and do it right, you can’t improve on nature. Roasted zucchini with toasted almonds, covered by a large blanket of thinly shaved pecorino is not a dish to be underestimated. I made this at home and will be sharing my inspired recipe on the next post.

WORDS are scattered all over Basi, making their own statement. Love does make the best food!

Mustard Crusted Trout, with celery root, a prime example of a balance between comfort and modern, because although it was breaded, it was very light and delicate and collected wisps of flavor from the sauce on the plate.

Short ribs (fork tender) flavor driven by an espresso barbecue sauce, served with corn risotto. Everybody loves short ribs and there was no exception to that here.

Our meal ended with a banquet of a dessert. The plate had cheese, fruit and a brownie. I prefer either fruit and cheese or a sweet dessert, but each component was very good, and that bite of chocolate always does seem to properly finish a meal.

Savory shortbread sticks, an unusual and welcome interpretation of the bread stick.

Blackboard specials. My eye was on the Lamb Bolognese and the Porchetta, both enticing my return. Gazing at their menu, the jumbo lumb crab pasta and the rigatoni salumeria with sweet sausage, tomato, raisins, fennel & pine nuts would ensure that weekly jaunt over to Victorian Village. I could probably be happy eating through every item on the menu.  

Basi is owned by Chef John Dornback and his wife, Trish Gentile. John, although busy in the kitchen, was friendly and warm-hearted, which comes through in the food.

I was happy to be able to enjoy this kind of intimate atmosphere with food writer Greg Henry, who writes Sippity Sup, a very sophisticated, yet approachable and humorous blog. He understands the kind of food Basi Italia prepares, the food that hits the heart, as Greg is launching his first cookbook featuring  savory pies in November.

I couldn’t resist including this. Basi Italia seats about 30 people inside, maybe 40 outside. Adorning the patio, she brings a certain whimsy to Basi Italia. How could you not have a good time here?

A quick walk through Goodale Park in Victorian Village, from High Street in the Short North (our hotel location) and we’re there.

Dinner at Basi Italia was part of a food press tour for Experience Columbus. As it was our first meal on the tour, it gave me that just right sense of what Columbus food is. It’s all the things we food people are drawn to. Chef driven, locally owned, seasonal cooking, beautifully presented food, all enjoyed with ambiance and good service, and it might be a little more.

Related posts:

Why You Should Eat, Drink, and Be Merry in Columbus, Ohio
Basi Italia on Urbanspoon

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  1. So wonderful to be able to do this with Greg.. I had the pleasure of meeting him once. What a trip….

  2. If only wishing made it so … I’d happily join you at Basi Italia. I’m totally convinced it’s a my kind of place too.

    P.S. Love photo of you and our man, Greg. You look beautiful. Greg, you too!

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