About "Eat My Words"

About this blog

"Eat My Words" is a long time in the making. There is no question that my favorite activity is eating, but beyond that obvious fact, I especially like visiting new restaurants and trying new foods.

That's where the "Adventures in Dining" comes in. I won't be reviewing chain restaurants. The food may be fine, but there is no adventure to a Bob Evans, Applebee's, or Olive Garden! The only time I may blog about one of these establishments might be to comment on something unusual - whether it be good or bad - that may have occurred during my visit. Otherwise, I will be focusing on small, local restaurants that feature unique menu items.

I am not a food snob. I do not have any culinary training. I like what I like and will share my thoughts regarding my meal, a restaurant's ambiance, the attentiveness of the staff, and any other thoughts that may come to mind. Hopefully, readers will enjoy my reviews and try these restaurants for themselves.

Thanks for stopping by and please feel free to share your own feedback!

Gary Dougherty
November 24, 2010

UPDATE (October 13, 2012): I'm back!! For a variety of reasons (none of them good), I have not posted any reviews for about 18 months. Rest assured, I have continued to eat...just not write! I hope you enjoy my culinary adventures and I welcome any recommendations you might have for me. Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Basi Italia

March 29, 2011

Basi Italia
811 Highland Street
Columbus, OH 43215

First of all, I have the thank the owners of Basi Italia.  I had purchased a fudha (http://www.fudha.com/), a $20 voucher for which I paid $10, several weeks before, but foolishly let it expire.  I contacted the restaurant and received a very prompt response from Trish who told me they would honor the voucher through the end of the month...so, thanks!

As a result of a family emergency, I dined alone this evening.  I need to keep a book in my car for just such circumstances, but did have my newspaper with me.  More and more, it seems like I don't get to my morning newspaper until at least noon, but oftentimes not 'til later in the day.

I had never been to Basi Italia before, but knew that it was a small place a few blocks off of High Street in the Short North area.  As I came down Highland Street, it narrowed to about the width of an alley.  Sure enough, there was the restaurant on the left in a converted house.  You could easily miss it if you didn't know where you were going.  Frankly, the outside of the restaurant did not look terribly inviting...

Whereas valet parking is recommended due to the residential neighborhood, I found convenient on-street parking one street over.  As I walked in the restaurant, I was met by a server who seated me in the very small dining area.  The first floor of this converted house contained both the kitchen and dining area for about 40 people.  The tables were close together and not terribly conducive to a private conversation.  My table required a wooden shim under one of the legs to keep it steady.

The menu was nice, offering a good selection of Italian appetizers and entrees.  Although I did not have any, the wine list looked to have a generous selection.

For an appetizer, I was intrigued by the Zucchini Pronto.  It turned out to be a very large serving of chopped zucchini with toasted almonds topped with thin slices of pecorino cheese.  It was quite tasty!

As I was enjoying my zucchini, I noticed the restaurant's unisex restroom.  Why did I notice it?  Because I was sitting opposite the room and the last user has left the door partially open after returning to her seat.  More than once, the server had to discretely close the door so a small handful of diners, including me, did not have to see the toilet while enjoying their dinner.

For my entree, I chose the Rigatoni Salumi.  Combined with the rigatoni was a combination of sweet sausage, tomato, golen raisins, fennel, and pine nuts.  I do like crunchy food and both of my courses this evening included nuts!

The rigatoni was very good, if not just a bit unimaginative, and the serving size was just right.  As I was in the middle of my entree, the restaurant's power suddenly went out.  It was out for no more than a few minutes before it came back on and the evening continued uninterrupted.

Although I shouldn't have (for any number of reasons!), I decided to order dessert.  What I should have done was resist the urge, but realistically, I should have gotten it to go so I could enjoy it later at home.  But no, I had to have it then and there.

I ordered the Basi S'More Cheesecake.  The chocolate cheesecake was atop the housemade graham crust with a housemade bruleed marshmallow on top of that.

The cheesecake was very good, but probably would have tasted better had I taken it home as a late night treat.  The zucchini and rigatoni were deceptively filling.

Interestingly, Basi Italia is only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.  Notwithstanding the outdoor appearance of the restaurant, the crowded dining room, open restroom door, and the brief power outage, my experience was a positive one.  Good food trumps all!

Check out the menu on their website and visit their Facebook page.  If you're planning an intimate conversation, you might want to look elsewhere, but if you are looking to enjoy a well-prepared Italian meal in a quaint atmosphere, give Basi Italia a try by all means.