Basta Pasta

37 W 17th St. New York, NY 10011(212) 366-0888bastapastanyc.com

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Apparently “Basta” means “enough” in Italian. And one bite was more than enough to know this place is as FAR as you can get from 4 stars. What is wrong with you Yelpers?

The only thing worthy of note was the cranberry iced tea. Both appetizers and both entrees were as tasteless as the menu they were printed on. I guess the whole Italian-Asian fusion thing isn’t as easy to pull off as Mexican-Asian.

But to get more specific, the duck salad was eh. The yellowtail carpaccio was anything but carpaccio, thicker than most sashimi. Both the pumpkin gnocci and the silk handkerchief pasta were as bland as balsa wood. In fact, everything was so lack-luster we cut our losses and didn’t even bother with dessert.

I couldn’t wait to get back to my office so I could grab a piece of gum to get the taste of “blah” out of my mouth, but the torture would continue for another 15-20 minutes just to get the check, even after having to ask for it.

What a waste of a lunch date with the wife.

1 tooth

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Rd. Pocantico Hills, NY 10591 • (914) 366-9600bluehillfarm.com

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This is without a doubt the best restaurant in Westchester. Top notch from food to service to a decor that simply cannot be matched. But let’s not limit it to the suburb of Westchester. This place is world class.

First, the decor is beyond compare, situated in an old stone barn located on a 1000 acre working farm and former Rockefeller estate. As a result, it is also one of the purest farm-to-table experiences you will ever encounter, because said farm is literally right outside your dining room window.

And speaking of the dining room, it so beautifully done you can’t help but notice the modernity paying homage to the building’s purpose in a former life.

But this looker is also one of substance, because head to toe, they don’t miss a trick. Phenomenal service every time I’ve been, which is at least six to ten times, stellar food and a sense of presentation that has grown over the years to what can only be described as a culinary journey.

It starts with a custom-made mini trellis placed before each guest, decorated with fresh weeds from the garden. Yes, weeds. These are to be dragged through herbal spreads, also created with ingredients from the garden. Is this course delicious you ask? Well, it’s not bad. But the novelty of eating weeds and actually finding that you enjoy it makes it worth the price of admission. But the journey is only in its opening credits, so don’t get worried just yet.

Some stand-outs worthy of note in their very seasonally-oriented, ever-changing menu (should your visit happen to coincide) would be their ricotta souffle- so incredibly light it was like biting into a cloud. Another memorable dish was the foie gras consumé – just perfection in a bowl. Even a frequent amuse bouche of theirs makes my all time favorite list – it’s a roasted mini beet burger – so good we usually ask for seconds… and get them. Did I mention I love the waiters here.

Two other honorable mentions in meals past, the pumpkin gnocci – sounds heavy, but was much lighter than you’d expect and mouth bronzing good. And last but not least, a staple there, and perhaps the one dish they always seem to have, their salad with the farm fresh egg on top. The egg is so fresh it’s like you’re eating it right out of the hen’s ass. Okay, that doesn’t very appetizing, but I promise you’ll love it.

In fact the only thing not to love about Blue Hill is that you can’t eat there every day for the rest of your life. You can, however, eat at the Blue Hill in the city, which is also one of favorite restaurants on Earth.

5 teeth