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Manhattan

The Basil, Craft, Campagna Reports: Long

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The Basil, Craft, Campagna Reports: Long

Ray O | Jun 17, 2002 03:05 PM

Ate out all weekend obviously. Friday night went to The Basil on 23rd Street for Thai-ish food. The menu is a bit odd, offering frogs legs and steak entrees, and the prices were a little high ($12-20 for mains). I had a noodle dish with crispy duck, which was seriosuly greasy but did hit the spot. The wine list has all kinds of exotic and nutty things on it at cheap prices (aglianicos, tempranillos, syrahs etc). Wne to Craft Saturday night for our 7th anniversary. Still love those hen of the woods mushrooms - how does the flavor become so mushroomy? It's the definition of mushroom flvaor - amazing. Split a dozen oysters to start - very fresh, tasted like the sea, but the Belon were the size of golfballs. Entrees were loin of lamb - juicy and rare with a hint of that muttony/lamby taste - and brasied rabbit in tomato-ish sauce - also juicy and not too heavy. Unexciting peas as a side dish were the only mediocore note - too starchy; potato gratin delicious with lots of cream and cheese. The strawberry rhubarb crumble dessert was excellent if a little sweet, but the strawberry ice cream was heaven, not too sweet, very strawberry fresh. Lemon steamed pudding was good but paled in comparison. Fresh nectarines on the sides were perfectly ripe (where can I buy a ripe nectarine in this city?) and sweet and yummy. Dinner Sunday night at Campagna - very pleasant and they were extra nice to the two-year old we had with us. The food was reliable as always, although the wine prices remain stubbornly high, (few selections under $80 and very uninteresting ones at that level). The beet salad was good (fresh and crunchy), as was the market salad of baby greens and simple vinagrette. Canelloni stuffed with ricotta and spinach was tasty in a light tomato sauce, as was the spaghetti w/vongole - there were way too many clams in that dish though. IMHO, skip the desserts - the unmemorable banana gloppy mess and pretty bleak biscotti were the only sour notes.

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