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My Dinner at Bastide

lebdog | Jan 16, 2008 08:39 PM

After perusing the Board and various other reviews, I decided to celebrate my birthday last weekend at Bastide. All in all a very enjoyable experience for the four of us but I was not all that impressed with much of the food. We spent about $1300. Two of us had the 7-course menu with the Collection Wine Paring and two had the 4-course menu with no wine. We each opened with meal with a glass of champagne (which everyone thought was outstanding). I liked the decor and particularly the stemware. I could do without the piped in rock music (I don't particularly care for piped-in music of any sort but this was definitely the wrong genre). If you are a wine buff, I'd highly recommend the Collection Pairing ($190 with the 7-course menu). You will drink some truly world class wines that are ordinarily not available by the glass. I also thought the service here was pretty close was an 8-9 on a 10 scale. We arrived at 7:00 and left just before 11:00. I enjoyed being able to linger and did not feel that the meal was paced too slowly. As for the food, the standouts were the 6 different muffin-sized breads (including fennel, bacon/cheese brioche, and basi), an oyster shooter in apple juice amuse and one of the desserts amazingly melted nutella with a frangelica foam. The other courses included an abalone and scallop is a japanese-style broth, a sushi-like course of some fish from hawaii that I'd never heard of (but the name sound's like hamachi), a pasta course consisting of three different pastas (1 bite of each), beef 4 ways (sirloin, cheeks, marrow, filet), and cheese (4-tidbits). The food was all beautifully presented and each had a number of labor-intensive ingredients. Most of that, however, did not add much to the flavor. I was not wowed by any particular dish. I've done tasting menus for 20+ years and recognize the issues regarding portion size. For me, the portions of certain of the dishes (pasta, beef and cheese) were ridiculously small. Each piece of cheese was literallly about the size of a 1/2 TBS. cube of butter. I'd be surprised if there was 2 oz. of meat total in the beef dish (the best of the four was the marrow on a bit of roasted carrot), and the pasta was literally a lunetta, a raviolo (tiny) and one gnoccho. I'd rather pay a bit more than the $100 price for the 7 courses if that's what it takes to get a decent-sized portion of those dishes in particular. We were invited back into the kitchen after the meal where we had a nice chat with the Chef Walter and some of the staff. Sommelier Peter was enthusiastic and indulgent of our questions. As I said, all in all, a very enjoyable experience. Just disappointed that the food did not "blow me away."

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