Our meal at Basta Pasta in Fallston took almost 3 hours from start to finish, but that can’t be blamed on poor service. Quite the opposite! When I met my oldest and dearest girlfriend for lunch last Sunday, we had a lot of gossiping and catching up to do. And the food was so enjoyable that we even lingered over dessert and coffee which felt like a true luxury.
We began our journey with a cup of Maryland Crab and a cup of the Cream of Crab. I’m pretty picky about Maryland Crab soup because my ego gets in the way – I believe that I can cook a pretty mean crab soup right in my own kitchen, which is why I rarely order it in a restaurant. And once again, I was right. Their version of Maryland Crab Soup was a watery broth and some humdrum veggies with a scant amount of crabmeat. On the other hand, the Cream of Crab was very tasty yet not too rich, and they didn’t skimp on the crabmeat. Next came an Italian-style salad of mixed greens, black olives, cucumbers, tomato, croutons and an oil and vinegar dressing. And similar to the Olive Garden, their salad is served in unlimited portions, however, one bowl was plenty for us to share.
My girlfriend ordered the Eggplant Parmesan which is typically a dish that is out of her culinary comfort zone. I forced her to let me try it after she continually pronounced that it was by far “the best sauce she has ever tasted.” Unlike the crab soup, eggplant is a dish that I struggle with at home. But Basta Pasta has mastered the art of the eggplant – it was fresh and lightly fried, not weighted down by too much oil. Although I would have preferred just a bit more cheese. Can you ever have too much cheese?
What sometimes surprises me about menus at Italian restaurants is that they often have a very wide variety to choose from. Kudos to the Italian chefs that must learn and perfect all of these recipes! In addition to all of the pastas that are characteristic of this Mediterranean country, everything from lasagna to gnocchi to sausages and meatballs, Basta Pasta also serves steaks, crabcakes and fish. And I noticed that several other tables were ordering the crabcakes, so perhaps we can assume that they are exceptional? The scampi and alfredo dishes seemed to be calling my name, but after much deliberation, I chose the Chicken Gypsy. This creation featured large chunks of chicken breast, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, spinach and in a garlicky white wine sauce over fettucine. Freshly grated parmesan cheese was sprinkled on top. It was a little heavy on the oil for my taste, but the leftovers still made a great snack later that evening . The breadsticks were so yummy that I was almost angry at our waitress for bringing them. Doesn’t she realize that most women in their forties are on a perpetual diet?? It didn’t stop me from sticking the leftover ones in my doggy bag though.
And last but certainly not least was a Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie – need I say more? The decadent chocolaty crust contained a light mousse-like peanut butter filling with more chocolate drizzled on top. Unfortunately, my dining companion did not order her own dessert, therefore, in the name of friendship, I was forced to share mine. Other sugary delicacies offered for dessert were a traditional cheesecake, tiramisu, canolli and a chocolate cake. They were exhibited in a tall glass display case that spun in circles, captivating all who dared to gaze in that direction.
2745 Fallston Road
Fallston, Maryland 21047