Posted by Liz and John Attaway, 4/2/22
The lure of neon red draws you in from the road, while the outside patio sits ready for hungry patrons. Inside there is a mirror wall that casts beautiful light into the dining room, while the large bar that is the length of the restaurant puts out amazing cocktails. From the genius of Pat Pascarella, the brand spanking new Bastone is an upscale mozzarella and wine bar that doesn’t skimp on their perfect pasta dishes, carefully curated wines, amazing apps, cool cocktails, and let’s not forget the magnificent mozzarella flight! The Porchetta Group has another winner! Let’s dig in.
Starting with the sips, they have huge, carefully curated wine list that boasts one of the best crisp white wines we’ve ever had, the Cincinnato Bellone from the rare Lazio region. It’s the perfect wine to go with the creaminess of the mozzarella. Want to try Italian beer? They have a crisp and cool, Birra Lucana, that’s the right body and lightness to go with the cheese, as well. Run, don’t walk to try the Ace of Spades. It’s so cool with the ingredients themselves: gin, salted pasta water(!), tomato, and a mozzarella ball! The salted water starts salty but ends with the carbines of the pasta mixed with a piney gin then stuffed with what Pat said was a “caprese salad in a glass.” They’ll blister tomatoes, basil and olive oil and add it table-side for an exciting experience cocktail. It’s different, yet something everyone should at least experience. He’s spot on with his description. Must try.
Something that Bastone does so well is Mozzarella, and they show it off with their signature item, the Mozzarella flight. It’s the combination of Fatt Amano (favorite of the four), Burrata Siano, Stracciatella, and Burrata Di Stefano. The Fatt Amano was both of our favorites being a little more bold and saltier, while the Burrata Siano is milder with a light creaminess and tang on the end. As you go down the board, you’ll get Stracciatella that is sweet and smooth, as well as Burrata Di Stefano! We also got a hand-pulled mozzarella in house from Pat himself and it was so fresh and bright! If you want a little meat to pair with that cheese, they have meat and cheese boards. We got the Taglierino mini board that had a large array of meats for the size, mozzarella to pair, and vegetables like garlicky artichokes that round out the flavors.
We didn’t find a bad bite in their tasting plates, like the Caldi Arancini or the Freddi Lamb Tartare. Arancini is always a go-to as it’s crunchy, savory, and creamy and this one didn’t disappoint. We call them crunchy balls of goodness! They’re stuffed with savory short rib, earthy butternut squash that melts into the cheese. It’s crunchy, sweet, savory, and creamy! On the other hand, is the Lamb Tartare that’s fresh and bright with a ton of fun flavors. It starts hearty and savory with a good crunch, then a mustard-forward tang comes in on the back. Pile it all on the crunch and salty chip for the best bite.
We’re not going to lie, the pastas at Bastone are the real showstoppers. Something that Pat does so well is his fresh, homemade pastas that are perfectly cooked in salted pasta water! He always says, “Salt your pasta water!” The first one is the Orecchiette with a fun presentation: a bone sticking right out of the middle. So, with a bone marrow indulgent middle, perfectly cooked hat pasta, pancetta for salt and savor, and tangy stew, it was a well-rounded bite. The favorite bite of the night is the Cresc’ Tajat. It is stuffed with rich herbaceous sausage, fantastic creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked inside out corkscrew pasta. It went from savory up front to creamy and sweet on the back, the myriad of flavors culminates in one of the best bites you can have here.
Not only is the dessert pretty to look at, but it also tastes just as good. The Pear Lemon Torta was tangy pear enveloped in creamy meringue, mellow tart, and creamy ice cream. The lemon explodes from the middle and then mellows with the as you eat all the other ingredients. So, yes, stay for dessert.