Osteria Basilico is a classic Prishtina dining spot that offers filling pastas and a great steak in the kind of place you’d meet a business partner for dinner and drinks.
I joined two friends to share a few dinner plates and some drinks at Basilico before going out on a Friday night. The glossy wooden interior and soft lighting made me immediately feel as though I should order a whiskey on the rocks. But this is an Italian place—what to drink, I wondered? A negroni? Campari soda? Remembering that whatever we ordered should pair with pasta, we decided on a bottle of wine. There was only one option for red, but it was an excellent dry bottle from Italy.
As it was the end of the work week, the place was pretty busy with customers in business suits sharing Italian dishes and quiet conversation.
We shared a mixed salad, a couple of pasta plates and a steak. The gnocchi with mascarpone and tomato sauce and the plate of tagliatelle tossed with fresh tomatoes, basil, and ricotta were huge, definitely meant to be shared. We ate the simple green salad only because we felt obligated to get a portion of veggies before moving on to a meal heavy in refined carbs.
Although filling, the pasta was lackluster. The tagliatelle toppings were fresh and well seasoned, but the noodles were too overcooked to be true Italian al-dente style. The gnocchi’s sauce tasted a bit commercial, as if it had come from a store bought jar.
This could have been an off night for the chef, as other friends have raved about the seafood pasta, the orecchiette with broccoli, and the garlicky prawn spaghetti. I’m willing to go back to try them out.
The steak with pesto, however, was absolutely delicious, the best I’ve had in Prishtina. We ordered medium-rare and it was cooked to perfection—juicy, high quality meat spread with a fresh pesto that didn’t overpower.
In terms of pricing, Basilico is competitive and does cater well to both lunch and dinner rushes. Dishes range from 4.50 to 10.50 euros for pasta and antipasti (higher prices for seafood options), and steaks are about 11 euros.
I would go back to Basilico if it was insisted upon by a friend, and I would order a steak. But I probably would not go back on my own for pasta—I much prefer the cozy and casual Ponte Vecchio right next door.
19 October 2016 - 14:34
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