Cape Fear Foodie: Pining for pasta
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - For a few weeks now I’ve had a hankering for pasta. Spaghetti and meatballs? Sounds good. Bucatini all’Amatriciana? Even better. But when you live next to one of the more popular Italian restaurants in town, it can be tough to branch out.
However a trip to downtown Wilmington offered an perfect opportunity to revisit a place I had not been too in quite a while. Though when I left, I promised myself it wouldn’t be that long until I returned to Quanto Basta.
Truth be told, I’ve stopped in a few times for cocktails, as the bartenders whip up some of the tastiest drinks in town. From bourbon-based offerings to tiki creations, they can do it all and it’s worth a trip here just to sit at the bar to vibe and imbibe.
But Quanto Basta is no one-trick pony. The interior is modern and chic, with a courtyard in the middle for outdoor dining. If you’re looking for a romantic spot for dinner, this will do just fine.
Of course the food needs to match the ambiance, no worries here.
We started off with the “La Migliore Board,” essentially a charcuterie board piled high with Italian meats and cheeses, jams, nuts, olives and bread. Perfect for sharing with friends as you chat away over a glass of wine.
Next was the Seafood Bianco pizzette. A pairing of shrimp and clams nestled in creamy alfredo sauce and melted cheeses. For a small pizza this is about as light as it gets, put packed with flavor.
Those were simply precursors for what I was really here for - the pasta.
Naturally, me being me, I went against the grain with my order and opted for the Chicken Marsala. There’s something about that rich Marsala wine sauce, mushrooms and lightly breaded chicken that gets me every time. Throw in ricotta stuffed rigatoni and the old school “poor man’s parmigiano” and I’m sold. The meal was delicious.
My neighbor tried one of the specials of the evening, the Veal Parmesan. I love wienerschnitzel, a dish that actually originates from Italy, so it’s little surprise it worked here so wonderfully. A crispy piece of veal, on top of a bed of spaghetti. An extra side of marinara sauce was needed but that wasn’t a problem. It speaks volumes that both plates were wiped clean...and that’s even after a cheese board and seafood pizza.
In a town that has several great choices for Italian, Quanto Basta is an excellent option. Whether you’re planning a date night, in search of an expertly crafted drink...or just in need of pasta.
1) Be adventurous with the drink menu. It’s here that I came to love just about drink made with egg whites, the creaminess they give to just about any drink makes that it much more luxurious. There are often special drinks on offer, pick one! You won’t regret it.
2) Ask for the focaccia. Most pasta dishes come with a large slice of the special bread, but if your meal doesn’t have it, ask for a slice. Even if it costs a little extra, it will really take whatever you’re eating over the top (and of course in this case, carbs are to be forgotten about when you step through the front door.)
IF YOU GO:
Quanto Basta Italian Eatery is located at 107 N 2nd St, Wilmington, NC 28401
A Taste of Italy is located at 1101 South College Road, WIlmington, NC 28403.
Do you recommend a restaurant? Or know of a best kept secret that you want the rest of the Cape Fear to know about? Shoot me an email at email@example.com and I would love to feature your selection. Cheers!
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