Sunday, March 16, 2014

Re-visiting Basilico

We had a pretty good recollection of our last visit to Basilico. There was a little kind of magic going on for this semi-buffet restaurant at Regent Hotel. A little glitter and sharpness that we liked. This revisit was actually a little disappointing because we remembered that it was good. If one were to take a step back and consider that the food didn't taste as great while the prices have gone up, it had became noticeably more expensive. $69 for a relatively good experience versus $82 for something that felt diluted. The entire experience felt a little washed out. Like the photos that you see here versus then.

The buffet spread had changed a little (no more Gorgonzola....what travesty!). Quality seemed to have taken a hit. Noticeably so was the charcuterie section that tasted just salty and flat. Dessert spread was lazy, lots of simple chocolate stuff going on that looked like it could have come from anywhere else. The only thing that we found exceptional was cooked pineapples in cinnamon and star anise. It was a very nice citrus and spice going on with hot pineapples. Back to topic, the restaurant should seriously consider getting rid of that laziness and do up some real Italian sweets as befits the theme of the restaurant.

This dinner was their Basilissimo menu which is a best of what they had to offer. It was pretty much a showcase of the past winter dishes that they had done which included a porcini and leek risotto with marinated venison loin and Barbaresco wine reduction and some rack of lamb with artichokes and Vitelotte potato purée. The slightly underdone risotto was passable, with the flavors or neither mushroom nor root vegetable coming through and venison with so much star anise that it tasted like lor bah (a local meat braised in dark soy sauce and spices). Lamb was decent, but not outstandingly so although the Vitelotte potato purée was nutty and delicious. 

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