Saturday, February 9, 2013

Basil Brick Oven's New Menu Items are Scrumptious

Last week was really fun as far as foodie adventures go, as I found myself at a Queens food blogger tasting at Basil Brick Oven Pizza, organized by none other than my friend, Bradley Hawks.  Known for his tantalizing pictures of food (aka ridiculously graphic food porn), Bradley did a great job of uniting a lot of different Queens food personalities under one roof.  Basil Brick was only too happy to host and show off their new goods, as they have tons of new menu items they were curious to get in the right hands (and mouths).  While there was maybe a bit too much food served, I really enjoyed what I had and wanted to give you all the highlights.  

Octopus Carpaccio - The mere concept of this dish sounded innovative, and I was curious as to how their octopus would stack up.  Everyone literally oohed and ahhed when the dish arrived, in all its asymmetrical glory, which showed the rustic and beautiful texture of the octopus.  I loved the acidity in its glaze and the octopus felt cool yet anything but tough.  This reminded me of the perfect summer dish I'd love to have while lunching on the beach - the fresh tomatoes, lemon and arugula were lovely too.

Giant Meatballs Marinara - There's really nothing like having great meatballs in a delicious Italian restaurant and these tasted as good as they looked.  You can tell that the marinara sauce was made from scratch, with a slightly acidic bite and a fragrant basil essence  that lingered on your tongue.  The meat itself was soft and juicy, and went beautifully with the stringy fresh muzz that hugged the top of the meatball.

Fresh, Stuffed Mozzarella Balls - And speaking of fresh mozzarella, these pretty pinwheels made me really happy.  Combining some of my favorite things such as salty, soft cheese with the peppery arugula and the smokiness of the sopressata, it was a true winner.  Dressed with a ribbon of sweet balsamic glaze, it also reminded me of eating al fresco in the summertime.  It's definitely a dish that I'll be coming back for either now or in warmer summer months.

Green Lasagna - I've never seen such solidarity in opinion as when we tasted this dish.  Everyone was truly in love with its simple, yet innovative take on lasagna, that was actually very Piedmontese.  Combining garlicky homemade pesto with sheets of pasta and a soft pesto-potato mixture, it pleased both the veggie and meat eaters.  In fact, many of my dining companions said that this is all they needed to make the night complete.  I concur wholeheartedly - especially since it was such a hearty, filling dish.

Even though this was a rather large dinner, you couldn't help but notice the hospitality and warmth that emanated from every crevice of the dining room and kitchen.  Chef Daniele and his business partners were more than generous and entertained all our questions, but weren't afraid to ask for feedback.  My only constructive point I want to stress is that it was a bit too much food. But don't get me wrong - it was all soo, soo goood.  Mille grazie Bradley and the Basil Brick Oven Pizza crew.  Mission tight waisted pants accomplished :)

Basil Brick Oven Pizza - 28-17 Astoria Blvd, Astoria NY 11102
N/Q Train to Astoria Blvd 

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