MASTERED THE BASTARD

                November  6, 2013

THE HUNGER JAMES OFFICIAL RATING:

Last night, I ventured downtown (well, to Chelsea) to meet a friend for dinner at Il Bastardo. I have been there before and I remembered they had the best pumpkin ravioli, so I was extremely excited to go back and enjoy one of my favorite fall-themed meals. 

 

 

Il Bastardo has a really cozy atmosphere and is one of the larger Manhattan restaurants I have eaten in – aside from the Times Square Applebee’s. The walls were made of brick and there were large, gaudy black chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I am one of those people who thoroughly believe a restaurants’ setting and atmosphere can benefit or hinder the meal itself. You could serve me the best beef wellington or foie gras in the world, but if I am sitting on a booth with a whole in the cushion fixed with duct tape and the lighting that resembles a Post Office, I will not enjoy my 5-star meal.

 

To start, we ordered the Zucchine Fritte, which is just a fancy shmancy way of saying “fried zucchini.” Normally, I am not a fan of vegetables, but if they throw the word “fried” in front of it, I will be sure to eat it. Especially if it is served with a sauce of some kind – which this was. They were thinly cut pieces of zucchini, resembling French fries, battered and salted to perfection. A fantastic way to raise your cholesterol and start your meal.

And the minute you finish your last bite of bread, the guy comes back to the table and places a brand new loaf! Bottomless Bread – It’s the little things, people.

 

When it came time to order the main course, I didn’t really need to look at the menu because I was already conscious of the meal I would order, but for the hell of it (since I am a professional food blogger now) I took a gander at the other entrees. Everything looked delicious! I am a huge fan of Italian food, so finding something that doesn’t make my stomach grumble is a pretty difficult feat. But, after perusing the menu for a good five minutes, I noticed there was something missing: my lovely pumpkin raviolis. I have to say, a little part of me died that day…but I was also excited I would get to try something new.

 

I finally decided on the Rigatoni de Pollo, which is basically just chicken and rigatoni. The pasta was accompanied by sundried tomatoes, basil, and all mixed together in a delicious creamy vodka sauce.

 

When the plate first arrived, my initial reaction was “That’s it?!” but it was actually the perfect portion of pasta (How’s that for alliteration?) I have to keep reminding myself that not every Italian restaurant is the Olive Garden, a very challenging realization.

 
All in all, the meal was delicious and I would definitely go back. I am sorry this story lacked much humor, puns on food, and macaroni and cheese. But I promise you, things will get more exciting.

Il Bastardo has a really cozy atmosphere and is one of the larger Manhattan restaurants I have eaten in – aside from the Times Square Applebee’s. The walls were made of brick and there were large, gaudy black chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. I am one of those people who thoroughly believe a restaurants’ setting and atmosphere can benefit or hinder the meal itself. You could serve me the best beef wellington or foie gras in the world, but if I am sitting on a booth with a whole in the cushion fixed with duct tape and the lighting that resembles a Post Office, I will not enjoy my 5-star meal.

 

 

To start, we ordered the Zucchine Fritte, which is just a fancy

shmancy way of saying “fried zucchini.” Normally, I am not a fan of vegetables, but if they throw the word “fried” in front of it, I will be sure to eat it. Especially if it is served with a sauce of some kind – which this was. They were thinly cut pieces of zucchini, resembling French fries, battered and salted to perfection. A fantastic way to raise your cholesterol and start your meal.

 

Another notable thing about this restaurant that I am noticing is seriously lacking in New York City: free bread! That’s right, I said it. The minute you sit down, this guy comes around with a huge basket full of bread and places a loaf on your table, served with oil and balsamic vinegar.