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“Authentic Italian for a great price!”
Review of Basi Italia

Basi Italia
Ranked #51 of 2,285 Restaurants in Columbus
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$21 - US$30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Buttles Ave. and Highland St.
Transit: Within one city block
Reviewed 17 April 2014

My husband and I had heard nothing about this place (we're not from Columbus) and we picked it at random out of the Visit Columbus guidebook. We loved everything about this place- the food was delicious, the staff was fabulous and the prices were great (compared to what we're used to).

We split the pork belly appetizer, my husband had the scallops and I had the chicken and goat cheese gnocchetti. This was BY FAR the best gnocchi (or gnocchetti) I had ever had. I could eat it every day for six months and never get tired of it- it was that good. My husband loved his scallops. For dessert we tried the creme brulee and the mousse; both were delicious, particularly the creme brulee. The bill was $100 for an appetizer, two entrees, two desserts, and three drinks.

We sat on the back patio and to get to it, we had to walk through the kitchen. I know some people will find this a little strange but we loved it because we felt like they weren't hiding anything. No one was going to drop something on the floor, wipe it off, and put it on your plate.

The staff is knowledgeable and personable. They make excellent and informed recommendations. Every staff member we spoke with loved the restaurant, loved the food, loved the owner, and loved their job. They are proud of the restaurant and love to tell you about it. They were so honest and genuine and transparent that you couldn't help to love Basi Italia as much as they did.

Keep in mind that this is modern Italian food. If you're a fan of American Italian food, go to the Olive Garden. If you need to have your spaghetti smothered in marinara or need to have lasagna on the menu, this is not the place for you. If you need to have rolls or breadsticks or butter or dipping sauce or salt and pepper on the table, this is not the place for you. If you want paper table cloths that your server can write his name on in crayon (so you don't forget what to call him when you ask him to bring you more rolls), this is not the place for you. I'm not saying that this place is formal or rigid- it's most definitely not. But it's not your Nonna's Italian food, either. And thank God for that because this place is wonderful.

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3  Thank ADCarter1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (173)
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82 - 86 of 173 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2014

My son heard great reviews so decided to give it a try. I had the scallops and was served 3. It was good but for $23 it was served with no sides. My son had pasta, it had very little sauce, small serving. Cozy patio, the place is over rated for what you get. Staff was very friendly

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1  Thank Deborah s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2014

After reading many good reviews on this restaurant, and a bragging recommendation from a friend, we decided to give it a try tonight. Dining in hidden gems (smaller non-chains) is a hobby of ours, and we try nearly every restaurant we can with high reviews. Italian is our favorite, and we know authentic italian from my ethnic background/generations of family cooking, and travel throughout Italy.

From the trip advisor ratings, and gleaming reco from a personal friend, we had high expectations. Against all that, this was a terrible restaurant. Not that it was not edible, it was that, but only that.

Kinda charming patio, party lights, candle on table, and bottle of water. No salt and pepper on any table, and no table cloths, no bread, no butter, no dipping oil. Inside, dismally small and tacky knotty pine table decor (if that is quaint, we don't like quaint). Bathroom dark and dingy. The mirror was mounted so high my 5'2" wife could only see from her eyebrows up and was unable to apply lipstick.

Whats with an Italian restaurant without authentic Italian bread/breadsticks or dipping oil or anything like that? A couple of dry savory "biscotti" were served in a glass…yuk. Appetizer was Pork Belly and side caesar salads. Pork belly was not flavorful and too dry…almost impossible to screw this cut up like this. No salt/seasoning in the dish. Not even crispy skin. Served over a bed of flavorless cannelloni beans and sprouts, another yuk. The chef likes sprouts on everything, pretty, but tasteless. Caesar salad was a non starter too. Comes with chopped up fish/anchovies on the side…way too fishy for my wife. I prefer salted anchovy filets in oil, not ones with shiney skin and strong fishy taste.

I had shrimp linguine with pomodora sauce. This was a joke. Had chunks of nearly raw tomatoes from a can I think (pink and unripe) and chunks of raw cucumbers…yes in the shrimp linguine, and again doused in raw sprouts. Bottom of plate had water in it for sauce. Pasta was not cooked with any salt…flavorless. Clearly a rookie chef put this together, and I would have to say, the only good thing about the dish were the shrimp (fresh and cooked with salt, hurray chef!). My wife had a sea shell pasta with mushroom brown sauce. She began to like the sauce after adding salt…and she doesn't add salt hardly at all. Again the pasta was bland (pasta 101…boil in salted water!) Also, we had the waitress bring a small sample of the marinara sauce just so we can taste it. Super yuk…if not out of can, then the worst homemade something I have had called marinara. After dismal dinners, we both agreed to save our dessert for a trip to Jeni's Ice Cream. Bill came to $67 with tip, and we didn't have any drinks…another bad mark. We will never go back to the "highly rated" Basi Italia. Makes me wonder if people really know what Italian cooking should be like. Loosing faith in trip advisor as a rating recommendation but do see some emerging disappointment ratings too. Maybe they have a new chef, or someone posing as one.

One bright spot was the fantastic service from our waitress.

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1  Thank Mszippy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 March 2014

We had a wonderful dinner at Basi Italia. It is off the beaten path in the Short North. It doesn't look like much from the outside but it is worth the trip. We had the short ribs, the prosciutto wrapped scallops and the special which was a salmon wrapped in bacon and served with roasted vegetables. I wasn't sure I was going to like the salmon with the bacon, but with the pesto cream sauce, it was fabulous. The flavors all blended together wonderfully. All our plates went back empty. It is a very small restaurant which can make it noisy. We had a table by the window and it was great. Our server was knowledgeable and the service was fast but not rushed. We will definitely visit this restaurant again. The outdoor patio would be wonderful in the summer.

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Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 5 February 2014 via mobile

Basi was highly recommended by a friend who has similar taste to mine and I was looking forward to a great meal. I was disappointed as was my son I had the beat salad and scallops wrapped in bacon. I was underwhelmed by both, while not bad just boring and bland. My son had the fried oysters and pork and both were also just average. On my next visit to Columbus I'll be spending my money else where

1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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