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“Totally overrated”

Basta Italian Restaurant
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Ranked #9 of 289 Restaurants in Cranston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$16 - US$40
Cuisines: Italian, Bar, Cafe
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Description: When “Basta Restaurant and Gourmet Shop” opened its doors in 1989, the goal was ambitious: To create a combination of food, service and atmosphere that struck the perfect balance of what a complete, authentic Italian dining experience should be.Over these past 23 years, locals have become regulars and traveling foodies have raved. What can we say? We are flattered, grateful and more than ever, determined to exceed your expectations. For this reason, in 2012 we underwent a comprehensive renovation, updating and upgrading every facet of our restaurant, from design and equipment to menu and energy. We are so proud of the result and we know you are going to love it.We invite you to join us to experience Basta for yourself. Our locally sourced, internationally influenced menu, artisan Neapolitan pizzas and robust wine offering will combine to create an unforgettable experience for you and your friends or family.We look forward to serving you soon!
Reviewed 11 December 2013

Basta has undergone extensive interior renovations - not all for the good. While the restaurant is now much brighter and airier than it used to be, it's so noisy that it's almost impossible to hear people at your own table. But, if the food were exceptional, then maybe background noise would be acceptable. However the food is, at best, average (and that's being kind). I started with a Caesar salad, and the server said "We have wonderful white anchovies." I like anchovies, but these were flavorless, just like the salad dressing itself. I then had the ravioli special that was a ravioli filled with spinach and cheese, topped with a butter-sage sauce. The ravioli arrived lukewarm, and the butter-sage sauce was flavorless too (maybe I shouldn't have been surprised after the Caesar salad). One of my friends had veal scallopini which was smothered in cheese and a greasy brown sauce. The cheese coating was thicker than the veal. My other friend had chicken parmigiana and the bread coating on the chicken cutlets was so odd-tasting that she asked for more tomato sauce so she could smother the cutlets. If you are looking for a bar scene, this might be the place. If you are looking for good Italian food, try just about any place on Federal Hill in Providence or Potenza's in Cranston. Basta has lost it's edge.

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1  Thank KLGri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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85 - 89 of 134 reviews

Reviewed 11 October 2013

My husband and I came to meet other family members here around 8pm on a Thursday night in September. The three of them were waiting for us at the bar, enjoying the service and atmosphere.
After we arrived, we asked the host, who we later found out was the Manager, for a table for five. He told us there would be a short wait which we expected.

While waiting, I was able to breath in the beautiful décor and ambience. The place is absolutely beautiful! We were soon escorted by the Manager to our table by the window and couldn’t say enough about how we were all excited to be there to eat a great meal. That excitement diminished after we all realized that not only had our server not appeared to take our drink order, but we had not even been acknowledged by anyone fifteen minutes after being seated. It went downhill from there.

The bottle of wine my brother ordered was not presented to him when delivered. He noticed the label as the server started to open it. It was the wrong wine. Later we figured out that she had confused our wine with the wine ordered by a nearby table of two. Apparently, they received our more expensive wine and didn’t seem to notice. When our server came back with the correct wine, she poured me a full glass first and then poured the other glasses as well. The first rules of wine service were obviously foreign to her. Offering to serve fresh crushed pepper was also unknown to her. Once asked, the server handed over the pepper mill to us. There was no basil on the Caprese Salad or offer of bread to go with it. When our entrees were served, two of the five dishes were incorrect. They belonged to that party of two again. Again, we waited until the proper meals were delivered. The pizza was good but the pasta dishes were just ok.

By now, you may think I am being overly picky but I disagree. This restaurant markets itself as an upscale Italian restaurant. We spent well over $200 to receive amateur service and so-so food. Any restaurant at every price point trains their staff on how to serve a bottle of wine for goodness sake.
To add insult to injury, as we were walking out the door, the Manager acknowledged that he was aware of the poor service we received and offered us free drinks at our next visit. Unfortunately, that jester isn’t what would make us come back. If they want to be an upscale restaurant, they need to act like one and train their staff better!

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1  Thank NadineTheQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2013

On 9-21-13, Saturday, my wife and I finally tried the new Basta restaurant. The service was very good. The food was served promptly and was tasty. Everything was fine until we received the bill. I almost fell of my stool when I noticed a $2.00 charge for ice and I only ordered a mix drink. I couldn't believe this charge for ice. I'm very disappointed with this charge. I will not return to Basta. "Done in a bun."

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4  Thank Ernie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2013

My wife & I went last night. Upon our arrival, the recent remodel looked very nice. The outdoor seating was nicely done with architectural features including fireplace & lighting that invites you to stay & relax. Inside the look was certainly updated while still giving a nod to old school Italian restaurants through its brick work & black & white photos on the wall. The hostess was very personable & excited to be there which is unusual for this day & age. After being sat, our server equaled out the hostess by being the standard no energy waitress with lack of insight on drinks or the menu. Thankfully, we picked out good glasses of wine (rose & malbec) & food on our own. We ordered the ARANCINI & the arugula salad to start. ARANCINI was room temperature & needed more red sauce (or "gravy" if you are from around here). With use of Valencia oranges, the salad was phenomenal. Our meals, RIGATONI ALLA BOLOGNESE & ORECCHIETTE CON SALSICCIA E RABE (pasta with sausage & broccoli rabe), were merely average. For dessert, we had SICILIAN CANNOLI (3 mini cannoli - plain, chocolate dipped & pistachio) and NUTELLA CREME BRULEE. The cannoli had lemon mixed into the cream which is a departure from the know classic version. As for the creme brûlée, the Nutella was minimal on the bottom and felt like a throw-in allowing the restaurant to say that it had its own version of creme brûlée. Throughout the entire meal, we felt rushed as each course arrived before we were finished with the prior. My wife & I agreed that we would not return for dinner but, will try sitting at the bar for drinks and apps.

2  Thank jejri418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2013

I am quite late in posting this. My husband & I went in June. The décor is dark woods, sleek yet cozy. I love the red accents. It is not overdone. The old photography about the place is beautiful. It even smells wonderful (aromatherapy?) The bathroom was tastefully designed & very clean. Our waiter was very attentive. I had gluten free cheese ravioli w/Bolognese sauce. It was so much I had the leftovers for another meal! It was so delicious. My husband had a late with chicken (I can't remember what it was). He loved his meal. Even though it's a little out of our way I would love to come here more often. Some may find it a little pricey but you get what you pay for. You will not be disappointed!

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Thank RhodeIslandMaria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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