April 24, 2008

You Gotta Eat: Basil's

By WEEK Producer

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

A restaurant in Washington prides itself on using authentic Sicilian recipes.
Eric Shangraw shows off the menu at Basil's in this week's You Gotta Eat.

Basil's is nestled in the northwest corner of the square in Downtown Washington. It features lots of options for quiet intimate seating. A landscape mural from a former tenant and a working brick oven are the visual focal points. In terms of attire: come as you are:

"It is more casual. You can come in blue jeans or you can dress up and put on a nice shirt. Both work," said customer Curt Reynolds. He was enjoying pizza with his wife.

"The original owner is from Sicily. So all of the recipes are authentic and originated from a Sicilian chef," said co-owner Paulette Greenwood.

Photographer Larry Faulk and I started with an extraordinary appetizer. Basil's Stuffed Portabella Mushroom is an intricate work of flavor and presentation. There is a secret seasoning and breadcrumbs on the Italian cheese baked between two slices of Portabella. The entire plate is laced with lines of honey Dijon vinaigrette. The "shrooms" alone with salad and garlic bread would make for a fine meal. But Larry had already ordered his Calzone. It comes filled with sausage pepperoni and ham, each bite dipped into a side sauce. He could only finish half. I had the lasagna. It is infused with more than the typical tomato Mom uses in her lasagna recipe. But the result is still warm and rewarding. Our bill: $26.84 plus tip. We had leftovers. A nice glass of Chianti would have made it magnificent, but Basil's liquor license won't materialize until May.
We'll be back to try a nice Italian red with another plate of portabella.

Basil's is located at 110 North Main Street in Downtown Washington.
They are open Monday through Saturday. Phone: 309-444-5900.

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