Basso’s for Italian Food – Yes!
Missing the fine Italian food of his youth, as well as the culinary delights of our trip to Italy last year, my husband charged me with finding a great Italian restaurant here in the Poconos. Although we have tried several places in the area, none fit the bill. Until I found Basso. Since they enjoy fine dining as much as we do, we brought our friends, Buz and Kathy Whelan along.
Located on Rt. 191 in Cresco, Pa, Basso is a small, family-run establishment decorated with rich colors and cozy seating areas. Stone archways separate the full bar from the various rooms for dining, which makes it feel like dining in an authentic Italian home. The sounds of other diners drifted from around corners, but none were too close to interrupt our own conversation and comfort. It was quiet without being desolate; friendly without being raucous. The servers were skilled, attentive and knowledgeable. And, most importantly, the food was delicious.
I began the evening with the pomegranate martini drink special. Not too sweet, and with a lemon wedge garnish, it was a beautiful and tasty way to begin the evening. After tasting mine, Buz and Kathy decided to get their own to enjoy. We nibbled on bread with EVOO for dipping. (Don’t fill up on the bread, it wasn’t anything special.) For appetizers, we had another special; baked brie with a sweet honey almond sauce, and the Melanzan a La
Toscana, (batter-coated eggplant, sliced tomato and fresh mozzarella with a balsamic reduction). Yum. The brie was rich, with a flaky crust, the mozzarella creamy and the tomatoes were fresh and meaty. For dinner, Buz and I each had the Frutti di Mare Portuguese, which was a delicious mixture of shellfish in a bouillabaisse sauce,
served over linguine. Bob enjoyed the Bianco E Nero, a combination of Veal Marsala and a strip steak with cognac crème sauce. Kathy had the strip steak, cooked perfectly and served on a sizzling platter with roasted potatoes. Everyone was delighted with their choices and we each shared a bit of the others. (Now you see why we brought friends – more to taste!)
When it was time for coffee and dessert, we were all so full that no one had much room left. The cheesecake and the red velvet cake were good, but not spectacular. The
Limoncello was my favorite, light and refreshing.
Basso is the fine dining option from the Pipolo family. Entrée prices range from $18 to $39. They also operate the Pour House, in Mountainhome, which features a more family-friendly, casual atmosphere, and the recently added Pipolo’s Italian Eatery – a delicatessen and pastry shop in Stroudsburg. If these are anything like Basso, the Poconos is indeed very lucky to have this family bringing their culinary skills to our area.