Persephone’s Kitchen was closed tonight. Basil presented a really extensive Dine Originals Week menu, with four courses no less, for $20. Having not had the chance to dine there before, but hearing good things, this week seemed the time to give it a go. I’m glad we did.
A snug little restaurant right between Surly Girl Saloon and The Attic on High Street, Basil was already filling up early. Seating groups from two to ten while I was there, the waitstaff was quick to take orders and even quicker with delivery of our dishes.
I tried both the Tom Yum Ground Chicken and the Tom Ka Ground Chicken soups. Both were very different and both were served very hot. The Tom Yum was spicy and flavorful with lime and lemongrass. The Tom Ka was a light coconut soup with a lovely fresh, almost piney balance from the galangal root.
Our appetizers were the cucumber salad and the vegetable tempura. The cucumber salad had a very light mirin dressing with grated carrots, red onion and cilantro. It was a cool interlude between hot soup and our main courses. The vegetable tempura batter itself was a bit heavy but very, very delicious. The vegetables were tender but not mushy, the tempura crispy and the clear Thai vinaigrette a perfect dipping partner for the vegetables.
Hades chose the Thai curry with salmon and I had the basil over rice. His salmon was flaky and the coconut curry was a flavor I would bathe in if I could: creamy, sweet and savory all at once. The basil over rice was ground chicken with lots of Thai basil, green bell peppers, sautéed in a spicy brown sauce. I have a thing with spicy: if it’s going to be done, it needs to not be over done. You want to be able to taste the other flavors in your dinner. You don’t just want straight hot, you want a balance. You want to be able to pick out the basil or the bell pepper, not just be sweating bullets, sniffing a lot and saying, “Whew, this is hot.” And you know what? This was balanced. I had them make it with a medium amount of spice and it was just right. Spicy without being overpowering.
For our fourth course we were each given sweet little pink coupons to be taken next door to The Attic vintage shop to be redeemed for a Bakery Gingham cupcake. The perfect sweet ending. And kind of a cool little store with a mix of vintage and new, a few gifts; one I’ll need to stop in again to truly get a feel for what they’ve got.
Basil has some finesse. I enjoyed dinner and wouldn’t mind stopping in again soon. You got another day to get your dine on. Get going!