Directly off Highway 12 hides a taste of Italy in the wine country, approximately 20 minutes from Sonoma State University. An Italian restaurant, Basilico Cucina Italiana, is located in Santa Rosa and open every day for dinner of the week except Mondays.
Upon stepping in, you are greeted by the friendly employees who are quick to have you seated. The ambiance has a homey and comfortable atmosphere while remaining to be an upscale restaurant.
The dining area has dim and romantic lighting, the perfect amount to see the menu. The simple décor of flowers and photos on the wall throughout the restaurant and on the dining table was aesthetically pleasing.
For starters, the menu has a wide food selection of authentic Italian cuisine of appetizers, pastas and entrees are remarkable.
The appetizer, the Calamari Fritta ($12.95), which is crispy and savory with a touch of the spicy tomato sauce is a great starter to prepare for a pasta dish.
The Pappardelle alla Bolognese ($17.95) is a homemade pappardelle pasta with meat sauce topped with ricotta cheese. The balance between the meat sauce and ricotta cheese makes this dish velvety and flavorful.
Another must-try pasta is the Rigatoni alla Carcerata ($16.95) consisting of rigatoni pasta with Italian sausage, roasted peppers and peas in a light cream tomato sauce.
The creamy sauce and distinct flavors that made this dish that will make someone want to come back for more.
Overall, the food is delicious, fresh and tasty pasta was homemade cooked to perfection. The plate presentation was clean, detailed and is surely prepared with care. The prices are very reasonable for an Italian restaurant, to pay for big portions, great quality of food and filling. Refills on bread, appetizers and main dishes were served timely.
“Overall very impressed with the swift service and large portions.” said customer, Roberto Mendez. “Most Italian restaurants give small portions but this restaurant gives just the right amount but enough to keep you coming back for more.”
For students over 21 there is a breathtaking wine menu with outstanding recommendation by the server. Their selection of Italian wine to Napa Valley wines, is just as expected being in the wine country. The prices are great by the glass or by the bottle.The Pinot Noir ($8) is a must try and pairs nicely with the Pappardelle alla Bolognese.
It’s recommended to save some room for dessert. The tasty Panna Cotta Al Mango E Lamponi ($8) is an Italian creamed gelatin that is topped with mango and raspberry, will complete your evening.
The servers were attentive and consistently checked in to refill the water. There was always a smile on their faces, bringing a happy environment to the setting. This place is ideal for a girl’s fancy night out or a dinner date.
“This restaurant is the best spot of a date.” Kristen Rapin, Sonoma State senior said, ”The romantic lighting, fantastic wine and delightful homemade pasta made this my go to spot for date nights.”
It’s best to make a reservation online if you are planning to go out for dinner as this place can get booked up, especially on a holiday. Although the place can be packed, the dining area is spacious and does not feel overcrowded.
The next time you are looking for a satisfying meal off campus, Basilico Cucina Italiana is the place to go to for great food, service and a great time.