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27 Aug 2009

Dinner Experience: Restaurant Basilico, Bonn

Tonight was a special night. A very good friend of mine invited me and other four friends out for dinner. She chose the Basilico restaurant by the Hotel Dorint in Venusberg, Bonn.
The hotel is situated in a great region around Bonn. High on the hill of Venusberg, surrounded by woods (and hospitals) the Dorint hotel has a terrace with a great look over the city of Bonn and the Rhine river.
The outside of the building reminded me of a mountain chalet; quite a different feeling from the marble and alabaster covered lobby. The restaurant has gone a restyling lately and the new look is quite appealing with its basil green wall, dark wood furniture and big copper light fixture on the roof.

When we arrived, we were greeted by our maître at the reception and he escorted us to the best table on the terrace. We could look directly at the city without being disturbed by the gorgeous trees.
Once sat down, we started choosing our meal (I have to stress that I do not remember the exact name of the dishes, so what I will write as such is based on what I had on the plate).

As appetizer, I chose a vegetable frittata with seared tuna steak and a sort of citrus foam.
The tuna steak was seared on one side and strangely it was served only raw side up (I would have cut it in two and served it on both sides). The all was quite nice.
With this, they came the butters and an olive pate with different slices of nice baguettes. The problem with them? the butters were just out of the fridge and for the olives pâté only water packed olives were used.

As first course, I took a roasted Guinea fowl thigh with wild mushroom sauce, potato gnocchi and glazed young garlic.
The fowl was very nicely cooked, the mushroom sauce nice and tasty, the fried gnocchi were missing some sauce but they were tasty.
While I was at it, I had a taste at the pasta of a friend of mine and found it quite overcooked (I even poured some of the tomato sauce of a friend of mine over my gnocchi and found it quite much like ketchup/tomato paste).

As dessert, I opted for the gorgonzola tarte with figs marinated in port wine.
I was quite intrigued by the gorgonzola since I am also working with it for one of my dessert. When it came to the table, it was plated more like a cheese dish than a dessert (it was under the dessert list on the menu, I did not drink so much of that nice barricked Nero d’Avola). The tarte was not cooked enough, the shell was still raw and the figs where fridge cold. I could not taste the port wine but surely the cinnamon. The weirdest part was the garnishes: sturdy flat parsley leaves and grissini; the waitress even asked me if I wanted bread with it.

To finish the meal I asked for an espresso. It was quite tasty but a bit thin; worthless to say that the two présentoirs of pralines went away in a blink of an eye.

All together? The restaurant was more pretentious than the food turned out to be, the prices were quite high in effect, but the service was very good and thoughtful.

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