This week's dining review is of Basso (7036 Clayton Avenue), a restaurant in the newly renovated Cheshire Inn complex, and features Patrick Connolly, one of the best chefs currently working in St. Louis.
Hours: Lunch: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Dinner 5-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 5-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
(Bar open with limited menu till midnight Mon.-Thu., 1 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Closed Sun.)
Price: $$; $$$
Basso is Italian for low, and this restaurant is located in the cavernous basement of the Restaurant at the Cheshire. Part of the multimillion-dollar renovation of the Cheshire hotel on the western edge of the city, Basso boasts as its chef Patrick Connolly, a St. Louis native who made his name (including a James Beard Foundation award) in Boston and New York City before returning home. His menu is “Italian gastropub,” which in practice means excellent wood-fired pizzas and rustic pasta dishes. The “McDowell’s Golden Arcs,” with speck, delicata squash and Fontina, is a standout pizza. Among the pastas, try the mafalda, thin ribbons of pasta tossed with a beef and pork ragù, pecorino romano and breadcrumbs.