Basil's Restaurant closed in the summer of 2017.
The view from Basil's indoor terrace is so good that it's made television, in the opening sequence of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The third-floor terrace overlooks the IDS Center's Crystal Court, perfect for people-watching while dining on contemporary American cuisine.
As an avid baker, the way to my heart is through the bread basket, and Basil's delivered. The French bread was still warm from the oven, served with whipped basil butter (basil butter at Basil's may be overly cute, but it's delicious anyway).
Fresh herbs seemed to be a recurring theme. The Korean short rib appetizer was sprinkled with mint, which seemed odd but actually paired nicely with the savory barbeque marinade and tart cherry sauce. The ribs themselves were meltingly tender and fell right off the bone.
Like the Korean short ribs, the coconut chicken Thai salad was a well-composed combination of flavor and texture. The coconut encrusted chicken breast had a satisfying crunch, almost like biting through a layer of corn flakes, and the moderately spicy red curry dressing balanced the sweetness of the coconut and tied the other components of the salad together.
The one minor disappointment of the evening was the butternut squash gnocchi. The dish featured plump, tender gnocchi and mushrooms in a thick cream sauce, garnished with fresh sage and shavings of Parmesan. The only thing missing? The butternut squash: I found a total of six half-inch cubes in my entire portion. The ratio of squash to gnocchi was a miscalculation, since the dish needed a lighter note to balance the heaviness of the gnocchi, cream sauce, and Parmesan.
Overall, Basil's is a lovely date night restaurant for a special occasion, with a great view, well-prepared food, and stellar service.
7th and Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402