Good Morning, Minneapolis!
That’s right. I’m here in Minneapolis, MN…a city I lived in for 4 years. With the Orthopedic Trauma Association meeting in town, I traveled North for a few days. What could be better? Work travel intertwined with a visit “home”.
I wish I could find the words to describe the feeling I have each and every time I drive into the city…as I come in on 35W North…just as I begin to see the city’s skyline on the horizon…I am overcome with a sense of excitement, nostalgia, belonging. Though the city is so large…the population far beyond the small WI city I grew up in…I suddenly feel surrounded by friends. It’s as if while pulling in, the faces of each of our “MN friends/family” flutter through my mind and all of my favorite places whisper, “Visit me!”. I don’t know what else to say other than, “I love it here.”
During my brief window of downtime yesterday, I decided to take a drive down memory lane. I’ve visited many times since leaving in 2003, but rarely made a trip back to campus. As I discussed with one of my surgeons last night (who is also a U of M alum), it felt as if time had stood still. Campus was just as I remembered it. Pulling into Frontier Hall looked no different than it had 13 years ago. And driving through was as if I was on autopilot. Of course, there were a few major changes, like the addition of TCF Stadium and the Lightrail (currently under construction), but all in all, I thought if I pulled over and threw on my Gopher sweatshirt, I could walk back into W303 and find my roommates there, ready to make dinner and sing a little Tim Mahoney. Oh…how time flies.
In the 9 years since I moved to Iowa City, I’ve held onto the hope that someday we’d get back to MN…I even kept my phone number! While only time will tell our “final destination”, we continue to build our home in Iowa City and indulge in visits here. In fact, I’m coming back very soon for a Girls Weekend. A weekend full of friends and visits to all of those “favorite spots” that call my name. I will be sure to share those favorite spots (many of them food related!), with you in future posts.
In the meantime, today I must share with you one of my favorites in Iowa City. BASTA. I love this restaurant. BASTA is one of Iowa City’s newest Italian Restaurants, owned by James Adrian, Jack Piper, and Brady McDonald. Several times now, Ryan and I have packed up Bella and her stroller and headed downtown for a stroll through the pedestrian mall and a lunch date at BASTA. We like to pretend that we are in Italy…so we order a few courses…a good glass of wine…and sit for awhile! Our order looks something like this…
First things first….this delicious appetizer: Stuffed Dates!
Stuffed Dates: Pancetta wrapped, house-made Italian sausage stuffed dates, Gorgonzola and Calabrian chile tomato sauce
Next…to share, a true Napoli style wood-fired pizza: Pepperoni & Mushroom
Pepperoni : Calabrese salami, San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, basil (We add Shitake Mushroom)
To pair…a vibrant glass of red:
Vinchio Vaglio Serra “Kroara” Barbera: This Barbera from the broader Piemonte region is perfect. Attractive and bright ruby red, with a fresh and fruity nose. Lots of fruit up front, with a lively palate and a fresh, clean finish.
Looks good, right?! If you haven’t been to BASTA, be sure to add it to your list of ”Must Visits”. Should you find a beautiful Saturday/Sunday afternoon, you may find us there as well. Pull up a chair.
BASTA Pizzeria Ristorante
121 Iowa Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240
Open Monday – Sunday
11:00 a.m – 10:00 p.m.
Indulge. In Life. In Love. In Food.