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.