BASTA Pizzeria Ristorante

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.

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