By Tyra Sutak
Basta. It’s the Italian word for “enough”.
It’s also the name of one of Boulder’s most-talked about restaurants, and a mission statement of sorts for Chef Kelly Whitaker, the man behind the busy eatery located at 3601 Arapahoe Avenue. For Chef Kelly, it’s all about creating flavorful and tasty dishes using fresh, locally-made ingredients and simple cooking methods.
Since 2010, Basta has been a culinary mecca in Boulder, serving up Italian-inspired cuisine for diners that take on the challenge of tracking down its location. It isn’t uncommon for first-time Basta diners to break out the GPS to find this restaurant, which is located at the base of The Lofts at Peleton Boulder.
Much like the chef behind the restaurant, Basta’s location isn’t flashy, or pretentious. It’s inviting and comfortable. Warm hues and wooden tables make up the interior of the place, and delicious and smoky smells waft throughout the small space from the wood-fired pizza oven and the kitchen. With a 1000-degree oven in the back, it’s no surprise that Basta’s speciality is pizza. Pizza options range from classic pizzas like the Daisy (tomato sauce, mozz, basil, olive oil) to the Clam— a salty and spicy but mildly sweet combination of clams, chili, panna, and herbs.
Pizza pricing ranges from $14 to $18, and are large enough to eat solo, or share with a friend. Meat and cheese plates, Duck Rillete, and other starter items are a great way to kick off the meal here. Be sure to try the Chicken Liver Mousse, served on citrus focaccia bread with a creamy mustard that really takes this dish over the top.
And if you’re not exactly in the mood for pizza, Basta is also serving up popular dishes like a Whole Colorado Bass, Bone-In Ribeye, and the Wood Roasted Half Chicken— a dish rated “top chicken dish in Boulder” in 2013 by the Daily Camera. To further enhance the warm and cozy dining room as the perfect meet-up spot, Basta’s concocting thoughtful cocktails, and serving craft beer, and a wonderful wine list by Alan Henkin, a level 2 sommelier formally of Frasca in downtown Boulder. A glass of the Jouclary syrah/cabernet is a beautiful pairing with the tomato-sauce based pizzas on the menu, creating a palate-cleansing effect that enhances each bite of the bubbly crust and the melty cheese goodness.
Basta is open Monday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner, and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch.
Image Credit: Basta