Bastone, a restaurant and brewery, open since 2004, brings a European casual elegance to the dining scene in Royal Oak. The Art deco facade juxtaposes beautifully to the worn, wood heavy European style interior.
As with most Royal Oak restaurants, the place boasts some nice outside seating that it also shares with its sister Vinotecca, which is a wine bar.
The shots of the interior are darker than I normally provide, but its because the lighting inside is dim and intimate.
The ceiling is high and decked out in warm wood.
There was communal worn in benches, booths and regular tables.
They make all their beer in house and all their items are 100% made from scratch. Which for me, is a mark of a great restaurant.
We started off with the soft warm pretzels ($8.95). My hubby a picky eater is still talking about them. They were great, soft, warm, salty, and the five cheese dipping sauce was smooth and surprisingly not heavy or gooey like I’ve come to expect of cheese sauces.
I have a thing for mac and cheese. Especially truffled mac and cheese ($13.95). This however was not mind blowing. It seemed to be missing something. So far I still love this mac and cheese.
My hubby ordered the grilled portobello ($8.50). This is now known in our house as the best veggie sandwich ever! I mean, who tops a sandwich with French Boursin (which happens to be my favorite) cheese?
I’m drooling just looking at this picture. Cheese is my friend. You could taste the portabello, the field greens, marinated tomatoes. It was all beautiful. The onion roll it was on was not oniony at all (in a good way), and if it had just been a bit crispier, it would’ve have been perfect. I’m just being picky.
Now apparently the Pomme Frites (french for fries) are award winning. I asked the waiter, who by chance was a lovely British chap, and he said they were twice fried. Meaning cooked first at a low temp to cook the inside, then flash fried to get the crispy outside. They were served with a special mayo. Artichoke I think? It was divine. Especially since its house made.
A great thing I loved on the menu is that they have a “Two bite” dessert concept for $1.50. I think this is genius and more restaurants should have this. Everyone likes a sweet end to a meal, but a full dessert always seems so heavy and unnecessary. They have everything from profiteroles to key lime tarts. My hubby wanted to try the chocolate dipped strawberries. These were disappointing. You could tell they were made the day before. The strawberry was soggy and mushy. My hubby still ate his. If he hadn’t I would’ve asked for something else.
The service was great, the waiter very charming and the atmosphere warm. We don’t drink, but for those at do, be sure to check out their in house made beer. This is a definite recommend, especially after those pretzels and sandwich.