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Basso frustrated me a bit when it opened in late 2012 at the renovated Cheshire hotel. I liked the “Italian gastropub” fare (wood-fired pizzas, rustic pastas), but the concept downplayed the talent of chef Patrick Connolly, who’d won a James Beard Award for his work in Boston. That point is moot now. Connolly has returned to the East Coast. But even before his departure, I realized I’d been unfair to Basso. It succeeds on its own terms, as shown by the smart, flavorful dishes from my most recent visit, most notably the pappardelle with lamb, star anise, orange, pecorino and — weirdly, wonderfully — dark chocolate.

From the owners

Basso is a sleek and exciting basement gastropub with an Italian accent and a playful attitude. From the entry point at the bottom of the spiral staircase, guests are greeted with a vibrant fire under a glowing mantel setting the mood with a cozy atmosphere perfect for those cold St. Louis nights. Bask in the spring and summer sunshine on Basso’s patio, one of the premiere outdoor dining spots in town. Enjoy hand-made pastas, wood-oven pizzas and innovative shared plates. Take advantage of Basso's robust beverage offering during an intimate happy hour, dinner or grab a spot at the 40-seat bar. With 32 beers on tap, a host of Italian wines and a bevy of inventive hand crafted cocktails, Basso has something for everyone!