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BITE US: Empanada Wednesdays

Plus: Basilico Ristorante Italiano in Olympia

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Basilico Ristorante Italiano

Basilico Ristorante Italiano stands in the top tier of Italian restaurants in the South Sound. The service is better, the knowledge deeper, and the care and attention given to each ingredient can be identified a mile away. And yet Basilico still feels like a special place meant just for you. That’s because the first generation Italian owners ignore all the hype and just focus on the next table, the next plate, the next glass of wine.

Their northern Italian cuisine features a large selection of fresh hand made and hand cut pastas, all produced according to the old Italian tradition and with the use of specially-milled flour imported from Italy. Hang out by their “Pasta Station” and watch the magic happen before it melds with wild boar or duck.

The paglia e fieno alla camogli with mussels, prawns, calamari and salmon made me feel happy to be alive.  I appreciate what they are doing here — expanding the boundaries a bit — offering up a unique approach to flavors and textures.  The pasta is permeated with a seafood reduction that couples well with the fresh meats of the sea.  Afterward I felt like a king enjoying the fruits of his kingdom. — Jake de Paul
[Basilico Ristorante Italiano, 5-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 507 Capitol Way S., Olympia, 360.570.8777]

Empanada Wednesdays

You no longer have to wait to enjoy delicious empanadas from Pampeana, which currently are available through an online ordering process on their Web site: Beginning Wednesday, Dec. 9, Nancy and Alexis Oltman’s impossibly puffy and lighter than air pockets of goodness will be available every Wednesday at Kitchen2Kitchen on Sixth Avenue.

Empanadas available at Kitchen2Kitchen will include: beef, chicken, spinach and cheese, corn, caprese, apple and dulce de leche, and guava and ricotta cheese.

Even though Weekly Volcano editor Matt Driscoll is only familiar with Taco Bell’s weak-ass dessert themed empanadas, and he’s scared of change, he has promised to try the Pampeana empanadas when they arrive at Kitchen2Kitchen on Wednesdays.

He won’t be disappointed, and neither will you. — JDP
[Kitchen2Kitchen, Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sixth and Stevens, Tacoma, 253.752.2586]

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Jonathan Richman visits Olympia

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