Fill up on bread


We’ve all been there: Sitting at dinner, surrounded by loved ones, and out comes a basket of bread. Without fail, someone says, “Don’t fill up on bread!”

Right. These folks are well meaning. There’s plenty of other delicious food coming. No need to waste an appetite on carbs.

But I’m giving you permission to ignore that when you order piada bread with burrata at Basta.

The first step to getting this butter drenched, garlic doused, carb-lovers dream is to actually find Basta. A Google search tells you in no uncertain terms that this is a “hard-to-find but acclaimed eatery.” Challenge accepted, Google.

The address is in the 3600 block of Arapahoe Avenue, across the street from Greenwood Wildlife Thrift Shop and Consignment Gallery.

If you’re using a smart phone map application to guide you there, prepare to be wildly irritated as you find yourself heading west on Arapahoe, in front of The Lofts at Peloton, as that neutral voice tells you, “You have arrived.” The neutrality of the voice takes on a subtle mocking tone after you hear it more than once and still haven’t found the restaurant.

Do not give up.

It only took my dining partner and I two trips around The Lofts at Peloton to see a small sign indicating that Basta is tucked inside the apartment complex. It was dark, so cut us some slack.

Inside is a simple but comfortable setting: a small dining room with beautiful wood-top tables, a cozy bar and a wood-fired oven that turns out, from what I’ve heard, some of the best pizza in Boulder.

Basta has built a winning formula with an ever-changing menu centered on seasonal local foods, from produce to cheeses to charcuterie.

“The weather changes the characteristics of our dough,” their website informs. “The seasons change the components of our menu. Our inspirations change the selections of our wine list. We embrace these changes.”

And so should you.

Basta in Italian (as in Spanish) means “enough.” But for this restaurant, “enough” seems to mean that what we have right here, in Boulder County, is enough — we need look no further than our backyard to find what we need to create amazing food.

Finally at our destination, with glasses of red wine at hand, my dining partner and I ignored the voices of all the mothers, aunts and well-meaning friends who’ve advised us against filling up on bread and ordered the piada bread with burrata.

Adding the burrata to the order is critical.

Piada bread — sometimes called piadina — is a type of Italian flatbread usually made with white flour, a lipid such as lard or olive oil, salt and water. Cooked in Basta’s wicked hot oven, the bread obtains those beautiful bubbles that blacken just a bit and add a crisp crunch to the soft bread.

Basta’s piada bread is prepared in a dome like shape, cut into four rounded pieces with open centers that create perfect pockets in which to stuff cheese — that is why the order of burrata is crucial.

Burrata is The Cheese of the Gods: It’s mozzarella cheese made with fresh cream or butter, which makes the cheese smooth, rich and spreadable.

If you were thinking this sounds like it needs more butter, don’t worry. Basta’s piada bread comes with allium butter, which is butter infused with garlic and scallions. The bread sits in a shallow dish atop allium butter and creamy burrata. Whole cooked cloves of garlic add soft texture and light flavor, and green scallions covering the top finish the bread off with a pop of color.

So, this is your life. Take charge of it: Find Basta, order the piada bread and remind those low-carb champions that you only go ’round once. Life is too short to skip the bread — at least not every time.

Basta. 3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder,