You'll never hear me complain about the fact that my job requires me to eat out just about every day, but I will say that I get a lot more pleasure than I used to in deciding where to eat for my birthday dinner. I can choose wheverever I want without a second thought toward writing about it! Awesome. I chose one of my very favorite places in town, the patio of the charming and oh-so-romantic Basi Italia.

And yet, I couldn't resist taking photos of my beautiful meal to share with you all.

Yes, my Lobster Bucatini entree, pictured above, tasted just as great as it looked. It starts with bucatini, a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hollow center. On top is sweet steamed lobster meat (some still in the shell) plus wilted spinach, ripe cherry tomatoes and a vodka-tomato sauce. Just fantastic.

I also stole some bites off this pretty plate, a nightly special featuring duck meatballs with a carrot slaw and pesto sauce. The meatballs had some neat, sweet seasonings that reminded me a bit of Turkish food.

And of course I started out my meal, as always, with the Zucchini Pronto appetizer, a magical combination of roasted zucchini matchsticks and toasted almonds wrapped in tissue-paper-thin sheets of pecorino. So good.

For dessert, I went for the Tiramisu (adorned the the Basi "B"!) as well as a balsamic strawberry compote of sorts--a light dessert made decadent with whipped cream and a drizzle of buttery caramel sauce.

Also got a chance to try some of the cocktails being mixed up by new head bartender Joe Peppercorn. He's doing a modern take on classic cocktails that he's dubbed Improved Cocktails. Now, unfortunately I didn't write down the names and ingredients of these drinks (as previously mentioned, I wasn't working!) but I know the one pictured in the front here was a lovely Caipirinha, the one in the back is a bitter, orange-flavored Aperol and the one below is a gin drink that gets its lovely hue from violette.

Basi Italia
811 Highland St., Victorian Village
614-294-7383
basi-italia.com