Double Good Foodie News With Bigoli Pasta and Basil Carmel
December 13, 2012
In a perfect world, your from-scratch sauces take several hours, but the organic pasta only takes two minutes.
But that world is only obtainable with super-super-fresh pasta. And there’s not a whole lot of that laying around for those without the culinary wherewithal or the Italian grandma to whip it up on the spot.
Fortunately there’s Chef Michele Cremonese and his new endeavor, Bigoli Pasta (899-4422), which he launched after making Basil Carmel (626-8226) a go-to spot for seasonal grub by the sea.
The Weekly found him at the Independent Marketplace not far from his new Sand City kitchen—and found his all-natural artichoke-fontina ravioli and classic artisan rigatoni simply spot on, with a simple butter-garlic-beer sauce and roasted bell pepper-chili flake tomato sauce, respectively.
The ravioli sells for $10.50 per 10oz, the rigatoni and other pastas for $3.50 per 8oz.
Speaking of sales, Cremonese sold Basil Carmel in June to German-born chef and recent Los Angeles transplant Soerke Peters, Basil has grown more green than ever.
Peters is on the fast track to certifying Basil as the first green standard restaurant in Carmel by the Green Restaurant Association. In order to lock down the distinction the restaurant is sourcing more organic food than ever from local favorites like Swank Farms and Golden Rule Produce; has recently joined a food scrap program that collects unused food that is then repurposed as compost on the aforementioned farms; and now converts all the restaurants grease into biodiesel to power Salinas Valley farm equipment.
Green is coming from other directions too.
“Business has been great, summer was phenomenal and we’re doing great things here,” Peters says.
As far as the food goes, Basil’s organic, localvore concept has stayed virtually the same, but Chef Peters is rolling out new dishes with the seasons and menu overhauls happen every three months. Some standouts include the black squid ink linguine tossed with Monterey squid ($16), the applewood smoked venison with Paraiso Port and Black Mission fig reduction accompanied by from-scratch spaetzle ($24) and a roasted jidori chicken dish with rutabaga puree and organic veggies ($19.50).
As far as the new digs, Peters is digging it on the Peninsula since his move from L.A., where he spent the last 10 years working for restaurants in Toluca Lake and Malibu.
“Are you kidding me?” Peters says. “I love it. No more traffic. I walk to work every day.”
For updates on menu items and upcoming events at Basil Carmel, go to basilcarmel.com.