BASTA! Sam The Cooking Guy’s Restaurant

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy

Italian-inspired eats and inventive cocktails

He has won multiple Emmy Awards for his popular television show, has written six cookbooks, and has almost four million followers on his YouTube channel which features recipes, cooking tips, and food reviews. So what does Sam do next? He opened a new restaurant called BASTA! in Little Italy, that is equally as focused on delicious dishes, as it is on creating a fun ambiance for his guests. BASTA! by Sam The Cooking Guy is the perfect reason to head down to Little Italy for a meal. My meal was absolutely delicious, there is great indoor and outdoor seating, the vibrancy of the Piazza della Famiglia courtyard is alluring, and there’s an excellent cocktail and wine list.


The food is casual and approachable. Dishes often feature ingredients that are bold and combine unexpected flavor combinations.  Despite the casual approach and use of everyday ingredients, each dish looks visually stunning, and they reflect his personality.

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy

MUST-ORDER ITEMS AT Basta! by Sam The Cooking Guy

There is one thing better than having a meal at BASTA! by Sam The Cooking Guy, and that’s having Sam serve it to you,   It’s impossible to miss his enthusiasm for these dishes.  These are the dishes that I would highly recommend that you order.

You can smell the freshly baked housemade focaccia seconds before it arrives hot at your table. It is served with roasted bone marrow butter, garlic, chopped parsley, and parmesan. 


This is no ordinary gnocchi dish, as they are not made with mashed potato, but done the Parisian way – made with choux pastry. They are super soft, and so good when dipped into the cacio e pepe aioli.

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy


It’s not often that I say that sardines are a must-order item, but even if you do not love them, I’d say BASTA! is the place to try them.  It’s a culinary trend that’s long been popular and is finally making its way to the US.  Two thumbs up for the flavor (enhanced by the Calabrian chili oil) and the presentation in a sardine can.


Tenderloin, shallots, mustard, cornichons, chives, lemon, capers, a soy-cured egg yolk served with toasted sourdough. This dish is the perfect mix of comfort food and adventure.

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy


The dishes at BASTA! are meant for sharing, tapas-styled, and family sharing, but this is truly one of the dishes I got that I wish I did not have to share. It’s one of the most exquisite pasta dishes I have eaten all year.  The pasta was soft and the flavors from the parmesan, lemon, asparagus, creme fraiche, and herb oil were superb together.


Yes, you may have had chicken and waffles before, but not Sam’s way.  The chicken is roasted (not fried) and is served with a polenta waffle.  

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy

Did you save room for dessert? I didn’t but when I saw the deconstructed cannoli (you dip the cannoli chips into the soft ricotta, toasted pistachio, and candied citrus spread) and chocolate budino (a traditional Italian dessert with a rich, creamy texture), I managed to enjoy every single bite of it.

Basta by Sam The Cooking Guy

Sam and his team ought to be proud of the food because the meal was both creative and delicious.

But make a reservation because the restaurant is only two weeks old and as word gets out, it’s going to be tough to get a reservation.

Pro tip, BASTA! by Sam The Cooking Guy has weekly specials:

  • Spaghetti and meatball Monday
  • Shrimp scampi Tuesday
  • Oxtail lasagna Wednesday
  • Porchetta Thursday
  • Cioppino Friday

You’ll know you’ve hit the spot when you find the scooter parked outside.  You can find Sam’s recipes on his website.

If you love Italian food, this meal at Le Mani In Pasta was one of my favorites when visiting Genova this year.

2 Responses

  1. Photos are awesome. Everything looks great. Those weekly specials sound amazing, especially that oxtail lasagna. Have to visit Basa on a Wednesday.

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