When we sat down at Bastible the other night none of us could actually say what a Bastible is. Can you? Well, here you go: a Bastible is “a flat bottomed cast iron pot used for baking largely in the nineteenth and early twentieth century Ireland.” Now that we know, we are all better people, right?
I have been known to frequent restaurants strictly because they have fun bathrooms. There is a restaurant in the West Village in NYC that I brought many people to and went back to repeatedly for two reasons: 1, $10 two course lunch menu and 2, bathrooms that were hilarious and terrifying all at once. I would bring friends from out of town, then they would then bring new friends when they would come back a year later. The bathrooms kept Peep in our repertoir for years. I would still go back today. I won’t tell you exactly what the bathrooms at Peep are like, go see for yourself.
The bathrooms at Bastible are excellent too. Their use of brushed concrete, communal trough sink and rope toilet roll holders was enough to have our table talking for at least ten minutes. That was handy because we were there for over three hours and needed to fill our time at the table talking about something.
We talked about the food when we had it, which probably totaled all of 30 minutes of the three hours we spent in the place.
The food is worth talking about. It’s excellent. If it had been served in a timely manner it would have been better. We were all very hungry for each course, then ate too quickly, then all felt hungry thirty minutes after.
There were some classy freebies, and I love a classy freebie. We had gorgeous giant radishes to dip in a smoked cod roe hummus-like sauce. These freebies were standard for all dining and not because we were being made to wait for our food.
I was told we would be asked politely to leave by 8.45 when I booked, but our food had not arrived by 8.30. Then we were allowed to sit with nothing to eat or drink for almost fifteen minutes before we got the bill. It got exciting when the fire alarm started going off because of some frying going on in the open kitchen. We probably should have just started on a second dinner at that stage. Would they have noticed if we just walked out?
For a restaurant that has been open long enough to have worked out service kinks, and to have made sure their extraction fan works. I had very high expectations. The food lived up to them. The overall experience did not. For the cost of the experience, all expectations should have been met.