Basso56 brings its beloved Italian cuisine to Chappaqua

By Miguel Rivas

After saying goodbye to New York during the pandemic, Basso56 is moving to Westchester to offer its signature Italian cuisine.

Manhattan’s loss is Westchester’s gain, as longtime Broadway favorite Basso56 closed in New York during the pandemic, after a 20-year run. But partner/manager Aleks Kalo and chef/owner Paolo Catini weren’t ready to give up the restaurant business. Said Kalo: “We always had our eye on Westchester as a possible location.” He notes that a good number of their customers in the city were from Westchester, so they had an integrated clientele.

“We fell in love with Chappaqua – the town itself, the restaurant’s proximity to the train station and the layout of the restaurant (Aesop’s old table),” says Kalo. Basso56 has a decidedly upscale and chic look, with bay windows that can open onto the street, bringing light into the dining room and bar. The restaurant is divided into two parts: the bar with 10 seats on one side and the dining room with around 70 seats on the other. An outdoor patio can accommodate an additional 50 customers. The bar is highlighted by a mirror framed by gold shelves and filigree lighting.

True to its Italian roots (particularly the Abruzzo region), the bar and dining room are “decorated” with wine bottles displayed on wall shelves. The wine list offers Italian and Californian selections. The cocktail list features dishes such as the Aperol spritz, an Italian mule made with vodka, Amaro, ginger beer and lime juice, and an Abruzzese limonata, with citrus vodka, limoncello and fresh lemon.

“We fell in love with Chappaqua – the town itself, the restaurant’s proximity to the train station, and the layout of the restaurant.”
—Aleks Kalo

Chef Catini hails from the Abruzzo region, a region that “historically produces great cooks, so it must be in its DNA,” says Kalo. Dinners start with hot bread and delicious complimentary olives. Some must-haves include a beautifully presented appetizer of baked eggplant parmigiana with a delicious tomato sauce and fresh mint and basil; a salad with organic baby kale, Granny Smith apple, avocado and a dollop of delicate fresh buffalo ricotta; and the maccheroni alla chitarra with ragu d’agnello. The Abruzzo-style dish features homemade spaghetti with a lamb stew sauce, with the most tender cuts of lamb and topped with pecorino romano. There is a selection of other pasta dishes, fish choices and meat dishes, such as lamb chops and seared filet mignon. For dessert, the Chocolate Caramel Crisp combines a warm flourless chocolate almond cake with a creamy caramel crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. It’s gluten-free and decadent.

By Miguel Rivas

As this pair carry on Basso56’s legacy locally, Kalo says he looks forward to introducing new Westchester residents to the restaurant’s comforting Italian cuisine, “served with an upscale twist.”

11 King Street, Chappaqua; 914.861.2322

Related: This Westchester dinner is a must for local wine collectors


Comments are closed.