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Apr 9, 2007 01:45 PM

The customer isn't always right at Basil T's

We enjoy Basil T's for what it is. Okay food at pretty good prices, friendly but often absent-minded service. Our dear friends visiting from Vermont wanted to take us to dinner on Saturday night. We chose Basil T's because it was in their price range and convenient to home. The girls had the worst cosmos ever. Guys enjoyed microbrews. I remember their calamari as always being good and the portion large. For $12.50, the portion is now barely enough for one person and a bit greasy. No one cared because we were in a festive mood. The girls ordered halibut with homemade spaghetti and the guys ordered a chicken, sausage and broccoli rabe dish. Food was all fine but my homemade spaghetti was chewy. I asked our waitress to bring me a fresh side of pasta if she had a chance. Soon, a manager (possibly owner?) came by to try to convince me that the pasta was as it should be because it was homemade. I explained that this was not my first encounter with homemade pasta, but fine don't bring me a fresh bowl. We were enjoying ourselves and that's what mattered most. He brought us down a bit but not for long. I made some mean cosmos once we got home.

Long lead-up to my foodie pet peeve: Why would you take the time on a busy night to tell a customer they're wrong about a $1 bowl of pasta? Isn't it more important to be friendly and ensure repeat business than to be right?

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  1. Sorry to hear that. I don't get it either when managers or servers worry about something so little and so easy to fix. I have always enjoyed my meals there. We were there on Good Friday and my dish was the pasta special. It was clams and mussels in a fra diablo sauce. Very good. I did, however, feel the appetizer speical was too pricey.

    $ 15.00 for 2 grilled shrimp over a bed of greens with white beans. I enjoyed it, but I do not think it was worth $ 15.00.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Angelina

      Haven't always had the best meals there and the service sometimes leaves much to be desired.

      1. re: Angelina

        I've never eaten at Basil Ts but have noticed appetizer prices increasing rapidly at other places. I wonder if the restaurants are subsidising the entrees to keep from raising those prices.

        I believe Victor is the owner of Basil Ts and his brother Bob owns Tavolo.

        1. re: tom porc

          With "upscale" being thrown about RBank, I suspect the price of rent will dictate and demand the "upscale trend" to raise the price of any meal. Tiffany's may be a dream for RiverCenter or the owner of said space but for the rest it's a lease nightmare and a dining customers pay to play.

      2. Confusingly, there are two brewpubs in NJ called "Basil T's", one in Red Bank and one in Toms River, which are now under different ownership- tho' the managements don't do much to try to distinguish themselves from the other one. Certainly RB tries for "upscale and snooty" and TR has a definite "chain in the mall parking lot" feel to the food and service. Still, I suppose any criticism should be aimed at one or the other.

        Altho', truth be told, I have never been impressed with the food or most of the beers at either one. The Maxwell Stout (Red Bank) is well respected and lately the owner/brewer of Climax Brewing Co., is brewing for TR, so can't comment on those currently, but, in general, both brewpubs' beers were the "wacky name- slightly different color but all taste the same" training- wheel beers that infest so many brewpubs trying not to offend their non-beer geek customers.

        1. I've never had to deal with a manager at BTs, but I'm seriously disappointed every single time I go there. For some reason I end up going back about once a year or two but every time I go I leave telling myself I'm never going back. Food is way overpriced and their beers are pathetic. We were there recently for their "roll back" menu and the food was decent but not worth the rollback price.

          1 Reply
          1. re: joonjoon

            hey anyplace that tries to tell you the macaroni is hard because its homemade is not serving italian food. forgetaboutit.