First Look: Basso, the Lower-Level Gastropub at the Cheshire

Categories: First Look
Liz Miller
Beef Rib Eye Carpaccio with mead, chile oil, cress and pecorino (left) and baked lamb meatballs with polenta, tomato and goat cheese (right) at Basso.
Upon arriving in St. Louis, Connolly recruited a friend -- and former sous chef at famed San Francisco Italian restaurant Flour + Water -- to help develop a pizza crust recipe for Basso. Connolly says over the course of several days they tested dough, temperatures and recipes before settling on a Neapolitan-style crust.

"[It's] a Neapolitan style but it's got a lot more structure to it. The center kind of establishes itself more than I think a traditional Neapolitan," he says. "It's better for an American palette. Its got great yeastiness because it's a three-day process, so the yeast has time to develop. Its got a great smell, gets a great blistering along the outside and its got elasticity, so it's crunchy but also pulls a little. I've very happy with it."

Pizzas at Basso include a classic margherita with American mozzarella, tomato and basil, to more inventive, like the "Emo Cover Band," with crumbled sausage, cippolini, pancetta, mushroom, poblano and Basso provel and "the Donald," with wild mushrooms, duck, egg, truffle butter and shaved lardo. All pizzas cost $13.

"We have a traditional margherita but most of the pizzas have a little more of a sense of humor," Connolly says. "'The "Emo Cover Band,' is sort of my tribute to the Imo's deluxe. One we're calling 'McDowellis Golden Arcs,' is a reference to Coming to America, esoteric but funny. That has roasted squash, sage, speck and drizzled honey. We've had a lot of fun with the names of the pizzas; I think people will enjoy that. I hope they will."

Pizza is only one offering on Basso's menu, though. Pasta dishes range from potato gnocchi with peekytoe crab, creme fraiche, zucchini and chervil to bucatini, beef and pork ragu, pecorino romano and breadcrumbs. Half-orders cost $10, full orders are $16.

"The pastas are interesting. We've got very hearty meat sauces, ones a very aromatic brisket, the other ones a very satisfying bolognese style with a little bit of roasted bone marrow butter," says Connolly.

Location Info


7036 Clayton Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

The Restaurant at the Cheshire

6300 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

The Cheshire

6300 Clayton Rd, Richmond Heights, MO

Category: General

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