I believe that an organic carrot tastes better than a conventional carrot, and thus never understood why advocates of organic lifestyles haven’t championed the superior taste of organic foods at least as much as they tout their health benefits. To taste for yourself, all you have to do is visit Basilico Organic in Mason. I’ll be back to visit soon, primarily for the made-from-scratch vodka ravioli; the flavor-filled blackened asado beef served with mixed seasonal vegetables and fried yucca mojito roots (novelty pencil–sized things that put your favorite French fries to shame); or the Basilico salad with mixed greens, a house-made apple vinaigrette, and delicious tuna salad. Even the kids’ pizza is tasty and huge, and it’s only $4.50. Owners Silvio and Antoniela Miranda went to extraordinary lengths to become a USDA-certified, purely organic restaurant (there are less than a dozen nationwide); every vendor of every product they use must also be certified. They could have flaunted that laurel with a pretentious, stuffy, healthier-than-thou Euro-café. Basilico is anything but. Its casual, modern cafeteria layout, infused with the sounds of Vivaldi and Caruso and accented with a warm color palette, is bright, cheery, and simple. And while Antoniela’s English isn’t perfect (she and Silvio are Italian by way of Venezuela), her charm is universal, especially with kids, for whom she says she went to such great lengths to serve healthy, tasty food. Maybe one of them will open a place like this downtown when they grow up.
6176 Tylersville Rd., Mason
Breakfast, lunch, & dinner Mon–Sat
Originally published in the May 2009 issue.