Most modern cuisine is a continuation of classic dishes, just as a computer is a slightly modified typewriter and a washing machine is a river in a box. Revel in palatable progress with today’s Groupon: for $28, you get a three-course Italian dinner for two at Basil & Thyme Italian Bistro in Newark (up to a $57 total value). The dinner includes the following:
- One antipasti dish (up to a $7 value)
- Two selections from the zuppa menu or two dinner side salads (up to a $5 value each)
- Two entrees chosen from the a la griglia, pasta, or secondi piatti menus (up to a $20 value each). An extra charge will apply for the rack of lamb and khuroos-e-tursh dishes. <p>
Chef-owner Benjamin Cruz, trained at The Oberoi Hotel Culinary Institute, peppers his modern Tuscan menu with hand-rolled pastas, fresh meats and seafood, and homemade herbed sauces. Embark on an edible expedition to central Italy with the crispy avocado-and-sundried-tomato-stuffed egg rolls accompanied by a basil-artichoke sauce, or play ring toss on a partner’s fork with crispy calamari. A verdant side salad spans the color wheel with carrots, tomatoes, and parmesan atop mixed greens, or a daily-shifting soup, from a roster that includes black-pepper-sprinkled minestrone and clam chowder, warms tongues. Noodle cravers nibble the garlicky lobster ravioli or the mint-pesto linguini, sharing plate estate with fried eggplant and garbanzo in a basil-mint sauce. The grilled veal au funghi, accented with black-mushroom white-wine sauce, packs muscle-building protein, enabling diners to shove over the Leaning Tower of Pisa with their bare hands.