Are you looking for a fine dining Italian restaurant experience without the hassle of driving into the city and finding parking? Then, look no further than Dixon's Basil Tree Ristorante, one of the few fine dining options in town.
Mike & I weren't sure what to expect as we have only tried out casual restaurants in the area. We have enjoyed the majority of our experiences at other Dixon restaurants, so we figured we would make a reservation to try out Dixon's newest Italian joint.
The special appetizer of the day was delicious. Fried mashed potatoes may seem a bit strange, but on the contrary turned out to be an absolutely unique and delicious start to the evening. I am not one for ordering from the daily special menu, however, I chose to make an exception for this unique find.
For my entrée, I ordered Baked Manicotti. Honestly, I had to force it down. However, this is my own fault as I must have confused Baked Ziti with Manicotti. I absolutely will not eat Ricotta cheese - I hate both the taste and texture. I would not have ordered had I known that Ricotta Cheese was in it. I ate a little bit and handed the rest over to Mike, who gladly accepted it.
On the bright side, the complimentary soup (homemade Minestrone) was delicious.
Mike enjoyed his Ravioli dish, served with a creamy four cheese sauce. Had I stuck with something simple, like pasta and marinara, I probably would have had a better experience.
One of the menu highlights includes a pick your own pasta and sauce combination: a great option for picky eaters like myself! You can customize your dish anyways you like, adding in meats and vegetables. Prices are a bit on the high side for Dixon, but still more affordable that dining in Chicago.
Service was the highpoint of the night. Our waiter was refined and elegant. I appreciated the classy, old-fashioned service. Food was presented with grace.
Excellent service definitely sets the mood for date night. Basil Tree made for an excellent romantic evening out, thanks in part to the professional, graceful service.
From the outside, Basil Tree does not look that impressive. However, walking inside, I felt like I was stepping into an authentic city style Italian restaurant in Chicago.
For a second, I almost forgot that we were in small-town Dixon. I was impressed with the stylish design and decor. What a nice change of pace from the many casual/family dining style restaurants in town!
Overall, I would recommend Basil Tree to both locals and tourists. The classy service, beautifully presented entrees, and stylish Italian design elements will add to your dining experience.
I will not be biased because I chose the wrong entrée, however, next time I will definitely order from the pick your own pasta menu! Basil Tree definitely tops the list of best restaurants in Dixon!