Over the past several years, I’ve spent a lot of time in Belhaven, and have become pretty familiar with the restaurant landscape. At least, I thought I was familiar. The truth is that I probably spent more time drinking than eating out here–Saturday afternoon beer pitchers, nights at the pub, and Sunday margaritas on the patio.
I stopped looking at menus. “Who needs menus?” I thought. “I know where I am!” (Not necessarily true) “I’ve memorized this menu!” (Definitely not true) “I practically wrote this menu!” (A blatant, drunken lie.)
My bearings were off. I was traveling in circles. I was lost in the mythic Belhaven Triangle. Little did I realize that fantastic menu changes were happening all around me. Thankfully, I know that now, and hopefully I can help you, fellow Belhaven traveler, discover new and amazing dishes that’ll help you soak up all that beer.
Here’s what you likely already know: Basil’s 904 (AKA Basil’s of Belhaven) is one of three Basil’s locations in Jackson, but it’s the only one that serves dinner as well as lunch. What you also may not know is that in addition to their standard panini, pasta, and salad fare, they’ve added a mouthwatering selection of wood-fired pizzas to their menu. Basil’s pizzas are recognizable on sight by their distinct football-like shape, cut in a zig-zag pattern to create long, thin slices. You’ve got your standard Cheese/Pepperoni/Meatball options, but the menu is rounded out with signature pizzas unique to the restaurant.
On my first visit, I went with a classic Margherita (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, roasted tomatoes.) I figured that if you can’t get this right, then the rest isn’t worth trying. I’m happy to say that not only did they get it right, they knocked it out of the park. The fresh basil aroma hits you before the pie hits the table, the sauce is zesty, and the thin, crispy crust is on par with the best that NYC has to offer. (And yeah, I’ve had that pizza too.)
My second pizza excursion was a bit more adventurous – this time, I tried the Belhaven. This baby features creamy pesto sauce, chicken, artichoke hearts, asparagus, and mushrooms. Along with my dining companion, I polished off the entire thing, and I regret nothing.
The prices range from $11-$16, so you can find the perfect pie to fit your budget. And as the owner/head chef Nathan Glenn helpfully suggested – leftovers are best reheated in the oven at 450 degrees for five minutes.
He was, of course, wasting his time. I didn’t have any leftovers.
Food: Fantastic, fresh, and creative.
Atmosphere: Classic Italian Bistro – low-lit, red and white checked tablecloths, and bakery counters. Cool rockabilly may be playing, though, instead of the beloved Rat Pack.
Service: A good pizza takes a little time, but it’s worth the short wait.
Have you tried the new wood-fired pizza menu at Basil’s 904 in Belhaven? What was your favorite pizza? Tell us in the comments below!