Il Bastardo, in the heart of Chelsea, does the trick when looking for a Saturday night date spot with a nice atmosphere, full bar, and great food. Outdoor seating is available, but on this chilly evening we chose to sit in the dining room with the bar. There were two other large dining rooms further back in the restaurant that also had a nice ambience. The place has a very dark, polished feel to it but the abundance of wooden tables and dark woodsy colors makes it feel cozy and comfortable.
The baked eggplant appetizer was pretty much Eggplant Parm served in the pan- which was not well-described on the menu. It's a nice portion so you can easily split this before digging into your entree. We wouldn't recommend more than a 1/2 app per person because the entrees are large and the complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic can easily fill you up if you're not careful.
My skirt steak was marinated and topped with a chimmichurri sauce, which made for a delicious piece of steak. It didn't hurt that the meat was cooked to medium-rare perfection! Served with sauteed spinach and mashed potatoes, you really can't ask for more from a skirt steak entree. I would recommend this to anyone in the mood for some steak.
Jess ordered the pounded chicken breast, served with mesclun and tomatoes. While this is a plain dish at heart, it really lacked flavor. If looking for something healthy, this is a good option, although I think I've made better versions of this dish myself.
For 1 app, 2 entrees, 3 dirty martinis ($14 each!), tip & tax, the total came to $113... Much steeper than what we thought we were getting into, but that might be our own fault for ordering $42 worth of alcohol.
Overall, it was a good meal but I don't see us rushing back to eat here. I can think of many more delicious options for an Italian meal, although perhaps not in Chelsea.