Basil's: Comfort From the Cold
By KJ Adler
When the weather is warm enough, Chrissy Jones opens the doors of the Italian-style restaurant Basil’s Bistro on Caroline Street to unleash her secret weapon upon the citizens of Fredericksburg; garlic on the stove. The scent’s strength stops people near the front of the restaurant. Before entering, customers proclaim to a smiling Jones that the place just smelled “too good” to pass up.
Jones has been in the restaurant business for a little over a year after she decided to leave the FBI Academy.
Coming into Virginia from California, Jones caught sight of the little restaurant next to The Galleria and knew that she had found her new business.
Basil’s is a small restaurant that holds a dozen tables with checkered floors and an open kitchen. It is a perfect cozy location for the cold nights in Virginia winter.
“When I came in, I was inspired,” Jones said. “I could visualize the changes as I walked through the restaurant.”
Since taking ownership, Jones has been working hard to get her restaurant on the Fredericksburg map. With only a staff of five by her side, Jones helps in the kitchen and on the floor. She constantly pushes for new items and specials on the menu in order to keep the selection fresh and the customers happy.
“I love to change the menu, and the slow season gives me the opportunity to do that,” Jones said. “I really enjoy making people happy with food.”
Along with such weekly specials as “Pasta Lucia,” as well as an ever-changing selection of wines and a wide range of desserts, the bistro also has “Flip for your Dinner” Tuesdays and “Whiner” Wednesdays.
On Tuesdays, between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., each waitress is armed with a coin and the check. The patron calls heads or tails as the coin is flipped. If guessed correctly, the main dishes are on the house.
“It’s a great return clientele,” Jones said. “For the customers, it’s something fun to do on a week night.”
Jones felt inspired by a restaurant she used to eat at in California.
“They did it on Mondays and their business increased a lot because of it,” Jones said.
On Whiner Wednesdays, Basil’s has a selection of wine specials and five dollar appetizers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every week.