This Italian Restaurant Is Manchester's Best Kept Secret

'It's only been open a few months and I get the feeling Mancs don't have a clue about it.'

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Manchester's not short of great Italian restaurants. Rio Fedinand's Rosso, Don Giovanni, San Carlo Fumo, Sugo and Rudy's Pizzeria in Ancoats all offer sensational plates of pizza, pasta and all-round carby goodness.

But one thing Manchester hasn't had in abundance up to now is a dedicated aperitivo bar - purely for those sunny days and warm nights when you just fancy a cheeky bottle of wine and a nibbly meal without all the airs and graces a proper sit down 3 course meal affords.

But Basil + Lily have just answered our prayers...

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The walls are lined with high quality fragrant white and ruby red vinos - all imported from Italy.

The quant little spot specialises exclusively in Italian fare, but not the steaming hot plates of pasta you might expect elsewhere, but rather fresh breads, home-made dips and artisan meats and pickled sweet vegetables - the perfect accompaniments to the wide range of cocktails, wines, beer and ciders the place offers.

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The luxurious meat platter comes highly recommended and features:

- Wild boar proscuitto

- Fennel salami

 - Truffle salami

 - Mortadella.

The cheese offering is just as adventurous, with a mix of taleggio, stracchino, wine-soaked pecorino (heavy on the wine, naturally) and gorgonzola.

While the meats and cheeses are glorious on their own, the dips erved alongside them bring both completely alive - this place are not about cutting corners either. The house-made green pesto is a pure delight and a pesto calabrese (slight spicy red pesto) is fast becoming their signature dip.

The grilled vegetable selection (because we're all about that five-a-day) is just as delicious - with peppers, balsamic-soaked onions and marinated courgettes - plus a bread basket with bread sticks, sourdough and focaccia from legendary Manchester bakery Trove.

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The friendly staff are passionate foodies, all bursting with energy. A menu becomes a mere inconvenience as they talk you through each part of their platters and where exactly each element is sourced.

If you've never had this style of meal before I suggest you come just for this.

The platter was a sight for sore eyes, deliciously fresh and full of flavour and the best relaxed form of dining you'll ever experience.

You can find Basil + Lily at 449a Bury New Road, Prestwich, M25 1AF

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Written By


Loves eating cake and baking (skilled at the former, not so great at the latter.) Discovering the vibrant city that is Manchester one burrito at a time.Email: