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.'
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...
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.
The luxurious meat platter comes highly recommended and features:
- Wild boar proscuitto
- Fennel salami
- Truffle salami
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.
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