The first thing we noticed when we entered Basil & Grape was that we were immediately transported somewhere else. It was like we were sitting outside in an Italian vineyard, not inside a restaurant in a busy London town centre.
We were greeted with a sophisticated, party-like, atmosphere and the staff couldn’t have been more friendly and enthusiastic. The inside felt classy and, with clear COVID-19 measures in place, safe.
As we took our seats in a booth, we got straight to the food. We thought to ourselves ‘when in Rome!’ and had some olives alongside a selection of bruschetta. There are seven topping options and deals if you order two or three varieties together. We took a recommendation from our waiter to order two toppings – goat’s cheese with fig jam, and a second round of nduja and scaramorza. The recommendation was fantastic. The nduja was fairly spicy and the goat’s cheese was sweet and delicious.
For mains, we went for ‘Roman Pizza’, which provided plenty of topping options on either a le rosse or le bianchie base – catering for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians and meat lovers. We opted for a Boscaiola – with Italian sausage and mushrooms, and a more unusual Torino with mozzarella, sliced pear, gorgonzola and walnuts.
Both were exceptional. The bases were doughy, springy, light, crispy on the edges and delicious and we would absolutely recommend the more left-field Torino and the Boscaiola, which offered a touch of sweetness and was full of flavour.
Served on thick wooden platters, the pizzas looked almost as good as they tasted – which might be down to how they make their pizzas using traditional methods dating back more than 200 years. In fact all methods and ingredients come from Italy. Importantly, the cutlery could actually cut the pizza too – which is rare!
We washed down our mains with a shot of limoncello – on the house – before being told the homemade tiramisu was worth having. After a great recommendation on the starters, it was only fair we took heed of this one too – and it did not disappoint!
Throughout the meal staff were attentive, checking we were ready for our mains before they were cooked and the portion sizes were generous, and can be taken home.
Given Basil & Grape is a wine bar, we opted to have a flight of wines alongside our mains. You can pick ether a red or white flight, but we went for a mixed option including a white, rose and red. The team gave us an introduction to each wine, its origin and its taste, when serving, which felt very classy and authentic. The full-bodied red was especially nice.
Basil & Grape offers lunch deals from 12pm-5pm daily and would be good for dates and small or large groups. There is also a famous wine tasting experience we will be returning for, which takes place in a separate room from the restaurant, priced at £35pp (minimum of two people).
Basil & Grape is located at 46 George Street and open 12pm-10pm Monday-Tuesday, 12pm-11pm Wednesday-Saturday and 12pm-5pm on Sundays. For more information and to book, visit www.basilandgrape.com
or call 020 8680 2277.