My friend and I decided to check out Basil’s in Buckhead with no previous recommendations or even recognition of the name…which was strange in its own right. I am usually up on the swank-life of the ATL and Basil’s is indeed swanky but on the DL (down-low).
Tucked away in the reputed upscale area of Atlanta, Basil’s is inconspicuously disguised as a house occupied by someone’s cool Greek aunt. You immediately feel at home when you pull up in the driveway surrounded by local shrubs, fountains, and lawn art. The valet greeted us at the front door and quickly whisked our car away to some backyard abyss. As soon as we walked through the door, we immediately felt all of the charm this restaurant has. Dimly lit and packed with intimate seating throughout the building, this place really draws you into the feel of an old Mediterranean villa. The walls are adorned with paintings from local artists and a Spanish guitarist played covers of Journey and Sinatra…it all strangely worked for this space. There’s no formal check in for reservations, so we were impressed that our internet reservations were accurately recorded and honored. We were seated very quickly and greeted by our casually dressed waiter. Somehow, I felt our skinny-jeaned waiter’s attire didn’t quite fit the atmosphere. Even in this restaurant’s coziness, I would expect some sort of uniformity for the Basil’s staff. Especially considering the arrogance of our waiter who felt it necessary to assume I lacked the adequate skills to identify my wine menu from the daily specials menu. So, you can imagine my self-disgust when I incorrectly pronounced one of the appetizers and was crassly corrected, loud enough for our neighbors to hear. We settled upon the mushroom canapé appetizer and were definitely pleased. The chewy bread-pastry hybrid with a shitake mushroom & truffle oil pesto of some sort went down very well! I ordered the house Merlot to pair with my entrée, the Stuffed Shrimp and Risotto. I was completely blown away by the flavor of this meal. Four huge shrimp stuffed with crab meat and herbs. The risotto complemented this dish well with a buttery white wine sauce. The initial presentation of this dish left me leery, as I felt the portion would not be enough to satisfy. I was pleasantly surprised just how satisfied I was with this meal. It was amazing. My friend ordered the Stuffed Flounder and Herb Potatoes. This was a “man’s meal”… huge heapings of perfectly seasoned and whipped potatoes topped by a massive filet of stuffed seafood flounder. This dish was impressive and delicious. I was completely blown away how well seasoned both meals were. My pride, still bruised by our smarty-tight pants waiter, made me down play my satisfaction for this dinner selection. However, on the inside I was thrilled by the culinary skill of everything we consumed.
Overall, I really enjoyed this place and can easily look past the “bougieness” of our waiter to recommend Basil’s. In addition, I am eager to visit again to try more of the tapas, which the chef regularly changes depending on the season and what inspires him. Furthermore, Basil’s hosts a Sunday Brunch that I am dying to experience. I would recommend this place for an intimate dinner, girls day lunch, or mature social gathering. One should be made aware of Basil’s intimate atmosphere, which could be easily interpreted as “tight”. However, during warm spring or summer months, your claustrophobic friends may want to utilize the partially covered patio with breathtaking views of Atlanta’s downtown skyline. Lastly, be cautious of Basil’s techno-dressed, sarcastic wait staff…a dry run of the menu prior to visiting may save you some embarrassment.
Basil’s Restaurant & Bar
2985 Grandview Avenue, NE
Atlanta, GA 30305
Written by April Dobbs
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