Basilico Italian restaurant is in Oranmore, about five miles outside Galway. The restaurant is in the Coach House Hotel on the Main Street, and is in the centre of the town.
Basilico is an authentic Italian dining experience, cooked and served by Italian chefs and staff. The dining room is decorated in shades of burgundy and creams, and the chairs are stylish cream leather. Tables are well spaced and I find myself dining alone for once, at a table set for three. First up the staff bring me the menu, and some sparkling water. I also receive a plate of slices of homemade Italian foccacia in a variety of styles, so there’s a plain one, tomato and a cheese variety. They are served with a homemade Caponata, both of which are delicious, and it’s at this point I realise how good the menu sounds.
Dishes are broken down correctly, the description of the dishes speaks of authentic recipes and ingredients, and I am thinking that this is just the type of restaurant Paolo would love.
Carbonara has no cream, truffles feature regularly, the risotto’s sound delicious and the menu starts with Antipasta, then Primi Piatta, then Secondi, then dolce.
There is a lot to choose from and I am struggling, but after the Caponata, I decide to start with a linguine marinara, followed by a small taste of the risotto with black truffle, parmesan and smoked mozzarella and then the Saltimbocca alla griglia to follow.
The linguine is served in a light white wine and tomato sauce and has generous helpings of mussels, clams, baby octopus and squid. The pasta is perfectly al dente, and the sauce is delicious. The risotto is next and is beautifully presented with small sage leaves around and truffle grated on top. The flavours are so concentrated; it’s like little explosions of salty, cheesy, truffle loveliness. I’m wondering if the saltimbocca can hit these heights but needn’t have worried, if possible its better. A simple piece of flash grilled veal with sage and prosciutto, dressed with a rocket and tomato salad. It’s seasoned to within an inch of its life, there’s spicy basil in there somewhere, and it is simply delicious.
This is quite possibly the best Italian food I have had in Ireland. It’s certainly up there with other favourites, and it is a fantastic surprise to walk into a restaurant that we haven’t visited before and find food and service of this quality, in a room this pleasing. I can’t praise Basilico enough. I loved it.
It's hard to believe, but they do a mid-week offer Monday to Thursday with two courses for only €15. Makes it worth a trip out from Galway for what is certainly the best Italian food in the West.