Basils Greek Dining is located on the outside circle of Fox Valley Mall in Aurora. It is a little hidden gem nestled behind Macy’s department store. The restaurant opened in November of 2009, when it renovated the existing Italian restaurant, Lorenzo’s. Basils (vasilikos) in Greek meaning “royal” isn’t far from the truth, at least, if you asked your taste buds that is.
Upon entering, it might appear as your average white tablecloth venue but the real magic happens when your food is delivered.
Under the cold appetizers (Mezethes) section of the menu, there is a dish named Basils Special, which is a trio of three Greek dipping sauces, (Basil’s states it as being three of Greece’s best dipping sauces) Tzatziki, a thick tangy yogurt dip; Taramosalata, a robust lemony fish roe dip (do not let the description scare you, this was a favorite!) and Melitzanosalata, a creamy eggplant condiment. The dips are served alongside a variety of imported Greek cheeses, olives and soft triangles of pita bread. One word—Yum! This dish is a definite “must try!”
As far as salads are concerned, the Chopped Salad is highly recommended. It is a mixture of roasted chicken, fresh diced mixed greens, vine ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and feta cheese tossed with a Greek Vinaigrette dressing. It may sound like your average Chopped Salad but do not let that fool you, for every bite of this salad is just as tantalizing as the first.
Moving on to Entrees, there were three that were tried: Shrimp Skordati, Beef Shish Kabobs and Basil’s Flatbread/Pizza. The Shrimp Skordati is jumbo shrimp baked in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, breadcrumbs, and basil, and is a definite thumbs-up. This is a popular Mediterranean dish, which can sometimes be quite pungent but not here. Basil’s version is smooth and delicate on the palate. Moving on to the Beef Shish Kabobs, which was a personal favorite. Grilled marinated beef tenderloin skewered with fresh vegetables. The beef was beautifully tender and seasoned just right. The Basil’s Flatbread, on the other hand, not quite a favorite. A thin semi- crunchy crust topped with feta cheese, kalamata olives, vine ripe tomatoes, garlic and basil. This dish is by no means bad, however, it just lacked that “special” factor.
Lastly, make sure to leave room for dessert, for the Baklava should not be missed—rolled layers of phyllo dough, honey and chopped walnuts. And even though the Basil’s Royal Tower, a decadent chocolate fudge layer cake was also scrumptious, it didn’t hold a fork to the Baklava!
Pair this all with a glass of Skouras “Saint George” red wine and your little taste buds will be thanking you.
This restaurant has the perfect ingredients for a wonderful night out!