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A Greek festival of flavor
Basil's brings a solid line–up of Mediterranean–inspired menu items to a devout stream of loyal island diners.

Basil's Pizza and Deli

A decade ago, if I was looking for my wife on Friday night, I could usually find her working away on scrapbooks with other creative ladies at Wilmington Island’s Scrap Happy. The clipping and pasting was fueled by pizza and sandwiches from little Basil’s Pizza and Deli next door.

Trends change, and the scrap–booking store is gone — but little Basil’s has taken over the entire small shopping center, and added a popular frozen yogurt business to boot.

From a nicely made house pizza dough to an amazing array of authentic Greek dishes, Basil’s brings a solid line–up of Mediterranean–inspired menu items to a devout stream of loyal island diners.

We sampled both sides of the menu on our recent visit.

I brought home half of my massive portion of lasagna. It was piping hot, rich with gooey, melted cheese and a nicely acidic tomato sauce. Basil’s overcame the challenges and plated a very thick portion that was evenly heated and perfectly prepared. A quartet of comfortingly doughy bread sticks were hot, fresh and addicting.

Ms. T.J. scored from the Greek side of the menu — spanakopita and dolmades. If you didn’t get your fill of Greek goodies at the recent festival, Basil’s has to be on your to–do list.

The delicate, crispy layers of phyllo dough in the spanakopita were filled with a rich feta cheese and spinach mixture in all the right proportions.

The risk with this dish is allowing the filling to overtake the dough — but Basil’s again earned a hearty opa! for executing the dish with balance and restraint.

The dolmades, a pair of stuffed grapes leaves, arrived fresh, hot and plump. I’m not a fan of the flavor of grape leaves, but recognized the dish as being incredibly well-made — the tight little packages stuffed full of rice, minced meat and a savory blend of herbs and spices.

A small orzo salad topped with chopped tomatoes and Feta cheese added color, texture and additional layers of flavor to the plate.

There is plenty of diversity in the menu, without being overwhelming. Sandwiches, pizzas and a nice selection of appetizers offer a little something for everyone, including your vegetarian friends.

We experienced very good service, despite being the only diners in the tightly screened front porch dining area. I would rethink that choice on future visits.

The smell from a nearby smoking area wafts into the porch and an occasional sour scent from a dumpster around the corner tickles your nose.

Wine and beer is available — and your sweet tooth can get a satisfying treat in the neighboring Basil’s Yo! shop — with a selection of frozen yogurts, do–it–yourself toppings and a selection of cookies, pies and cakes.

216 Johnny Mercer Blvd.897–6400

So long Sugar...

Sugar Daddy’s Wine and Food Bar closed last week after a couple of years' run. The original crew did an amazing job of plating beautiful small plates and offering some of the city’s best cocktail and wine service.

Still, it was a tough location for food service, and, with a limited number of seats, no doubt posed a profitability challenge.

Street buzz says you can look for Bacchus to relocate there after Jan.1. I’ll keep you posted.