Sweet Basil | Italian Eats out of Needham, MA

I’ve been going through a HUGE “firsts” phase lately in combination with a ton of new changes that came on this fall. New job, new apartment, new projects, and a handful of new friends. It’s exciting and overwhelming and exhilarating all rolled up into one. Amidst it all, I recently made my first trip out to Needham, for food-related purposes obviously. Meesh and I made the trek with our food tasting cohort Riki.

It was in the name of Italian food, which according to Boston Magazine is like super effing popular amongst the Boston population. As it should be. There’s no reason not to be obsessed with carbo-loading. And while it may not be the healthiest diet on planet Earth, I’d be lying if I said the majority of my meals weren’t accompanied by some form of homemade pasta, be it Butternut Squash and Sage Raviolis from Dave’s Fresh Pasta or handmade Garganelle at the office. I just can’t get enough of the stuff.

But, back to Needham. The three of us made our way to Sweet Basil, a place we’d been hearing about for a while. Let’s start off with a few important things to note – (1) They don’t have a liquor license, but they do let you BYOB, which is basically better than actually having a liquor license. (2) Chef and owner Dave Becker is hilarious and totally entertaining, which is ideal considering they don’t take reservations and you may find yourself waiting for a bit. (3) During said waiting period you might get lucky and get a tour of the “dungeon” which is where all the magic happens – as evidenced in the photo below.

1 bottle of wine and a quick visit to the pasta-making lair downstairs and our table was ready. Yay!

Pork meatballs, cider reduction, pickled apples and Dijon crème fraiche

Seared foie gras over herb gnocchi with brown butter, root veggies and cranberry

Fusilli with bolognese sauce

Fish Special – Halibut!

One plate after another, everything was great. Soul satisfying, crowd-pleasing, home-style Italian cooking goodness. The kind of stuff that smiles are made of. Lucky for you, you can make those smiles at home with Dave’s cookbook.

I’d also like to add that all of the actual plates and bowls used in the restaurant are homemade… and aren’t they adorable?! Gives it such a unique feel. Makes me miss pottery class at summer camp.

Another thing worth mentioning, there is no dessert at Sweet Basil. I’ll admit I was a little taken aback after hearing this from Dave. I get that not everyone values dessert the way that I do; simply put, a life without dessert is a life not worth living if you ask me. However, after consuming this dinner I realized that actually having a dessert menu at Sweet Basil would just be poor business practice as I can’t imagine more than 2% of patrons actually have room for dessert after eating this stuff. I sure didn’t. And thus, support his decision to squash the idea of offering dessert options. Well played.

Sweet Basil on Urbanspoon
942 Great Plain Ave
Needham, MA 02492
617-444-9600

2 Comments

  1. Megan says:

    Love Sweet Basil! The bolognese looks awesome. And too funny, we actually ran into Dave tonight when we were grabbing sandwiches in West Roxbury!

  2. I have been wanting to check this place out, it’s practically in my backyard. Great review!

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