Needham >Food & Dining > Sweet Basil
942 Great Plain Ave, Needham, MA | Directions 0249242.280257 -71.235441
Monday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday 09:00 AM - 10:00 PM
LOVE THIS PLACE – I can't say enough good things about Sweet Basil. The service is sooo friendly. The owner walks around all night talking to customers making every feel like a VIP. There is such an easy rapport among the staff that you can't help but feel happy and relaxed, even if you have waited an hour to sit (probably because they serve you the best bruschetta you've ever had in your life while you wait). The food is creative and phenominal and I love that you can bring your own wine. You won't even want dessert because the portions are so big. Get in the car and go NOW!
Great food! – We husband and I went to Sweet Basil the other day and really enjoyed our dinner! I had the mussells and they were excellent. We met the owner who was really nice and asked us if we were enjoying our meals. Hightly recomended!
GREAT FOOD! – THEY HAVE THE BEST PESTO AND I LOVE THIS PLACE
Amazing, caring owner – We went on the most frozen night of the winter. All streets were either complete ice or 6 inch puddles. It was my birthday and several friends including my 90 year old mother was with us. We could not find a way to get her into the restaurant - the ice - the puddles - and she can't breathe easily.
Dave, the owner, got into the car with us, helped us find a place near a door, and practically carried my mom into the restaurant.
What a doll!
In addition, he moved my car so it would be in a better place for us to leave.
The food was delicious - the freshest bread and pesto to die for. The veggie lasagna will serve 4 - along with the beet and goat cheese salad. We all shared. Everything was delicious.
The waitress we had could have been a little nicer at first, but 'chilled' after a few minutes - and actually was really friendly and great toward the end of the meal. It wouldn't stop me from going there again in a heartbeat.
It was my first time and wasn't a busy night because of the weather. I understand there might be lines at other times.
Cannot get the pasta taste out of my mouth! – I went here with my boyfriend, his brother, brother's girlfriend, and their parents. We arrived around 5 PM on a Saturday night and were seated right away. We also brought a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine to have with dinner and they were immediately taken from our hands, uncorked (which is a $5 uncorking fee), and placed on the table. We also were brought an incredible bread basket with olive oil for dipping and the most incredible freshest pesto I have ever tasted!!! I ordered the Rosemary chicken with crispy pancetta and asparagus in a garlicky parmesan cream sauce with ziti, best decision I have ever made. It was fresh from the pan, crispy asparagus and pancetta, the combination was extraordinary and is probably one the best pasta dishes I have ever tasted. I still taste it in my mouth and it is making my mouth water as I am writing this! The three men had chicken parmesean and they thought it was just decent, his Mom had the same as I did and she LOVED it as well, and his brother's girlfriend had the ravioli which thought was very good. I would go back in a heartbeat!
On the Go Back To List – My wife and I had heard about this place from family friends but had heard it was extremely busy on weekend nights making it difficult to get in so went there one Sunday evening with another couple just after 4pm. Food and service were both excellent, prices were right on par with the food. We all thought the meals were closer to authentic Italian than most places in the North End. It reminded me of a similar experience to the one I had at The White Boar in Florence. When the weather warms up were going to see how it is on weekend night.
Wonderful Experience – From the witty and kind host/owner that greets you, to the cool music selection, to the spectacular food, this place makes for a terrific night out and one of the best restaurant experiences one could ever imagine. A few tips: Bring your own wine. Relax and enjoy the bread and pesto dip. If you have a very large party, please call ahead as they may make an exception for the no reservation policy. And though you likely will have a wait no matter when you arrive, the host often keeps it fun by offering some tasty morsels while you hang out. You'll also be most comfortable waiting outside, so if you are expecting a long wait, you might want to come during decent weather. And, as the wait is unpredictable, it's best to go there realizing you might want to keep your options open to the wide array of other nearby downtown Needham restaurants. Stone Hearth Pizza could use the business!
Sweet misery...No thank you – Decent food but the management has an utter lack understanding when it comes to business 101. The cramped waiting area is a nightmare, as people are constantly walking in and out to check on the status of their reservations, which arent really reservations... Each evening the host (THE OWNER) compiles a long list of names on a walk in basis (no advance reservations) and throws out a random wait time. You would think that if you are running a restaurant you would have gotten the hang of managing expectations...not the case at sweet basil. After our party of 9 was finally seated (over an hour after the time that was originally indicated), 45 minutes into our meal the waitress actually asked us to leave because the table was needed for another party (also impatient after waiting longer than originally indicated). Honestly, for the cramped quarters, rude treatment and the "cash only" inconvenience, the food isn't THAT good. Not worth it.
Best of Everything - come @ 5:00 pm or 9:00 pm – This is the best restaurant around. I was reading the review from the man that found the place noisy, annoying and had an attitude and I am glad he won't be back. That will make much less of a wait for everyone else that has eaten there and loved it. And paying with cash, not such a bad thing for everyone . . . some people actually prefer it to charging. In any event there has not been one time that the food has not awesome, hot, fresh etc. I cannot say enough good things about Sweet Basil and that includes everyone that works there. Always a kind word and always very accomodating, smiling and NEVER an attitude. Actually, we were to meet friends there, as we do every week, and 3 of us could not make it, unexpectently, and my husband did not have his cell phone with him for us to let him know. The waitress actually sat down with him and kept him company, gave him some soup, while she was waiting on tables and he got us take out and made sure he got the message that we could not make it. So I could not disagree more with the unhappy man. But it just goes to show you cannot please all of the people all of the time. However, the four of us that come every week have never had a bad meal. I gave my brother a gift certificate and granted it took him 5 months to use it because he kept coming right at dinner time, but once he got the scoop that you need to be there when it opens or come for a late dinnner he was hooked too !!!
One of Needham's busiest, and smallest, restaurants serves up a unique Italian dining experience. – The Scene
Since reservations aren't taken and space is more than tight, the restaurant has asked many a diner wait on the sidewalk for a table. Colorful waiters don't have to go far; the exposed kitchen is nestled in the back of the dining room. Lunch, served weekdays except for Mondays, provides a far less hectic atmosphere than dinnertime.
Starters tend to be more adventuresome than entrees; baked gouda wrapped in filo dough with fresh berries and pistachios is as wild as it sounds, while warm spinach salad with sauteed sea scallops and apricots is guaranteed to toy with your taste buds (in a good way). But Sweet Basil is known for made-to-order pastas--and rightfully so. Pasta dishes are served in massive, colorful bowls. Gulf shrimp scampi comes swimming in garlic, parsley, basil and wine, while rosemary chicken with crispy pancetta and asparagus in a creamy garlic Parmesan sauce speaks for itself.
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