Best of Boston

2015 Best Casual Restaurant, West

Sweet Basil

It’s the scent that hits you first: sweet, pungent garlic, mixed with basil and white wine as it hits the pan. After that, it’s the service—warm and friendly, as if you’ve just sat down in someone’s kitchen. Then there’s chef Dave Becker’s Italian-influenced menu: phyllo-wrapped baked Gouda over truffle-vinaigrette-dressed greens; baked ziti with winter squash, goat cheese, and bread crumbs; and rib-eye smothered in provolone fondue, all served in gargantuan portions. When we crave comfort food and a bottle of BYO wine, there’s no place we’d rather be.

942 Great Plain Ave., Needham, 781-444-9600,