Haute Secrets Boston: Sweet Basil’s Dave Becker

One of the culinary geniuses of the tony suburbs of Boston just keeps getting better. Dave Becker’s flair for making Mediterranean food more approachable shines brightly at his two restaurants, Sweet Basil in Needham and Juniper in Wellesley.

Dave BeckerPhoto Credit: Sweet Basil

His menus feature everything from a juicy pan-roasted veal chop with cheesy polenta cake, sautéed spinach, and a port wine sauce with roasted mushroom and fig; to duck kofta; and Lebanese chicken liver pate,

We caught up with Becker recently to find out what he loves most about Boston.

Where were you born: Newburyport

How long in Boston:  Basically my whole life

Neighborhood: West Roxbury

Occupation: Chef/Owner of Sweet Basil in Needham and Juniper in Wellesley

Favorite Restaurant: Tough one these days! Hojoko and Giulia

Best Sushi: UNI

Best Italian: Giulia

Best dessert: Patio at JP Licks in Jamaica Plain

Best place for a romantic date: Patio at Oleana 

Best Sunday brunch: Tremont 647 or Friendly Toast in Cambridge

Best place for a power business meeting: Meat sandwich at Moody’s, followed by a beer at The Gaff in Waltham

If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?  Hotel Indigo in Newton

Favorite shopping venue/boutique: Salmagundi in Jamaica Plain

Favorite place to buy jewelry/watches: Anderson’s Jewelers in Wellesley

Favorite Charity Event: Urban Improv

Favorite Cultural Event: HONKFest

Favorite Cultural Institution: Institute of Contemporary Art

Best Steakhouse: Davio’s

Best Pizza: Friday Night Flatbreads at La Brasa

Best Lunch: Blue Dragon

Best Limousine/Driving Service: Uber

Best Museum/Exhibit: Harvard Zoology Museum 

Describe Boston in three words: Historic, Strong-willed, walkable

Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Arnold Arboretum

All-around favorite spot in Boston:  Cambridge-side of the Charles River at night

Best Aspect of Boston: Boston is the perfect combination of a big city and a small town