Popular Needham Italian restaurant Sweet Basil will soon have a sibling in Wellesley, as reported last month. General manager Matt Kaplan shares a few new details with Eater, including the name: Juniper. "The name Juniper doesn't have any grand meaning other than we liked the name, it's in the same family of spices/herbs as basil, and the color scheme may include some dark purple," he explains.
Last month, the word was that the restaurant would focus on Eastern Mediterranean food, particularly in the Greek, Israeli, and Lebanese realm. Kaplan says that they've been "having some fun experimenting at Sweet Basil," playing around with cous cous recipes and figuring out how to make kataifi, a shredded phyllo dough often found in Mediterranean desserts. There will be plenty of wines available by the glass, and the list will be "pretty scattered." Currently, Kaplan is excited about a Lebanese red and an Israeli merlot. Beer, on the other hand, will be local because there are "so many amazing breweries in New England that it doesn't feel right to stray elsewhere."
Tim Fichera, who has been at Sweet Basil since 2006 and Blue Ginger earlier in his career, will be executive chef. Juniper will probably open in late spring (perfect timing — there's a patio) and is currently hiring for all positions; send your resume to Kaplan if you're interested in applying.
· All coverage of Sweet Basil on Eater [~EBOS~]