Welcome to the new and improved Carano's Cucina. I make a lot of kick ass food and go out to some amazing restaurants. Take a look around and make yourself at home :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sweet Basil

I had heard good things about Sweet Basil Pizza in Westlake, OH here and there.  Billing itself as Neopolitan style pizza, I've been wanting to give it a try since I don't think I'll be heading to Naples any time soon, much to my dismay.  So I asked my friend and occasional partner in food crime, Tom over at Exploring Food My Way, if he wanted to give it a try with me.  He did, so we did :)

Sweet Basil Pizza is located at 26235 Center Ridge Rd., Westlake, OH.  It's not exactly around the corner from where I live, but a good pizza should be worth the trip.  When we walked in we were immediately drawn to the specials board... one in particular really, the goat cheese, roasted red pepper sauce and spinach pizza.  Hmmm.... we'll keep that in mind.  The decor is minimal but you can see the dough being hand tossed from any seat in the place.  That was pretty cool.  Oh hell, the fact that it's an actual pizzeria, one where you can go in and sit down, order, have a drink and enjoy your pizza there was pretty fantastic.   It seems that the art of the pizzeria is dying in favor of take out.  Everyone is always in such a damn hurry anymore.  I loved that we could just go in and enjoy the atmosphere, talk (because it wasn't too loud even though the music choices left much to be desired in my opinion!) and enjoy dinner. 

We decided to order two 12 inch pizzas, the goat cheese one we were eying earlier and the meat lovers (sausage, ground sirloin, bacon and pepperoni).  But first we wanted to try the bread sticks and I am SO glad we did!

They were delish and piping hot from the oven.  Four bread sticks were perfect for the two of us and we pretty much devoured them in no time flat.  In fact, I am shocked we even got a photo!   They were definitely garlicky, but in my world that is not a bad thing (sorry Mom).  The marinara that was served with them was also pretty tasty and I usually skip it.  It was chunky and complimented the bread well.  I honestly could have made a meal out of these chewy, yummy breadsticks.

And then it was time for the pizza.   It is thin to win and does not take long to bake so it doesn't take long for it to arrive, and bubbly hot from the oven.  Let's start with the goat....

The sauce is good and again, garlicky.  In fact, maybe they should change then name from Sweet Basil to Aromatic Garlic.  They were not shy with it and that is not a complaint.  I very much enjoy garlic in large (but edible) quantities.  I'm not exactly sure what the spice was in this pizza, perhaps red pepper flakes in the sauce, but it wasn't too hot.  It was just a nice bit of spice.  I loved the crust.  Thin to win with just the right amount of crunch and the right amount of chew. 

Next up is the Meat Lovers...

Looks yummy doesn't it?  Well it was!  It was.  The meats were all thinly sliced and crisped up nicely.  The sauce was nice.  There wasn't a lot of cheese, but that didn't matter with all that tasty meat on it.  You can't get much better than crispy pepperoni and crispy bacon.  

All in all, I think Sweet Basil was definitely worth the drive and I would definitely go again.  Who's in?

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