Basil is the realization of a dream for owners Tom and Karen McGue.
Both Tom and Karen grew up in Medfield. They were friends and classmates at Medfield High, and the seeds of their future life can be found in their yearbook. Under Tom’s picture it says: “Ambition—to be the chef of my own restaurant.” And it was an especially thoughtful yearbook inscription from Tom to Karen that began their romance.
Tom went to culinary school at Johnson and Wales College in Rhode Island, graduating with degrees in both culinary arts and hotel management. The couple was married in 1987 and moved to a nearby town to begin their family. Tom worked at several Boston area restaurants, including J. C. Hillary’s, Venezia’s Harbour Lights, the Charles River Country Club, and Franco’s, gaining experience and honing his skills, always looking forward to that dreamed-of place of his own.
Then in 1999, a restaurant in Karen and Tom’s hometown of Medfield went up for sale. Located on a residential street, the building began as a house in the early 1900s but was transformed into a restaurant in the 1930s. It has been home to many different establishments over the years, but by the late 90s it had fallen into disrepair. Still, long-time Medfield residents had fond memories of the spot as the Francis Café. And the clincher—Tom and Karen remembered an early date there.
So the renovations began, and the restaurant was transformed into the warm and inviting Basil. Karen’s flair for decoration is evident in the dining rooms; and Tom works his magic in the kitchen, creating an eclectic menu that combines fresh takes on familiar favorites with exciting new dishes. Together they prove that you can go home again—nearly every night of the week, in Medfield, at Basil.