When I began my quest to track down local eateries in the Metrowest area, I really didn’t know what to expect. My goal was to find local restaurants that provide customers with quality food and good service, but I wasn’t sure what I would find. In a short time, I have come across a fine-dining steakhouse, an upscale Italian trattoria, a legendary diner slinging burgers and dogs, and a craft brewery with a cult following and a well executed menu. My next stop took me to a local, yet well talked about, restaurant that provides a versatile backdrop ranging from family night to date night and everything in between.
By its own self admission, 29 Sudbury, located at 29 Hudson Road, Sudbury, MA, is an open air kitchen that strives to prepare modern, scratch-made, Italian influenced cuisine. The chef works with local farms and suppliers to provide as much locally sourced food as possible, really showcasing what foods are available in the region. A section of the menu highlights which local farms are sourced, and which ingredients they supply.
It should surprise no one that a Sunday evening of a holiday weekend in the middle of January didn’t have patrons knocking down the door to 29 Sudbury. Yet, it was clear that the design of the restaurant allowed for larger crowds. There are multiple levels, and during the spring, summer, and fall, there is a large outdoor seating area. The open air kitchen allows for guests to see, hear, and smell the preparation of their meals, and the large bar provides a casual venue for a drink with friends of a place to watch the game.
The menu at 29 Sudbury is designed in the traditional Italian style, starting with the antipasti course, and finishing with the entrees, although I would describe the food as Italian-fusion. You will also find a nice selection of hand tossed, coal fired pizzas. In an attempt to taste as much of the menu as possible, we decided to order items from every section of the menu, except the entrees. Truth be told, the entrees seemed a bit overpriced for the offerings.
Our meal began with Crispy Semolina Artichokes, served with smoked tomato aioli and pine nut pesto, and an order of Bolognese Dip, paired with a whipped garlic and herb ricotta, and served with coal oven crackers. The artichokes were tender, and although they were fried were not too heavy. The Bolognese Dip was a unique dish, that I would expect to be served with fresh Italian bread, but the coal over crackers stood up to the hearty sauce well. This dish reminded me of dipping bread into a simmering pot of homemade sauce. The remainder of the meal included the Watercress and Grilled Pear Salad, a coal fired Margherita Pizza, and the Tuscan Oreccheitte, which included hot Italian sausage, roasted fennel, rapini and crushed garlic.
29 Sudbury provides a versatile backdrop for many dining experiences. The staff were welcoming, and graciously tended to our needs. Reservation are recommended on busier nights, but the website provides the option for online reservations. I look forward to experiencing their new style Italian cuisine in the future.