Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Perfit.
Colorful décor, vibrant menu and a curated selection of spirits will make you think you are in Mexico. El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar, a popular downtown Delray Beach, FL, Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, is slated to open its second location on Las Olas Boulevard in March 2018.
Offering the freshest organic and local ingredients whenever possible, El Camino offers an authentic Mexican experience not typically found north of the border in chain restaurants. The Mexican soul food menu, designed by Chef Anthony Pizzo, a co-founder of Modern Restaurant Group, Delray Beach, FL, features quesadillas, tacos, burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, salads and dessert. The restaurant makes its tortillas, sauces and “anything else possible from scratch.”
The bar menu and beverage program has been designed by Modern Restaurant co-founder Brian Albe and offers an authentic Mexican experience with hand-crafted margaritas, a curated selection of tequila, Mezcal (300 varieties of tequila and Mezcal) and a diverse selection of craft beers.
The 6,000-square-foot venue — located at 817 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale is nearly three times the size of the Delray space — will offer an expanded Mezcal and tequila selection, as well as weekend brunch service — something the Delray Beach location presently does not offer. The restaurant will seat 200 guests in its main dining room with additional seating for 50 outdoors. There is also an indoor/outdoor bar for 60 guests. Parking is available directly behind the restaurant, with access via a breezeway to the venue and outdoor bar, which faces Las Olas. Named for a third year in a row to Opentable’s “Top 100 Hottest Spots in America” list, El Camino’s Delray Beach location is well-known for its popular late-night — midnight to 2 am — happy hour, which offers $2 tacos, $5 margaritas and 50 percent off all tequilas and Mezcal. The eatery also draws huge crowds for Taco Tuesday, when guests can order any of the menu’s specialty tacos for $2. The Fort Lauderdale location will offer the same, as well as brunch with unlimited mimosa, craft beer and sangria options available.
“With the ongoing development of the Las Olas area, we thought El Camino is a perfect fit. We look forward to our guests experiencing El Camino Las Olas. Our Delray Beach location has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists, and we hope the same will be of our new location,” said Brandon Belluscio, co-founder of Modern Restaurant Group, which also owns Cut 432 and Park Tavern in Delray Beach.
Modern Restaurant is investing more than $3 million in the new space, restoring the 1950s building back to its original warehouse style, with more than 20-foot ceilings, skylights, custom lighting, Chicago brick and the original terrazzo flooring. The front and west sides of the building have been opened up and will house 12-foot glass garage doors, creating an open and vibrant atmosphere. Guests can watch chefs prepare their dishes in the open kitchen. Mimicking the Delray location, seating will feature bright lime green leather tufted booths.
Like the Delray Beach location, the Fort Lauderdale venue will feature a mural by neo-figurative artist Ruben Ubiera. Known for his strong use of the line, graffiti-inspired technique/esthetic, urban murals, mixed-media pieces and installations, Ubiera’s paints and draws in a style considered as postgraffism, but he prefers to call it “urban-pop,” since he has lived most of his life in urban, populated areas and most of his inspiration is derived from the inter activity between man and his urban environment.
Part of the Modern Restaurant Group (MRG) in Delray Beach, FL, El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar offers an authentic Mexican experience not typically found north of the border in chain restaurants. The restaurant’s guiding principle is to exceed their guest’s expectations in all areas — food, beverage and ambiance — and create an experience that will arouse and excite the senses. As a team, the staff is inspired by the culture and the heritage of Mexico. Presently, there are two locations — Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale, FL. MRG has plans to further expand the brand.
About Modern Restaurant Group
For more than a decade, Brian Albe, Brandon Belluscio and Chef Anthony Pizzo have been creating good times for a legion of fans. Having met early in their careers at the iconic Pranzo restaurant in Mizner Park in Boca Raton, FL, they soon realized they shared a similar vision for creating the perfect dining experience. Young, energetic and looking to redefine the standards, they set forth with their first joint venture, Vertical 114. In 2008, MRG opened Cut 432 in Delray Beach, providing South Florida with the finest steakhouse experience highlighted by outstanding tableside service, an extensive wine program and unique culinary innovations. In 2011, MRG opened Park Tavern and in 2014, El Camino Mezcal & Tequila Bar, both in Delray Beach, FL. The hospitality group opened its second El Camino location in March 2018 on famed Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As with most restaurants staffing is always a challenge. We want employees to share our vision & passion about food & beverage & it’s sometimes difficult finding top notch restaurant industry employees. Space has been a major obstacle at Camino Delray & keeping up with production & adjusting to the massive volume we do at Camino Las Olas has been a challenge.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with El Camino Mexican Soul Food Mezcal & Tequila Bar – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started with Modern Restaurant Group at Park Tavern December 2011. I was part of the opening staff at Park Tavern & opened El Camino Delray as the General Manager. I ran El Camino Delray for 4 years until I started on the project for El Camino Las Olas. I started the hiring process in late November & interviewing, hiring, creating training & ordering everything for the restaurant. We opened March 25, 2018 & we have been very busy from day 1. We look forward to growing more in the future.
I am proud that we go above & beyond guest’s expectations with our product & service. We have a craft cocktail program & have a scratch kitchen concept for Mexican food. We do not use a microwave & almost everything is made daily in house. This is also what sets us apart from others. Many other busy restaurants serve prepared foods from their distributors or use premade mixes or juices from beverage or produce companies where we use fresh produce to juice daily or make fresh salsas.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We look forward to growing the El Camino concept in the future. We currently have CUT432, Park Tavern, El Camino Delray and Ft Lauderdale & will be opening more El Camino restaurants in the years to come.
- Margarita Monday $3 Classic Margaritas
- Taco Tuesday $2 Tacos
- Wednesday ITB 50% off for Restaurant & Bar Employees
- Address: 817 E Las Olas Blvd. Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
15 NE 2nd Ave. Delray Beach, FL 33444
- Website: elcaminoftlauderdale.com, elcaminodelray.com, parktaverndelray.com, cut432.com
- Phone: 954-530-1188
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nacho Typical Night
EL CAMINO, THE NEW MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN FORT LAUDERDALE, BOASTS AN APPETIZER THAT EXCEEDS ALL PORTION EXPECTATIONS
After generating a popular following the past four years in Delray Beach for its “Mexican soul food,” El Camino has ventured south to try and duplicate that success in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
“Delray is smaller—it makes sense to move here next,” says general manager Josh Perfit of the new location at 817 E. Las Olas Blvd., which opened last month. “It’s the next leap. … We also want to open an El Camino Très.”
That will come in time; for now, he’s focused on bringing back the significant foot traffic on Las Olas Boulevard he recalls from
years back. El Camino adds a contemporary spirit to the strip, from its vibrant exterior—a Mexican-themed mural by Miami street artist Ruben Ubiera—to its two daily happy hours.
The after-work crowd can chow down on, among other items, $2 tacos—the gringo (with ground beef, colby jack cheese, sour cream, shaved lettuce and pico de gallo on a flour tortilla) is a top seller, followed by the spicy chicken—and sip margaritas for $5, from 4 to 7 p.m. Late-night snackers rejoice: The same deals are offered from midnight to its 2 a.m. close.
“It’s a pretty aggressive deal,” Perfit quips.
The smoked brisket nachos, he says without hesitation, are a must-have. The appetizer, which can feed four or more with plenty
of chance for leftovers, essentially is the traditional loaded-tortillachip snack—topped with about a pound of El Camino’s hours-long
“It’s an immense dish, a crowd pleaser; some people ask for a smaller portion, but this is what we do,” he says, with a shrug and a laugh. “A lot of people take it home.”
Chef Bernardo Carvalho dives into the pile of chips, bite by bite.
It’s National Margarita Day Somewhere
Of course, it is!
But officially, National Margarita weekend is Feb. 17 to 18, and National Margarita Day is Feb. 22—so you can pretty much party for about a week on that alone.
El Camino creates blood orange cinnamon margarita
This concoction isn’t on the El Camino menu, but it will probably be ordered a lot in celebration for the national margarita day(s). The blood orange cinnamon margarita is made with Reposado tequila, lime juice, fresh blood orange and cinnamon agave. Now you know, so you can order it. Happy hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. Just sayin’. El Camino, 15 NE 2nd Ave., Delray Beach; 561/865-5350.
El Camino Mexican restaurant coming to Las Olas in February
El Camino in Delray Beach has been a hit with Mexican food lovers for more than four years. The popular restaurant and tequila bar will soon arrive on Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, with the opening of its second outpost scheduled for February.
The new El Camino will be located at 817 E. Las Olas Blvd., former site of Voodka and Grill Republic, and not far from similarly themed Rocco’s Tacos. It is part of a wave of new Mexican eateries in Fort Lauderdale that includes beachfront newcomers Lona from acclaimed Mexican chef Pablo Salas in the Westin Fort Lauderdale and El Vez from James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Stephen Starr in the W Hotel.
“With the ongoing development of the Las Olas area, we thought El Camino is a perfect fit,” Brandon Belluscio, co-founder of Modern Restaurant Group, says in a press release.
The owners say they are pouring more than $3 million into the redevelopment of the 6,000-square-foot space, restoring the 1950s building to its original warehouse style. It will have 20-foot ceilings, skylights and 12-foot glass garage doors. It will also feature an open kitchen, an indoor-outdoor bar seating 60, a 200-seat dining room and outdoor seating for 50. Like the Delray Beach location, the Fort Lauderdale restaurant will feature a mural by artist Ruben Ubiera.
The first El Camino opened in late 2013 and earned praise from former Sun Sentinel dining critic John Tanasychuk. “This is no ordinary Mexican food,” Tanasychuk wrote in his 3 1/2-star review. “Belluscio and his partners, Brian Albe and Anthony Pizzo, who also own Cut 432 and Park Tavern in Delray Beach, have created not just a restaurant but a destination.”
The Fort Lauderdale location will feature similar menu items and promotions as the Delray Beach original, including midnight-2 a.m. happy hours with $2 tacos, $5 margaritas and half-priced tequilas and mescals, $2 Taco Tuesdays and weekend brunches with unlimited mimosas, beer and sangria.
El Camino in Delray Beach Is Such A Hot Spot That OpenTable Named It To Its List Of America’s Top 100
It doesn’t have to be Cinco de Mayo for Delray locals to enjoy Mexican food and margaritas amid a vibrant atmosphere.
El Camino in Delray Beach, a local favorite Taco Tuesday haunt, was recently featured in OpenTable’s 2017 list of the Top 100 Hot Spots in America.
At El Camino, guests can choose among a variety of quesadillas, tacos and other Mexican dishes, with popular specials including $3 margaritas on Mondays and $2 tacos on Tuesdays. The hot spot has had so much success in the area that it recently announced it plans to expand to Fort Lauderdale with a new location on Las Olas in late 2017.
Voted on by OpenTable diners, the list featured a total of 16 Florida restaurants spanning from Naples to Tampa, Lake Buena Vista and beyond. More than 10 million reviews of over 24,000 restaurants nationwide were analyzed to determine the top picks.
Address: 817 East Las Olas Blvd., Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
Click here for directions
New tenants expected to pump vitality into Las Olas Boulevard
Looking to appeal to a younger crowd, plans to revitalize one of Fort Lauderdale’s famous boulevards is in full swing.
The Las Olas Company, a commercial real estate firm that leases space along Las Olas Boulevard, has announced that Red Door Asian Bistro is the newest tenant to sign a long-term lease and it’s expected to open in early 2018.
The popular eatery joins a growing list of businesses to lock up store frontage, including El Camino restaurant, beauty retailer Bluemercury, and jeweler Alex and Ani.
“Fort Lauderdale is growing and changing, but the need for a walkable lifestyle destination like Las Olas Boulevard will always be there,” said Vann Padgett, senior vice president and director of real estate for the Las Olas Company. “We’re working to keep its unique personality while simultaneously refreshing its offerings to better appeal to future generations.”
Address: 817 East Las Olas Blvd., Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
Click here for directions
Delray’s El Camino Expanding To Fort Lauderdale With A Las Olas Location Set To Open In Late 2017
The larger Fort Lauderdale location, however, will be able to accommodate an expanded mezcal and tequila selection and weekend brunch service, which hasn’t been feasible in Delray.
Belluscio said he’s also looking forward to sprucing up the decor of the mid-century building and creating an ambiance that’s full of energy. “It’s going to come off as a real special piece of property when it’s all said and done,” he said.
The group, which also owns Cut 432 and Park Tavern in Delray Beach, is hoping to expand El Camino beyond Broward and Palm Beach counties, with their eyes on locations like Coral Gables and Northern Florida.
Cut 432 will also be seeing an expansion, with the addition of new cocktail bar next door. The Delray concept will feel like it’s part of the same space, but it will be divided from the restaurant, according to Belluscio. It’s also set to open late this year.
Address: 817 East Las Olas Blvd., Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
Click here for directions
El Camino in Delray Beach plans expansion
The group behind El Camino, Cut 432 and Park Tavern restaurants in Delray Beach plans to add two more downtown hot spots, as well as expand El Camino to other cities.
Brandon Belluscio, of the Modern Restaurant Group, said plans are to expand El Camino Mexican Soul Food & Tequila Bar to Fort Lauderdale or Miami, or both.
El Camino, at 15 NE Second Ave., is a popular watering hole and dining spot. It frequently is listed on travel websites as among the places to go when visiting Delray Beach.
Belluscio said El Camino’s atmosphere makes it a natural for expansion. “It’s fun, it’s vibrant, and it’s a cool space,” he said.
It’s also affordable, compared with other higher-priced eateries around.
In addition to scouting out new El Camino sites, which Belluscio hopes can be open by early 2017, new concepts are planned for Delray Beach, too.
Belluscio said plans are afoot to turn the space next to Cut 432 into a cocktail bar. The space at 428 E. Atlantic Ave. was a jewelry store, but Belluscio said the company is using it for office space now.
That soon will change as he and his partners finalize plans for a new libations destination. “We always wanted a real bar and we want it to be all about the cocktails,” Belluscio said.
Also planned: a new restaurant idea, also in Delray Beach.
Belluscio wouldn’t dish on the details just yet, but he said a partner recently purchased a building, and he and his partners are working on a new concept for it.
Modern Restaurant Group consists of Belluscio, chef Anthony Pizzo and Brian Albe, beverage guru.
Belluscio’s background is in restaurants. His father, Ron, operated Catch 22 restaurant in Boca Raton years ago.
Now Brandon and partners are making their mark on the local dining scene.
Cut 432 is a stylish steakhouse featuring an all-white interior and Miami vibe. It opened in 2008. Next to open was Park Tavern, billed as a classic American tavern but with some creative cuisine (spicy charred octopus and southern fried pickles, for example). The restaurant faces Worthing Park on Atlantic Avenue.
Then came El Camino in December 2013, which the group sought to brand as not-just-another-Mexican place. In fact, they hired Dominican-born artist Ruben Ubiera to airbrush murals of Frida Kahlo and Mexican Revolution hero Emiliano Zapata in a Day of the Dead theme.
Modern Restaurant Group’s success is the latest restaurant company to start small in Palm Beach County and then grow locally, and even nationally.
Address: 817 East Las Olas Blvd., Ft Lauderdale, FL 33301
Click here for directions
Looking for great dining in Delray Beach? Here are some of our favorites:
Delray’s Atlantic Avenue is famous for having a little something for every culinary and nightlife craving. Cut 432 provides an upscale, cozy place to peruse the Avenue’s goings-on toward the eastern end of the block. Sweetly classic touches like shiny crystal chandeliers contrast with the crisp, modern marble bar top and the white leather bar chairs.
Cut 432: 432 E. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach; 561-272-9898.
Mexican soul food reigns at this hipster Tequila bar in Delray’s hot dining district. Try the smoked brisket enchiladas, lavished with a slow-cooked molé negro sauce. Wash it down with your choice of mescal or reposado — or any of the 200-plus varieties of tequila poured at the bar. Take in a setting that’s all funk and fun, but not in the wild, Cancun-on-Memorial-Day way.
This is gastro pub made easy, a spacious neighborhood spot that offers respectable, shareable bites. With its huge, varied menu and excellent drink options, this tavern is a must-stop for Atlantic Ave pub crawlers as well as for families seeking plenty of grub options.
Park Tavern: 32 SE Second Ave. (at Worthing Place on Atlantic Avenue), Delray Beach; 561-265-5093.
Brule Bistro is lively in both atmosphere and food. Where some pub chefs might include the obligatory flatbread on the menu, this menu offers a crispy pork cheek “pizza,” a crispy, tostada-sized round crowned with slow-braised pork cheek, Asiago cheese, arugula, pickled red onions and oven-dried tomato, served upon a board with droplets of fried rosemary aioli.
In every dish, in every bite, at Max’s Harvest you can taste the commitment to using the freshest ingredients available. In keeping with the eatery’s season-driven concept, executive chef Eric Baker uses as his main ingredient one of the fresh ingredients available. The menu changes regularly to keep presenting diners with a dish that is both new and familiar.
Source: Palm Beach Post
The trio behind Cut 432 has another winner on Atlantic Avenue.
By John Tanasychuk, Sun Sentinel, June 20, 2012
Brandon Belluscio, Brian Albe and chef Anthony Pizzo are at it again.
Four years ago, the trio opened Cut 432 — a high-style, high-priced steakhouse set improbably in an Atlantic Avenue storefront. It has everything the big steak chains have, but eating at Cut means supporting a locally owned business while taking in the local scene. The restaurant doubled its seating capacity after just 18 months in business.
Now comes 4-month-old Park Tavern, another riff on American fare that’s already a Delray Beach darling.
“We really wanted to get into the casual segment,” Belluscio says. “We thought the tavern was just something that really hasn’t been done with all the tap beers and the hand-crafted cocktails and the comfort food. The tavern gave Tony a chance to go in a little bit different direction but still stay in the American theme.”
Although Park Tavern has a Second Avenue address, it faces Atlantic Avenue. Worthing Park separates the restaurant from the avenue and provides a wonderful breathing space from the pedestrians that crowd the sidewalk. The restaurant seats about 160, inside and out, but Belluscio says everyone wants to be outdoors — even in the heat. So dress casually and sit outside.
Inside, the walls are covered with reclaimed wood painstakingly salvaged from old pallets and then stained. It’s the handiwork of Park Tavern mixologist Matty O’Connell, an old friend of the owners, who also painted a Stars and Stripes mural on the back wall. Concrete floors and Chicago brick add up to an authentically rustic tavern.
Our waiter, in jeans and apron, was so friendly we were tempted to ask him to join us for dinner. He knew the menu and the impressive beer list equally well, making recommendations based on our beer-drinking history. The beer list couldn’t be more current, and includes Category 3 IPA from the brand-new Due South Brewing Co. in Boynton Beach. I’m sold on the IPA, smooth but with just the right amount of bitterness.
It would be easy to come here for beer and appetizers. I can recommend deviled eggs ($8) with blue cheese in the filling and bacon bits for salty crunch. Warm pretzels ($7), served with a creamy mustard sauce called Red Dragon Fondue, will have you ordering another craft beer. Spicy ahi tuna tartare ($16) isn’t so spicy, but it’s refreshing with toasted hazelnuts. Crispy pork belly ($12) is served with apricot mostarda and watercress.
Pizzo understands that not every item on a tavern menu has to be rich, cheesy or otherwise overindulgent. So there are some nice salads on the menu, and a raw bar that features everything from oysters and clams to ceviche and Florida crab.
If the tavern vibe steers you toward the Tavern Burger ($13), you will not be disappointed. The beef is ground in-house and served with locally grown tomatoes and onions on a lightly toasted bun. It’s $2 more for cheddar or blue cheese, house-smoked bacon, caramelized onions or sauteed mushrooms. Burgers are served with crispy fries or a house salad. The sandwich lineup also includes a veggie burger ($14) and a shrimp po’ boy ($16).
There are also some very good entrees. Crispy-skinned local red snapper ($25) is plated with fava beans, wild ramps and lemon-basil corn broth. Barbecue ribs ($24) are fall-off-the-bone tender and accompanied by grilled corn bread and green-apple-jalapeno chutney. All that steakhouse experience shines through in the filet mignon ($32), this one served with fries and a green peppercorn-brandy sauce. Only slow-roasted prime rib ($29) was a disappointment. It was simply a bad cut, and too fatty to be rescued. Not even the creamy scalloped potatoes could save this slice of beef.
We almost forgot about that prime rib once the creamy mascarpone cheese cake ($10) arrived. I remembered this dish from Cut 432. It’s incredible: a cross between cannoli filling and cheesecake. Similarly good is the Kitchen Sink cookie ($8), a combination of heath bar, marshmallow, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate and fudge brownie. How could any of that be wrong?
The trio who owns Park Tavern and Cut 432 are still in their 30s. I can’t wait to see what they cook up next.
By Bill Citara, Aug 21st 2011
Having re-imagined the classic American steakhouse to door-busting success, the three partners in Delray’s Cut 432 are now planning to do the same for the classic American tavern.
Park Tavern is the latest project for Brandon Belluscio, Brian Albe and chef Tony Pizzo, who plan a mid-December to January debut for their casual yet elegant bar-restaurant, which will slip into the space formerly occupied by the old Carlos & Pepe’s (or perhaps not so old, having lasted only a little over four months).
Located on Southeast 2nd Avenue adjacent to Worthing Park, Park Tavern will take full advantage of the urban mini-oasis, with a spacious outdoor patio and lounge, complete with firepit and picnic-style tables and shaded by banyan trees.
Inspired by New York’s Gramercy Tavern, Belluscio says the 150-seat bar-restaurant (with 59 of those seats in the bar) will boast an “industrial modern” look, featuring Chicago brick walls, tables of reclaimed wood, poured concrete floor and bar, wine room faced with floor-to-ceiling glass, custom light fixtures and bathrooms lined with oh-so-retro octagonal tile.
A chef de cuisine has yet to be appointed, but Pizzo has already worked up a menu of traditional and revitalized American dishes that will change with the seasons and, he says, “be as local as possible.” Menu details aren’t quite finalized, but look for a raft of products made in-house, from charcuterie to pasta to ice cream.
The inventive mixological bar program at Cut will be expanded at the tavern, with a large selection of contemporary cocktails and a wine list expected to grow to several hundred bottles, most if not all also available by the glass.
Broward/Palm New Times
By Bill Citara Thu., Aug. 18 2011
A “revival of the classic American tavern” is set to take place late this year or early next when the trio that brought contemporary steakhouse Cut 432 to Delray Beach opens Park Tavern just a couple blocks away.
Brandon Belluscio, Brian Albe and chef Tony Pizzo (plus two silent partners) have taken over the short-lived Carlos & Pepe’s, and are planning a mid-December or January debut for their latest venture, intended to meld the casual, laid-back feel of a neighborhood watering hole with a menu of traditional and re-imagined American dishes.
Park Tavern will take advantage of its setting adjacent to Delray’s Worthing Park to create an outdoor patio and lounge shaded by banyan trees and complete with firepit. Indoors, the 150-seat eatery (including a whopping 59 stools at the bar) will boast a poured concrete bar, wine room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, walls of reclaimed Chicago brick and tables of reclaimed lumber, and custom-made light fixtures that designer Belluscio says will combine “industrial and modern.”
Pizzo is still working out details of the menu, which he says will feature large and small plates, change seasonally and be “as local as possible.” Everything from ice cream to charcuterie to pastry will be produced in-house, and while some dishes will stick close to classic tavern fare, others will offer cutting-edge takes on old favorites.
The beverage program will double down on Cut’s already extensive roster of mixological cocktails, while the wine list is eventually expected to include several hundred bottles, most if not all also available by the glass.
By Melissa McCart Thu., Dec. 15 2011
The restaurant slated to open January 18 from the trio behind Cut 432 — which has earned multiple Best Steak House awards from New Times — features indoor and outdoor seating for 180 people. Belluscio designed the interior that will feature Edison lights, wood accents, galvanized steel, Chicago brick walls, butcher-block tables, black tufted booths, and concrete floors.
Partners have been working on the concept for six months, since they acquired the former Carlos & Pepe’s space.
“We have been discussing how the economy is not where it used to be, and I’m not sure it will ever come back to where it was,” said Pizzo. “We wanted to create a seasonally inspired, comfort food menu with sustainable ingredients.”
The trio hashed out plans in one session at Danny Meyer’s Gramercy Tavern, the inspiration for their next concept. Gramercy Tavern has earned a bazillion accolades since it opened in the mid-’90s, including Zagat‘s “best restaurant” and three stars from the New York Times for simple, stylish cuisine in a polished yet homey dining room.
Pizzo said they’ll limit the menu to 30 items a season that will change four times a year with a price point from $4 to $38. “We want people to feel at home here, to treat it as if we’re cooking for them in our home,” said Pizzo. The website will be up and running Monday, with menus available online shortly thereafter.