So, about Angelo Romano (who, contrary to popular belief, is NOT the current chef at The Pines): A free agent ever since parting ways with the Gowanus restaurant last year, Romano has conducted a pretty effective game of cat-and-mouse regarding his next big career move. And most of the rumor-mongering has hinged on a possible, permanent Manhattan collaboration with former Roberta’s pastry chef, Katy Peetz, with whom he teamed up for an all-veggie pop-up at The Narrows in Bushwick last Valentines Day (incidentally, it was the very first prix fixe event that we’ve EVER been tempted to attend on Valentine’s Day).
Well, the veg-focused predictions have indeed proved prescient, but rumblings about the Peetz part, as well as Romano’s supposed Manhattan defection, were ultimately revealed as premature. Which is good news for Williamsburg, as Grub Street just confirmed that the former Masten Lake chef will return, once again, to the neighborhood, heading up the kitchen at Concord Hill; slated to open this weekend.
Joining forces with the team behind Westville—a mini chain of popular, farm-to-table comfort food spots throughout the city—Romano’s New American restaurant will offer an all-day menu in the former Sel de Mer space (damn, we’ll miss those fish cake sliders). And although the chef plans to serve a few luscious-sounding, meaty mains, such as Portuguese-style fried chicken lettuce wraps, and a requisite dripping cheeseburger on a (presumably Martin’s) potato bun, produce will be the primary muse for the bulk of his dishes, from slabs of thickly cut country bread topped with burrata, pickled eggplant and oregano, to a Caesar salad strewn with bitter puntarelle and dandelions, to a seasonal carrot and acorn squash curry, ladled over soft tofu and finished with fragrant leaves of micro basil.
Fingers crossed that he’ll be able to pull the talented Peetz in after all, for help with a progression of on-trend, vegetable-inspired desserts.
Concord Hill: 347 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg