Ana Sortun tells Grub Street that her newest restaurant, replacing the Paddock at 249 Pearl St. in Somerville, as first reported by Boston magazine's Chowder, should open in June. She says it'll be mezze-focused, with the area's first "Russian-style" service (think: food passed through the dining room on trays, not unlike at San Francisco's wildly successful State Bird Provisions). Cassie Piuma, chef de cuisine at Sortun's Oleana, will head up the kitchen. In addition to novel service, expect a "huge" bar, hot 'n cold eastern veggie-centric Mediterranean dishes (with a bit of Spain thrown in, courtesy Piuma's Spanish background), and a "very casual" feel, Sortun tells us.
"It's just begun. We just closed on it maybe a month ago and it just started going through the branding," she tells Grub Street, saying that she's "too superstitious" to reveal the new restaurant's name just yet. (She's heading off to Turkey in a couple weeks for more inspiration.) The main thing, says Sortun, is that this will be a casual neighborhood restaurant: "This is not sceney. We had been looking for quite a while, and we enjoy being part of these other little neighborhoods, off the beaten path, where people actually live. It fits into a niche we haven't done yet." Unlike at Oleana, there won't be outdoor seating, but that huge bar ("with lots of cocktails," she says) just might make up for it.