boston/cambridge(february 22 2010) -
CHEF KEITH POOLER & GM SERVIO GARCIA
TO OPEN NEW RESTAURANT:
**Moving into the former Evoo space at 118 Beacon Street on the Somerville/Cambridge line
**Progressive American Cuisine
Somerville, MA....Chef Keith Pooler and General Manager Servio Garcia announce their plans to open a new restaurant, Bergamot, in the space formerly occupied by the popular EVOO on Beacon Street in Somerville. Bergamot will serve Progressive American Cuisine in a warm neighborhood setting. Pooler and Garcia are looking at a mid-March opening.
Bergamot is actually both a flower and a fruit - and appeals to Pooler and Garcia on both levels. As a flower, it is more commonly known as Bee Balm - the bright sprightly flower that flourishes on borders and wild flower beds. In hues of red, pink, purple and white, it blooms summer through fall. Bee balm spreads its perennial beauty easily and quickly - much like the sense of hospitality planned for Bergamot the restaurant.
Bergamot is also a member of the mint family. The medicinal properties of the Bergamot plant are found in its fruits, flowers and leaves. Bergamot oil is the most common product of the plant with a delicate, light, citrusy and floral scent. The oil from its leaves creates the delicious Bergamot tea, which the restaurant will serve. The small orange fruit from the plant is tasty when candied and Pooler is playing with it right now, creating confections for the opening.
"I grew up in Gloucester and we had tons of Bergamot growing wild in our gardens, and I just always liked it" explains Pooler. "And then when I discovered that it is a citrus as well, and can be used in the kitchen - it all just came together that we'd love to name our restaurant Bergamot."
The Menu at Bergamot
Known for his ability to bring flavor to the plate with a deft hand, Pooler has created a menu he calls 'Progressive American Cuisine.' The dishes are ingredient-driven with a definite focus on local product and seasonality. "I am a big believer in following the seasons, and always have been" explains Pooler. "There is no question a tomato tastes better in August, so we're going to celebrate that tomato in August. There are going to be other ingredients we can highlight in January." Pooler looks to bring American dishes influenced by technique and ingredients from France, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean. He says "Progressive means we can cross borders and have some fun - and that's what we aim to do."
Look for such dishes as:
Lobster Knuckles, Green Beans, Nicoise Olives, Espelette
Herb Marinated Poached Cod
Fava Beans, Breakfast Radish, Lolla Rossa, Frisee, Lemon Confit Vinaigrette
Pea Green Salad
English Peas, Berkshire Ham, Pecorino Cheese, Pea Shoots, Truffle Vinaigrette
Herb Roasted Giannone Chicken
Crispy Confit, Melted Napa Cabbage, Thumbelina Carrots, Black Olives, Mustard Spiked Natural Jus
Egg Battered West Coast Halibut
Peas, Bibb Lettuce, Berkshire Ham, Truffle Emulsion
Pink Peppercorn Dusted Day Boat Sea Scallops
Parsley Root Puree, Oyster Mushrooms, Sea Urchin Champagne Foam
Slow Cooked Jamison Lamb Shoulder
Caramelized Spring Onion, Black Trumpet Mushrooms, Pearl Barley, Stinging Nettle Sauce
Entrees will be in the $19-$27 range and appetizers $9-$14
The Bergamot Bar
Bergamot has a full liquor license and will serve both classic and modern cocktails, wine, and beer. The cocktails are presented in two sections: "Old School" which highlights turn of the century recipes, paying homage to those who shaped our bar culture today. And "Pops" - 21st century cocktails evoking both American and European tastes and recipes. Look for fresh squeezed juices house-made syrups, including Bergamot syrup!
About Keith Pooler
Keith is the story of 'local boy makes good.' A native of Gloucester, MA, he grew up appreciating the sea and its bounty. Childhood family dinners were a concert of togetherness - everyone cooked and contributed. There was an atmosphere of mutual appreciation and loving respect. Best of all, no one left any food on the plate! Keith's grandfather had a garden where Keith toiled from planting to picking and everything in between. He also worked in his grandfather's barn with its horses and chickens; a primer in animal husbandry.
From age 14 Keith has worked in restaurants, climbing the ranks and following his passion, and talent, to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. While in school, he completed stages in Union Square, Vong, and The Gotham Bar and Grill. Upon graduating at the head of his class, Keith joined The River Caf? in Brooklyn. He worked his way through each station and next headed to Lespinasse under Chef Gray Kunz. Then Keith returned to the Rick Laakonen team, opening the highly anticipated Ilo at the Bryant Park Hotel.
Ready to return home to Boston, Keith became the sous chef at Harvest, the legendary dining room with a culinary legacy as rich as the ingredients it served. He jumped at the opportunity to open Excelsior, working under Lydia Shire, beginning an enduring relationship with this pioneer of modern cuisine. Then it was back to Harvest as Executive Chef and there Keith earned accolades for his creative take on New England inspired cuisine. Ready for the next challenge, Keith returned to Lydia Shire's team, helping open Scampo in Boston.
Clearly he loves the thrill of opening restaurants, and this time it will be his own - Bergamot!!
About Servio Garcia
You know you've arrived to a quality restaurant experience when you see Servio Garcia greeting you at the door. Servio is considered one of the city's most friendly and respected front of the house people. His smile and sense of hospitality lights up a room. You probably have seen him at Craigie On Main, Casablanca, Ten Tables, and Radius. Somehow Servio even found the time while General Manager of Casablanca to earn a certificate from Harvard University in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
With his 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Servio is ready to open his own place with his friend Keith Pooler in the kitchen. "Neighborhood hospitality will be the cornerstone of our service at Bergamot" Servio explains. "It is a great neighborhood that appreciates restaurants; we are eager to become a part of the community here."
Keith and Servio are looking for a mid-March opening of Bergamot. Please visit www.bergamotrestaurant.com and visit Bergamot's FB page to hear of their progress!
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