Former Terra chef Dan Bazzinotti remixes Italian cuisine in a massive space with a dance floor, stage, and nightly entertainment.
When it opens in Somerville in early August, Premiere on Broadway will be perfectly positioned for the “Roaring ’20s” revival that many people expect to see in the post-pandemic period ahead. After all, it’s a 200-seat restaurant anchored by a huge four-sided bar, and the crowd size more than doubles when you factor in the 100-seat patio and large dance floor, which extends past a 60 square foot step. From there, live bands, comedians and other artists will be entertained at evening dinners as well as special events.
However, in many restaurants like this, the food is called. (Too many people are willing to put up with soggy mozzarella sticks to see a show.) This isn’t the case at the Broadway Premiere. Instead, the sparkling space – seen in all its glory below – has a renowned chef booked to bring some serious culinary chops to the kitchen.
That chef is Dan Bazzinotti, who has spent the past five years running the Terra Open Flame Grill, a terrific restaurant on the top floor of the Italian cuisine emporium at Back Bay Eataly. Now, Bazzinotti will treat his open kitchen at Premiere as a stage in its own right, a platform to practice his craft on playful Italian-American cuisine with exterior-inspired (understood?) Notes he’s plucked throughout. of her career. At Eataly he performed extremely well and lived up to expectations, but at Premiere he is really ready to riffle and rock and roll.
“I think food and music go hand in hand,” says Bazzinotti, who even wrote manuals for his kitchen team that compared their work to putting on a Broadway show. For his part, however, the chef credits his jazz-infused New Orleans cuisine debut for inspiring the kind of fun and free vibe he wants to foster at Premiere, as well as his take that every plate is a kind of unique composition to offer to lovers of gastronomy.
At a concert, “You let each instrument shine,” says Bazzinotti. “The drummer does a solo, then the saxophone guy goes up, then the trombone. It’s like the ingredients of a menu.
Bazzinotti listened to a lot of music for inspiration while writing Premiere’s first menu (shared at the bottom of this article). In particular, he said, he spun a ton of pieces of – naturally! – DJ Premier, the pioneering hip hop producer known for his skillful use of samples from other songs. Besides the homophonic names, this choice of soundtrack makes a lot of sense when you consider all the ways Bazzinotti plans to mix various influences on its Premiere menu …… ..
For example, the antipasto platter – filled with homemade charcuterie, local cheeses, and other savory sides like stuffed cherry peppers – is reminiscent of the boards Bazzinotti was famous for as the opening chef at Cambridge’s Bisq restaurant. Although the rigatoni sauce is inspired by her grandmother’s recipe, Bazzinotti says other handmade pastas, such as linguini and clams, bring back memories of working with legendary Boston Dean Lydia Shire, at Scampo inside the Liberty Hotel. The otherwise Italian carbonara, meanwhile, uses Irish bacon in honor of Premiere’s Winter Hill neighborhood.
That’s not the only way he’s twisting traditions a bit. Genoese pesto is used to smother chicken wings with basil, mint and lemon. His hand-cut Tuscan fries rub shoulders with French fries with fennel pollen, oregano, rosemary and other herbs common in Italian cuisine. And while street corn isn’t actually a staple in southern Italian towns, Bazzinotti has taken the idea of a Mexican style nonetheless. elote and topped it with spicy Calabrian peppers and smoked ricotta. Other top lunch and dinner staples with roots in the boot include saltimbocca, buttered potato gnocchi with the option to add grilled Peruvian beef hearts (a signature from the Bazzinotti era. in Terra) and rotating flavors of mini calzones.
There is also a range of robust brunches, including sweet Italian bread used for a panettone French toast, stacks of ricotta and semolina pancakes, sides like fried mortadella and a few sweets, such as donuts that can be enhanced with alcoholic toppings such as limoncello. As for the range of drinks, expect bar star Martin Fernandez, formerly of the South End Beehive, filled with live music, curating creative cocktail, wine and beer lists that offer something for everyone: The Winter Hill Brewing Company as well as the boxed Bud Light, says Bazzinotti, along with simple Chardonnays have crept into more funky and interesting grapes for those who know how to spot them.
All of this in a room covered in original paintings by iconic artists including Bono, Barbra Streisand, Whitney Houston, Mick Jagger and Jimi Hendrix, from Charlie Zammuto, the local developer (and talented artist) that the family owns. In just a matter of weeks, the space will be filled with the sounds of cracking forks, clinking glasses, moving singers and screaming guitars. Bazzinotti, for his part, can’t wait for it to come to life.
“Normally you go to dinner first, then you go to your show. I hate it, ”Bazzinotti says. “I want to go to a place where I can spend time for everything. i will do better watch music or comedy and eat good food and that’s what I’m here for.
517 Broadway, Somerville, 617-996-6838, premiereonbroadway.com.