The brand new Cambridge restaurant is the brainchild of SRV’s Michael Lombardi.
Chef Michael Lombardi is hardly a stranger to buzzy restaurant openings. In any case, the Connecticut native—who reduce his tooth at hotspots together with New York’s Del Posto and the Salty Pig within the Again Bay—is a founding associate on the much-loved Venetian-style bacaro, SRV. Nonetheless, welcoming the primary diners to Si Cara, a brand new Cambridge eatery set to debut on August 22, will mark an necessary achievement in Lombardi’s profession: launching his first solo restaurant. “I at all times thought that [opening my own place] could be the following factor that I did, so I’m blissful to be doing it,” he says.
Positioned on Mass. Ave. in Central Sq., Si Cara (Italian for “sure expensive”) will focus totally on canotto-style pizza—a “new-age Neapolitan [pie] with a giant, puffy crust,” Lombardi explains. Produced from naturally leavened dough with further yeast and water to provide a softer and airier texture, it’s the kind of pizza the chef usually makes for himself at residence. At Si Cara, varieties embrace all the things from a shrimp-and-zucchini pie, full with Meyer lemon and salsa verde, to a prosciutto-cotto pizza with potato and black truffle. The restaurant, which is able to supply each dine-in and takeout service for lunch and dinner, may even serve by-the-slice pan pizza. “Pizza is far more intricate than folks give it credit score for, and it’s been a extremely attention-grabbing factor for me to discover,” says Lombardi, who grew up consuming New Haven-style pies. “I simply sort of navigated myself into the canotto realm, which I actually get pleasure from.”
After all, pizza received’t be the one factor on the menu. Along with the host of pure wines that can anchor the bar choices, Lombardi says veggie-fueled aspect dishes (suppose: bitter-melon panzanella salad) in addition to a small smattering of bar snacks like arancini will assist complement the pies. “The menu is [based] round what I prefer to eat, which is numerous greens and salads,” he says. “I prefer to have a slice of pizza after which a pair bites of a salad that’s lighter and brighter, in order that was the steadiness I used to be in search of.”
As for the eating expertise itself, anticipate intimate, pared-down digs that make Lombardi’s delicacies the true star of the present. At 1,500 sq. toes, the restaurant—housed inside a brand-new constructing—feels “rustic,” the chef says, with uncovered, painted pipes working alongside the purposely unfinished ceiling. The informal vibes proceed at floor degree with small tables and seating for 55 company, together with an 8-person bar space, plus one other 30 seats exterior on Si Cara’s street-facing patio. The pizza oven will, after all, be seen for indoor diners, however the eatery received’t in any other case function many design thrives. “It’s actually concerning the people who find themselves there—that’s what makes the area particular,” Lombardi says. “We put numerous thought into it, however we additionally needed to maintain it informal and enjoyable.”
It’s a becoming ethos for the chef, who describes Si Cara’s opening as a “ardour undertaking.” “The restaurant is smaller for a cause, and I’m enthusiastic about all of the issues that include that,” Lombardi says. “One of many taglines we’re utilizing is ‘easy issues accomplished effectively.’ The entire level of this place is to not be overly developed. It is best to have the ability to stroll in and perceive precisely what we’re all about.”
425 Massachusetts Ave.,Cambridge, sicarapizza.com.