Monday, July 22, 2024
India Castle in Mid-Cambridge

India Castle will be replaced by Pammy’s in the spring, likely with fresh pasta, co-owners of the new restaurant said Tuesday. (Photo: Christopher Schmidt)

The restaurant replacing India Cuisine in the spring could be a “New American-style restaurant with an emphasis on Italian cuisine” or “rustic Italian food with American accents,” both descriptions given Tuesday as the couple behind it won their licensing, but one thing looks certain: There will be fresh pasta.

“He’s really fascinated with milling wheat,” said Pamela Willis, co-owner and namesake of a restaurant to be named Pammy’s, of her husband, chef and manager Christopher Willis.

There was no argument from Christopher Willis, who said he’s looking to expand on his experience with the Nantucket and New York restaurant Sfoglia, a high-end favorite of Manhattanites such as Tom Cruise and Jerry Seinfeld.

Since pasta is basically flour and water, he said, “It makes sense for the flour to have flavor – but lots of chefs just reach for a bag of flour that was probably milled weeks or months in advance.”

Ideally, he’s hoping to mill wheat berries to become pasta the same day in dishes served in half and whole portions, he said. But the couple said the menu at Pammy’s – previously identified as Thresher – is too preliminary to pin down at this point.

The goal is to have a menu where “everything’s bottom-up and everything’s in-house,” they said.

First comes three to five months of renovations that will move the bar from India Cuisine’s design, revamp the kitchen and shrink the number of seats to 85 from 99, leading to a spring opening with dinner seven days a week from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. A weekend brunch could follow about six months later, said lawyer Lesley St. Germain of McDermott, Quilty & Miller, but there is no timeline for introducing lunch service.

“We’re seeking to open a neighborhood restaurant. Chris and Pam are actually going to be moving into the neighborhood … right down the street,” St. Germain said. Pammy’s will be fine dining, she said, but “less stuffy.”

The three-member License Commission approved unanimously the transfer of India Castle’s all-alcoholic beverages restaurant license to the Willises, barring some final paperwork and training to serve liquor. A neighbor appeared after approval with concerns about the restaurant’s closing time and was invited to submit concerns in writing.

Pammy’s will be at 928 Massachusetts Ave., in Mid-Cambridge between Central and Harvard squares. Although India Castle will be closing after more than 15 years, the owners will keep running Desi Dhaba in Central Square, Punjabi Tadka in Arlington and Kabab Corner in Medford.