Bar Enza, a ‘neo-trattoria,’ to open this month under Ladner, cooking anew in Harvard Square
Bar Enza is expected to open before October in Harvard Square’s Charles Hotel, serving the Italian brasserie food of Mark Ladner in a space that until April hosted Benedetto (and Rialto for 22 years until June 2016).
Ladner’s “neo-trattoria” is expected to use produce from the farmers market that sets up directly in front of the restaurant as well as imported Italian foods, according to a Monday email. The main dining menu will include Ladner’s famous Hundred Layer Lasagna and “responsibility sourced” steaks and chops.
Other aspects of Bar Enza touted in the email: “There will also be an extensive antipasti station focused on small bites, cured meats, imported cheeses, zippy salads and marinated vegetables. Some standouts will include a robust bread program, salumi produced by personal friends, pecorino imported directly from Abruzzo, baked stuffed olives and a chicken parm sub.”
Bar Enza as a whole is expected to hold 280 people in a bar and lounge, outdoor patio, two large dining rooms and two private dining rooms. The restaurant expects to be open to 1 a.m. weekly serving dinner before adding lunch “in the near future.”
Ladner, a Belmont native, won a Michelin star in 2006 at Del Posto in New York and a four-star review from The New York Times in 2010. But he began cooking in a Harvard Square pizzeria on Church Street called Café Fiorello in the late 1980s before cooking with Todd English at the original Olives in Charlestown.
“This is a bit of a homecoming for me, and it is the right time to come back to the place where I fell in love with cooking so many years ago,” Ladner said.
Listed as joining Ladner are general manager Gabriela Choate; maître d’ and service director Tizzy Beck – who worked for a decade in Milan, where she owned two restaurants (including one called Tizzy’s); and “pasta savant” Jesse Walter, who is chef di cucina. Bar Enza is part of the Lyons Group, owner of such restaurants as Summer Shack, Sonsie, Scampo and Rochambeau.