Sunday, April 21, 2024

Chef Mark Ladner expects to open Bar Enza in Harvard Square this month. (Photo: Lyons Group)

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.