Friday, July 19, 2024

A falafel sandwich in a publicity still provided by the restaurant Amba, due to open Tuesday in East Cambridge.

A date has been set for a 4,000-square-foot multifunction hall called the First Street Market in East Cambridge and its restaurant, called Amba: Tuesday.

The market is due to be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, according to a publicist’s email sent Wednesday.

The redevelopment at 55 First St. is of a neglected space at the base of a municipal parking garage that once held the restaurant Indochine and a Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge. It’s an extension of a project nearby at the neighborhood’s 1970s courthouse building at 40 Thorndike, turning it into offices, residential and retail.

First Street Market is expected to have weekly, year-round indoor farmers market, a demonstration bar and community space that can be rented for events big and small.

Amba takes its name from an Indian sauce that made its way through the Middle East; the restaurant “celebrates the diverse flavors of the Mediterranean region, spanning from the eastern shores to the Atlantic coast” with a centerpiece of spiced rotisserie chicken served with an array of condiments and sides, according to publicity materials.

A provided menu shows breakfast until 11 a.m. with such dishes as an $8 breakfast shawarma and $6 Sugar and Spice Toast (cream-soaked challah with spiced sugar); lunch and dinner until 8 p.m., including a $20 mezze platter, appetizers from $10 to $14, sandwiches and burgers from $12 to $15, salads and the chicken – $17 for half, $28 for a whole or $40 for a meal with a whole chicken, two sides and two sauces (an amba is offered, of course) as well as pita with hummus. The sides include schmaltz roasted potatoes, spiced cauliflower with pomegranate and herbs, spiced crinkle-cut fries, harissa roasted carrots, saffron rice and a farmers salad farro.

Amba was shaped by Will Gilson, the chef whose empire already includes Puritan & Co. and the attached Puritan Oyster Bar in Inman Square and the North Point trio of The Lexington, Geppetto and Cafe Beatrice; Ming-Tai Huh, the restaurateur and executive with the Square payments system; and businessperson Nicholas Vantzelfde.