Fat Hen will open this spring inside of La Brasa's market space, helmed by L'Espalier alum Michael Bergin, according to a tweet from the Globe's Kara Baskin. (The name has been a long time coming: Fat Hen is also the name of the LLC behind La Brasa, formed back in 2011.) Though vastly different in concept, La Brasa is closely tied to L'Espalier — La Brasa chef/owner Daniel Bojorquez is an alum of the French restaurant, and partner Frank McClelland owns it.
Recently, La Brasa shut down regular hours in its market space, which functioned as a daytime cafe and a small shop. "To our amazingly supportive patrons, we have bittersweet news for La Brasa Market and Café," the restaurant posted on its website. "In the coming months the Market and Café space will be closed during the day while it undergoes reconceptualization. Due to an increase in community interest, we are endeavoring to expand our public and private special events programs. We hope you will keep an eye out for our goings-on through our website and social media outlets as we fill those four walls with more E-Som Markets, guest chef pop-up dinners, art shows, tastings, and more surprises down the line. Our coffee program, featuring George Howell coffee, will continue to live on in the restaurant where you can find specialty coffee drinks made with precision and passion."
Fat Hen is expected to put down roots in that space in spring 2016, maybe as early as March, but first, there will be a series of dinners on the second Thursday of each month leading up to the opening. The first takes place on November 12, featuring dishes like spelt pappardelle and white bolognese; semolina cavatelli and kidneys; and vanilla semifreddo.
In addition to working at L'Espalier and Sel de la Terre (another McClelland restaurant), Bergin has also worked at well-respected Italian restaurants Del Posto and A Voce in New York City. At Fat Hen, Bergin will be serving "bowls of fresh pasta, braised meats, and locally grown or foraged produce," along with a "modest but mighty" beverage program featuring "niche, offbeat Italian wines and craft beers," according to the event page for the upcoming dinner. The space seats 30 and features a "tiny" open kitchen.
Meanwhile, for a casual take on Italian food, La Brasa has recently been featuring a late-night menu of wood-fired pizza, cacio e pepe pasta, Caesar salad, and steak by the ounce from Thursday through Saturday, 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.