The modern, New England seafood spot is from the same team that opened Brasserie 28 in 2010, the Morello Hospitality Group. Brasserie, a contemporary European-style restaurant and lounge, was the third endeavor from MHG, led by chef/owner Matthew Morello and his wife, Alison Sudalter-Morello.
Michael Sherman, chef de cuisine at the previous concept, will fill the role of executive chef at Elm Square Oyster Co. Sherman previously worked under Mary Dumont at Harvest. He met Morello in the kitchen at the Andover Inn, and after his stint in Cambridge, he went back to the North Shore to help open Brasserie 28. Chef Eric McLaughlin, a Haverhill native, will also stay on with the team as the restaurant becomes Elm Square Oyster Co.
An opening menu isn't posted on ESOC's website yet, but expect a raw bar with local oysters, clams, and shrimp cocktail, as well as New England and American seafood appetizers, entrees, and sandwiches, as well as Brasserie 28's award-winning burger. The bar program, curated by Colin Welch, will offer exclusively American spirits, especially bourbon; wines; and craft beers.
Brasserie 28 closed July 4 and has been undergoing its transformation into ESOC in the week-and-a-half since. The new restaurant will have more seating than its predecessor, according to an update posted on Facebook.
The seafood restaurant is the "alter-ego" of Brasserie, the team says. "We really love cooking here and saw a culinary concept needed in the community…and we really love eating oysters too."
After tomorrow, Elm Square Oyster Co. will be open for dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 5 - 10 p.m. with the bar open til midnight.