Union Bar & Grille, part of the Aquitaine Group, closed at the end of 2014 after more than a decade at 1357 Washington St., but the Aquitaine Group promised to open something new in the space in 2015. Today, the company has announced details for the new concept, La Motta's Italian Specialties, which will open late this summer. A press release describes it as "Italian-American" and "Bronx-style" and notes that La Motta is a family name of Seth Woods, founder of the restaurant group, which also includes Roman-inspired trattoria Cinquecento and Mediterranean-inspired Metropolis, both in the South End as well. The Aquitaine Group's other restaurants, Aquitaine Bistrot (three locations) and Gaslight Brasserie (soon to expand from the South End to Lynnfield), are French.
La Motta's is meant to be an "homage to the neighborhood Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century," according to the release, which hints at classic menu items like meatballs (several types), chicken parmesan, thin-crust pizza, shrimp scampi, and lasagna. Cinquecento chef de cuisine Justin Winters, who comes from an Italian-American family, will helm the kitchen. Winters is an alum of Harvest, the now-defunct Excelsior, and Sorellina.
Expect a casual atmosphere that is both a "throwback" and "timeless," according to the release — a tin ceiling, wainscoting, reclaimed wood, soft fabric-backed booths, etc. It'll seat 70 in the dining room, and there will also be a 12-seat bar, a 30-seat outdoor patio, and 28-seat private dining room. Because Italian-American classics are perfect for group dining, there will be plenty of catering and takeout options as well.
On the beverage side, the focus will be on wine — all Italian-American — with 22 options by the glass, carafe, and bottle and 70 more only offered by the bottle. Beer lovers will only find four options on tap, and the cocktail list will be "simple" and "traditional."