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Tresca Is Evolving With a New Co-Owner and Chef

The North End restaurant will close for about a week in September

Rich Ansara
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Earlier this month, a popular North End restaurant announced a new chef/co-owner, who is in the process of giving the restaurant a refresh. Rich Ansara comes to Hanover Street’s Tresca with decades of experience and has started bringing in some new dishes as the restaurant prepares for a full overhaul in early September.

"We took over July 1, and we’re just slowly introducing a new menu and a new concept," Ansara told Eater. He joins Tresca most recently from Meadhall in Cambridge, and previously Amrheins in South Boston, among other places. "We’re gonna take Tresca and we’re gonna make it a little more casual than it was," he said.

Ansara will gradually introduce new menu items over the next few weeks, and then the restaurant will close the week of Labor Day for some larger changes. Tresca has two floors and 130 seats. The first level is currently half bar, half dining, and the upcoming changes are aimed at breaking away from the usual North End vibe.

"We’re gonna convert the whole downstairs space into a casual bar area," Ansara said. The lower portion will be renamed Cafe 77 at Tresca in a nod to the jersey number of the restaurant’s co-owner, former Boston Bruins star Ray Bourque, whose presence will be felt in a greater way at the restaurant.

Downstairs, the menu will focus more on small plates and pastas with a lower price point, while the upstairs portion of the restaurant will have a finer dining atmosphere — and, of course, the coveted balcony table overlooking Hanover Street. Ansara said that the design changes will refresh the current '90s feel of the space and bring in a more contemporary design.

With a whole different menu and look and the addition of some high-tops and maybe sofas downstairs, the restaurant will not exactly have a sports bar feel, but it will be able to cater to crowds that pass through the North End for Bruins and Celtics games. Ansara also plans to install a beer keg cooler to bring 10 to 12 craft draft beers into the bar, in addition to paring down the wine list, which he said was too big.

Ansara has already rolled out some new menu items and is making himself at home at the restaurant.

"I’m here, I’m hitting every table, I’m sitting down with guests and making it a real personal feel over here at Tresca," he said, and so far, people seem to be enjoying the changes.

The menu will retain its Italian identity while bringing in a bit of Mediterranean flare and some Middle Eastern touches. "I go off the menu a lot. I’ll do anything from braised chicken livers to a great steak on the menu," Ansara said, mentioning Greek lamb sliders, not to mention his special meatballs, which he said are already gaining a cult following.

"I think that was our intention of coming in here — to kind of think outside the norm of the North End," Ansara said.

Tresca

233 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113 (617) 742-8240 Visit Website

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