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Fat Hen Swankily Clucks Hello to Somerville Today

Italian food in the former La Brasa market space

Fat Hen exterior
Fat Hen

It’s opening night for Fat Hen, an Italian restaurant located in La Brasa’s former market space in East Somerville. Fans of the old market will hardly recognize the new space — it’s dark and romantic, a sharp contrast to the jovial rustic vibe next door. The long, narrow space is lined with tables on each side, and the wall adjacent to La Brasa features shelves of booze and a little square window that allows the bartender hidden behind the wall to pass cocktails through to Fat Hen’s servers. The restaurant is roughly akin to Cambridge’s Giulia in terms of price point and fanciness.

Fat Hen and La Brasa are all in the family: L’Espalier and Sel de la Terre alum Michael Bergin is running the show at the new place; La Brasa chef/owner Daniel Bojorquez is also an alum of the same restaurants, both owned by Frank McClelland, who was also a founding partner in La Brasa. Bergin’s experience with Italian cuisine includes working at New York City’s Del Posto and A Voce.

When news of Fat Hen first came out in the fall, the team promised "bowls of fresh pasta, braised meats, and locally grown or foraged produce" and a "modest but mighty" beverage program featuring "niche, offbeat Italian wines and craft beers." Indeed, the menu offered at several friends & family dinners this week reflected those plans with numerous pastas (spaghetti with Jonah crab, rigatoni with rabbit sausage, and more); a handful of hearty entrees (lamb saddle with black garlic puree, for one); an assortment of antipasti that included stuffed morels, fluke crudo, and tramezzini — essentially Italian grilled cheese; and a few desserts, including a peach crostada with tarragon gelato.

The cozy space seats about 30; reservations are recommended. Call (617) 764-1612.

Fat Hen

3140 Maybank Highway, , SC 29455 (843) 559-9090 Visit Website

La Brasa

124 Broadway, , MA 02145 (617) 764-1412 Visit Website