Chef/owner Anne Quatrano of Star Provisions announced yesterday that the meat-centric Abattoir will have its final dinner service on March 28. The Optimist’s Ford Fry will be taking over the space. While Fry’s staying mum on his plans, Quatrano has revealed that her team had quietly closed Bacchanalia’s Quinones Room earlier this year. The Quinones Room opened in 2005 in a space downstairs from Bacchanalia and offered a lengthy tasting menu that could stretch on for 12 courses, at least. Taking its place will be a walk-in only, café-style restaurant. Quatrano shares details below.
Why did you decide to close Abattoir?
We thought it was the right thing to do. We think it would be good for that complex to have someone who is able to activate the space. We have offered every person [who worked there] a position at another restaurant or bar. The staff was very understanding and open to the possibilities of where it will all go. Onward is what we say.
Did it have anything to do with the chef [Joe Schafer] leaving?
Joe was doing a fantastic job. The food was great, and we were doing great business. It was just time for us. It’s an opportunity to concentrate on some of the other things we want to do.
Are you thinking about opening a similar concept elsewhere in the future?
I don’t know, I wouldn’t say a similar concept, no. We plan to open Dub’s in May. It’s more of a fast-casual concept than a full-service restaurant, and then we’re going to open a small restaurant, like a café, at Bacchanalia.
Why a café?
We stopped serving the Quinones menu at the end of last year. We have a full kitchen and restaurant downstairs. It’ll offer an alternative for people who can’t get into Bacchanalia. We have a private dining room down there too that we will continue to operate.
So will it serve breakfast and lunch?
Just dinner. I think we have those covered upstairs [at Star Provisions]. It’ll be pretty casual but still offer a small ingredient-driven menu that is a la carte. It’s a thirty-to-forty-seat restaurant. We’ll do some minor renovations on the interior. We’ll add a little bar and make it a little cozier. We’re hoping to open sometime this summer.
We probably won’t have tablecloths. It’s going to be all about the simple good ingredients. It’s something we’ve always tried to do but sometimes the presentations get a little formal, so we are trying to bring it back.
Is there a name?
Not yet. We’re just calling it the little café at Bacchanalia right now.
What kind of menu items are you thinking about?
We want to have caviar service and oyster service. We may feature some of our dry-aged steaks and some whole seafood on the bone. Something simple but really ingredient driven. The price point would start at $12 [for appetizers] to about $36, except for a big steak.
Who will be in the kitchen and behind the bar?
That’s a good question. We certainly have a lot of people who would be fantastic at it, but we haven’t talked to them about it yet.