Abattoir’s fourth executive chef since its opening in 2009 is its most surprising: Hector Santiago, whose much-loved Pura Vida in Poncey-Highland closed at the end of 2012. How do Santiago’s Latin-fusion rhythms fit into the California-Mediterranean aesthetic of Abattoir owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison? Subtly. His trademarks may pop up in a crab fritter revved with mango and a tingly hot pepper essence, or in chimichurri that lends complexity to a New York strip. The checks and balances in this unlikely marriage of styles give the restaurant the magnetic personality it’s always needed.
Photo by John Autry and Charlotte Fekete