The backstory: Gilson’s family members runs Groton’s Herb Lyceum, and he’s been a participant on the Boston eating scene considering the fact that his times as a chef at the late, lamented Back garden at the Cellar in Cambridge, which mixed great dining with pub coziness. He opened Puritan in 2012, with a New England-y menu — grilled oysters, butterscotch pudding.
Now he has a few places to eat at Cambridge Crossing: Café Beatrice, an all-working day cafe The Lexington, a cocktail bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace and the recently opened Geppetto.
The improvement is in its infancy, evidenced by the plentiful development and difficulty locating it using Google maps (notice: It’s at North Initial Road, not First Road close by). You are going to certainly get Early Seaport vibes as you cruise through. Geppetto is open only for takeout and shipping and delivery in just a 5-mile radius for now, but hopefully that will evolve as the pandemic, and the community, does.
It’s a throwback for Gilson, whose very first large-time cafe task was at Marcuccio’s in the North Finish under chef Charles Draghi, later of Erbaluce, the place he targeted on Northern Italian dishes. For now, Gilson’s model of Italian focuses on consolation foodstuff that is effortless to transport, this sort of as Sicilian-model pies made by pastry chef Brian Mercury (Harvest) and lasagna.
The place is hushed at the minute, but Gilson is optimistic that the improvement will draw in foot website traffic before long ample.
“We’re fortunate that right here at Cambridge Crossing, the advancement will be lab space, existence sciences, and household structures. I fret that in other elements of the city the perform-from-property mantra will stay strong, and businesses that rely on plenty of commuters and business staff may well battle to see that small business come again proper absent,” he states.
What to eat: Sturdy squares of Sicilian-design and style pizza, burnt at the edges, dotted with oily very little pepperoni cups, are a enormous hit with my children. (In scenario you’re questioning, the pepperoni is Hormel, at the very least for now.) Kitchen area sink lasagna, a compact log of ricotta and mozzarella, is enhanced with whichever meat scraps are on hand. Currently, that implies limited and key rib. It is splashed in a tomato bechamel that’s thinly creamy — not as well significant or muddled with avoidable cheese. Braised pork sugo with cavatelli tastes of prosperous, fatty pork, but also receives a zesty pinch from chili breadcrumbs and fried rosemary. Other dishes will be greater relished in man or woman creamy burrata on a bed of roasted beets, pistachio, and arugula grows soggy in transit. The menu is simple and concise, and also offers solutions for lighter eaters, these kinds of as a braised pork sandwich with provolone and rooster parm on ciabatta. Dishes are $21 and less than.
What to consume? Buy regional beers like Lamplighter and Narragansett, as nicely as a little assortment of rosé, crimson and white wine, and bubbly.
The takeaway: This may not be the cafe that Gilson pretty supposed, but you could do a ton even worse than Sicilian pizza and a comforting hunk of lasagna all through a pandemic wintertime. “The general public may have to wait until spring or summer season to consider the meals as we dreamt it,” Gilson states — but it’s nonetheless rather good.
100 N. 1st Road, Cambridge Crossing, Cambridge, www.thelexingtoncx.com/geppetto