Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The idea of Villa Rustica? Just what you'd guess: "We'll get a wood-burning oven and do some pizzas, a lot of handmade pastas, real simple meats," says Moffett. He plans to put Kerry at executive chef over all three; "it'll give him the opportunity to get his hands on a bunch of different cooking styles," and he notes how well Kerry's food at Good Food has been received.
The new place will seat about 75 at the Villa's historical Reynolds-Gourmajenko House. "I'd been kicking around some ideas ... but I walked in and thought 'I guess we're doing Italian food'," Bruce Moffett says. That's what happened with the other two as well -- the Barrington's space reminded him of his living room in New England (it's named for his hometown in Rhode Island), and Good Food looked like a spot in which he and Kerry could something like Avec in Chicago.
Moffett, who's talked about his reluctance to open a second place until he felt he had a good handle on the first (and spent eight years doing that), says seasoned staff makes him comfortable enough to try this. "I have people that have been with me for 12 years," such as Barrington's manager Peggy Gibouin, and others he's known for more than a decade (like Good Food executive sous Larry Schreiber), and recently hired Mike Vergili, former executive chef at Carmel Country Club to be general manager at Good Food.
He's also excited at the prospect of increased buying power: "Now we can buy local whole animals; I'll get the chops (for Barrington's), Kerry can grind up the legs for sausage (at Rustica) and Good Food gets the shoulder... it opens up a lot of chances closed to us now."
Baronofsky Design, which did Good Food, will do this space as well. More to come (not active yet) at www.villarusticacharlotte.com.
Posted by Helen Schwab at 5:06 PM