In about three to four weeks—it all depends on permits—former Spotted Pig head chef Nate Smith will open a new restaurant and bar called Dean Street, along with owners John Longo and WXOU Radio Bar's Rob Gelardi. The Prospect Heights space, in the old Tavern on Dean location, has been completely renovated over the last two months and Longo says it's going to be a stunner when they get it open. It will operate as a cafe in the morning—with Smith wife's Sophie's fresh baked goods—will open for at night for dinner and bar service, and will serve food late into the night.
The team is calling it a "New American Bistro," and Nate admits that his former workplace's influence—he worked at the Pig for the last six years and was the head chef for the last two—could seep in: "I'd like to not deny that I'm from the Pig, but at the same time I'm going to be careful not to come off like a Brooklyn Spotted Pig. There will be an Italian influence. And I feel like that just has a freshness that I like to see in my food.
The menu will feature bar snacks (including a deviled egg similar to the one he created for The Pig), appetizers, entrees, and dessert. Some items will change, and the menu will be "market forward" Nate says, but there will be a set list of staples, and an emphasis on the bar feel. "I want to make it approachable but maintain my integrity," Smith adds. Expect a caesar salad, a burger with choice of cheese or bacon, market salads, house smoked trout, pastas, whole fish with price points under $25. For brunch, he'll cure his own fish and make his own yogurt.
The restaurants has 60 seats, and do take notice of those morning offerings. The baker of the house Sophie is also in charge of the non-pie pastries at this year's hit Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Stay tuned for more as the opening approaches.
Update: For an exterior shot, head over to Brownstoner.