At the end of December, an ambitious and giant Basque newcomer called Mercado on Kent opened on the lonely corner of Wythe and South 2nd Street in Williamsburg, garnering some mixed reviews. And less than a month after opening, it got a new chef. A waiter revealed on a recent visit that Peru Almandoz, the opening chef and apostle of Ferran Adria and Juan Mari Arzak, left at least a week ago (he says because of "visa issues"). Reps say that Mikel Trevino, originally from Bilbao, is the new chef in charge. The menu has changed slightly since the opening, but the general theme of the it—Basque-style tapas with some entrees and cheese and meat boards thrown in—remains.
Trevino's arrival isn't the only news coming out of Mercado. The actual market section of the restaurant, which has its own entrance on South 2nd St., should open to the public by Friday, workers say. It will be open from 9 AM - 3 PM and will offer breads made daily in the bakery below the restaurant, charcuterie, olive oil, and other products for retail sale.