Chef Zak Pelaccio — formerly of Fatty Crab and currently at James Beard Award-winning upstate restaurant Fish & Game — is getting back into cooking Malaysian food. The chef gained acclaim for Southeast Asian food a decade ago, and since leaving Fatty Crab in 2011, he's moved away from it, as a report from the Times says. He originally stayed away after leaving Fatty Crab because he thought it would be "poor taste" to immediately open something similar. But now, years later, he and Fish & Game co-chef Kevin Pomplun will be serving casual Malaysian food at BackBar, their cocktail bar at 347 Warren St. in Hudson, New York.
The new 76-restaurant, called Bakar at BackBar, will offer dishes for lunch and dinner like spicy laab salad with pork shoulder, an asparagus omelette, and curried crab and fish chowder, according to the Times. Pelaccio's wife Jori Jayne Emde, a chef and fermentation specialist, will be making condiments like red chile sauce for the dishes. And unlike the upscale Fish & Game, everything at Bakar will be less than $20, Pelaccio says. "This is for locals," Mr. Pelaccio said. "We need a place where people can come and eat lunch for a reasonable price. This has a vibe where it’s sort of easy. It’s not so buttoned up. This could be by the beach." It will launch later this month.