The Apple Cart / The Slice
Do you smell the wood smoke burning in Scott’s Addition? It could be curling out from one of Tazza Kitchen’s mobile smokers, like a cartoon smoke finger, beckoning you to follow. Since opening a corporate HQ and production kitchen in May in a former diesel engine repair shop located at 1600 Altamont, neighbors have been popping out of their apartments to ask co-owner and culinary director Jeff Grant, “Dude, can I get a taco?”
Soon, you’ll be able to follow the smoke to 1500 Roseneath, where Tazza Kitchen plans to open their 6th location in early December. With a slightly smaller footprint than their other restaurants, Grant said it was well past time to supplement with the nearby production kitchen, which now offers prep support to the the Short Pump and Alverser Plaza locations.
The newest Tazza will offer the same Neopolitan-oven-fired pizzas, tacos and sides that have anchored the menus at their other locations, but now, thanks to a wood grill, the chefs will be able to prepare grilled fish, steaks, coal-roasted vegetables, and, potentially, even a cheeseburger to end all cheeseburgers (Grant is tight-lipped on details but did spill that it will involve 7 Hills beef grilled over oak coals). The restaurant, which was designed by 510_architects, will offer seating for 135 guests, including an area that can function as a private dining space for about 30, plus a lively bar and a patio facing the historic Handcraft building. Rolling windows will open up the Eastern side of the restaurant, and within, seating will be right in the action, with a fishbowl view of the chefs as they cook each meal.
John Haggai, co-owner and construction supervisor, is obsessed with the distinct touches that make each location slightly different, and he lights up like a kid when he reveals a new feature. For this space, he’s chosen shou sugi ban, a Japanese burned wood technique, to create a rustic look and a cornflower blue tile on the walls, providing contrast and brightness in different corners of the restaurant. A lighted wall of wine bottles will be the focus on one back wall, and lighting by Umanoff Design Lighting will help illuminate the rest of the space.
Tazza Kitchen plans to offer dinner first, with brunch and lunch service following soon after. They are currently hiring for all positions.
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