Contessa, The Newbury Boston’s rooftop restaurant, opens with stunning views
In search of dinner and a show? That’s what a new Somerville restaurant and music lounge hopes to give locals when it opens next month.
In mid-July, Premiere on Broadway will make its debut within 519 on Broadway, a luxury condominium residence in Magoun Square. The newcomer aims to be a one-stop-shop for dining and entertainment, featuring a a 400-seat restaurant and bar and a music lounge with a 1,700-square-foot dance floor.
Heading up the kitchen is former Eataly Boston chef Dan Bazzinotti, who previously cooked at Scampo, Bergamot, and Bisq. At Premiere on Broadway, Bazzinotti will highlight his take on Italian-American cuisine, including the show-stopping charcuterie boards that he was known for at Bisq.
“[Italian-American] food is my family background,” Bazzinotti told Boston.com. “At all the family parties I went to, somebody made meatballs. My aunt made the stuffed shells. Eating, especially that type of food, was what the party was about.”
But you won’t find chicken parm at Premiere. Bazzinotti said that cooking a wide range of Italian fare at Terra, Eataly’s Italian grill, helped to inform his vision of what he wants for Somerville’s new restaurant — namely, “cooking traditionally but with Italian-American style.” He’ll also be pulling from the neighborhood’s Winter Hill influences, like using Irish bacon instead of guanciale in Premiere’s carbonara.
“Obviously, house-made pastas are going to be something that we’re going to make, but we’ll be showcasing dry pasta as well,” he said. “I think everyone thinks, oh it’s fresh pasta, that means it’s better. For me, that’s not always the case. We’re going to be using dried pasta from Deano’s right down the street.”
In addition to a selection of antipasti and pastas, Premiere will serve small, fried calzones stuffed with seasonal ingredients (think corn and mushrooms, or ricotta and fig drizzled with honey), Genovese grilled chicken wings, and arancini filled with dirty rice — a nod to Bazzinotti’s time spent working in New Orleans. Pizza will be available, too, once the restaurant’s sister pizza spot, Baza’s Pizzeria, opens next door.
Premiere on Broadway is operated by Somerville native Charles Zammuto and his family; his daughter, Koryn, will be Premiere’s director of operations. Zammuto is also the developer of 519 on Broadway. Bazzinotti said the Zammuto family are old friends of his, and that Charles first started talking about the idea for Premiere two years ago.
“I said, OK, talk to me when it gets more serious,” Bazzinotti recalled. “I think it was like a year and a half ago he brought me in the space — it used to be a furniture store. It was just a big concrete room full of office furniture. Charlie’s explaining to me that the stage is going to be here, we’re going to have a huge bar right here … I love live music. It’s just a better atmosphere when you’re having good food and you’re with good people and there’s awesome live music playing. When I heard that he wanted to do that, it just kind of sealed the deal.”
While the entertainment area is separated from the dining area and bar, Bazzinotti said guests will still be able to see the stage from most seats in the restaurant. Premiere’s entertainment schedule, curated by music and entertainment director Dale Buchanan, will include live music, comedy, and other events. Its first comedy show is already scheduled for July 22, with Lenny Clarke, Johnny Pizzi, and Christine Hurley in the line-up.
At the 65-seat bar, beverage director Martin Fernandez (The Beehive) has crafted a classic Italian cocktail program, featuring negronis, Americanos, and Bellinis. Italian wine and beer from Winter Hill Brewing Co. and other local breweries will also be available.
When it opens, Premiere on Broadway will offer lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, with outdoor patio seating for an al fresco dining experience.
“You can come in there and get a nice heart warming pasta that will take you back to when you were 12 years old eating your grandmother’s ziti with meatballs,” Bazzinotti said. “I think it’s going to be a unique environment. There’s nothing like it.”
Stay up to date on all the latest news from Boston.com