After weeks spent tasting, drafting, brainstorming and discussing, Adriano Paganini and team have decided on the chef, the name and some of the branding for the new Belgian brasserie headed to 2000 Union Street. The restaurant will be called Belga — in step with Paganini's propensity for feminine-sounding names. Belga also means Belgian in Paganini's native Italian.
Several contenders tried out for the for the executive chef position, and the winner is Freedom Rains, last seen as the chef de cuisine under Chris Cosentino at sadly departed Incanto. Rains got his start with a seven year stretch at Boulevard, under Nancy Oakes, before becoming the sous chef at both Flour + Water and RN74.
Many details of the menu are still coming together, but Rains and co. are working intently on a list of unpretentious, sharable dishes: salad Lyonnaise, ribeye for two, roast chicken, the aforementioned wood-fired sausage, and other familiar brasserie-style dishes. Whole-animal butchery and locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients will also be invited to the party. Expect Belga to debut in May.