Resto Gastro Bistro from chef DJ Quintanilla will open November 29
Hopefully, you’ll save a little room on Thanksgiving, because you’re going to want to eat all of the food on the menu at Resto the following day. That’s when husband-and-wife team DJ Quintanilla and Linda Mazzei will debut their industrial chic Resto Gastro Bistro.
“People want something fun to do and somewhere new to eat after Thanksgiving,” Mazzei told me, “so we hope they’ll come here.”
Quintanilla says Resto, which sits just a few doors down from Casa Rubia in Trinity Groves, will serve a blend of Asian, French and American cuisine. If that sounds weird, it’s the same flavor mix that famed chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten took to restaurant tables three decades ago. Quintanilla thinks he can make it all feel fresh. The opening menu isn’t beholden to the seasons either. Instead, if it tastes good and plays well with the other ingredients, Quintanilla is going to use it.
That’s why you’ll find blackberries and cranberries flavoring a barbecue sauce that Resto serves with braised beef short ribs. And why Quintanilla’s pan-seared ahi tuna stack arrives with thick slices of cucumber, red and yellow tomatoes and a pineapple-spiked hoisin sauce. Pork belly with figs? Yes, I’ll eat that.
I’ll allow him this, too: his food sure looks pretty on the plate.
For lunch, Quintanilla makes a damn good smoked chicken salad sandwich (the chicken is smoked a few doors down at LUCK), amped up with black currants, caramelized onions, black garlic celery and a smear of black pepper aioli, all tucked into a soft ciabatta bun.
“I know people want to call it ‘Resto Gastro Bistro,’ as three separate words, but it’s just Resto,” Quintanilla told me. “We’re a casual, reasonably priced restaurant — a ‘gastro bistro’ — that’s going to serve really good food.”