11/28/2012 04:35:00 PM

Sycamore Sets Sights on Opening Next Week

From left, David Punch and Zach Lieberman in soon-to-open Sycamore
Nice and intimate is how Sycamore in Newton Centre is going to play out. The 32-seat restaurant with an additional dozen seats at the oak bar is slated to open next week at 755 Beacon Street, says chef/co-owner David Punch.

Punch and general manager Zach Lieberman (formerly Island Creek Oyster Bar, Oleana, Craigie Street Bistro) were putting the final touches on what looks to be a ready-to-roll dining room. It's merely waiting on a few permits. The exposed brick, rustic chandeliers and oak bar are the interior design work of Christina Punch, David's wife. The kitchen is behind windows that overlook the main dining room, though there’s an opening at the side of the kitchen to send your regards and watch the chefs at work - something Punch is used to.

Punch, who grew up in Natick, made a name for himself as the head chef at Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain, known for its postage stamp-size open kitchen. Punch went on to open and co-own Ten Tables Cambridge with Krista Kranyak. Punch sold his half of the business back to Kranyak a few months ago to focus on Sycamore, which he co-owns with Shane Smyth.

Lydia Reichert will be Punch’s co-chef. Reichert was a sous chef under Tony Maws (Craigie Street Bistro/Craigie on Main) and has worked at Bergamot, and Quince in San Francisco. Scott Shoer (Abigail's, Great Bay, Excelsior) is the bar manager, overseeing the cocktail, wine and beer lists.

The American menu is a creative ode to the seasons, offering six “snacks”, six “starters” and six “Mains” with the intention of offering daily blackboard specials that are “very rustic,” says Punch. Items include house-salted cod croquettas, Vermont rabbit terrine, handmade agnolotti and among the mains: seared scallops and grilled Vermont lamb. Entrees range from $19 to $26.

The only reclaimed wood in the place are the “duck boards,” nice looking cutting boards designed to present a Hudson Valley Duck entree for two ($58), a whole duck prepared as roasted breast, leg confit, grilled sausage and duck liver (“innards”) on toast. Punch will start with whole Mallards but will change it up according to “whatever whole animal we get at the time.”

Sycamore will be open daily for dinner and drinks. The number, 617-244-4445, is listed on Open Table, but is not in service as of this posting.


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