In the restaurant business, best laid plans often go awry. When Eric Battite opened Sugar Baking Co. & Restaurant in February 2011, he started with just breakfast, lunch and brunch service, with an eye to offering dinner within months.
While the timeline didn’t exactly work out, 16 months later, Sugar opened last week for dinner, after having obtained a beer and wine license a couple of months ago.
The restaurant is a “pleasant surprise for people,” according to Battite. “I like to call it ‘fine dining in disguise,’ ”he says. “My main goal has been to do dinner. It’s been a project, but like Rozzie, it’s a work in progress.”
Taking advantage of its close proximity to Roslindale’s bustling farmers’ market---it’s practically across the street---Chef Christophe Gest is using market finds to inspire the menu every weekend through October.
While the special market menu will vary, staples on the regular menu include some comfort food favorites like statler chicken with mashed potatoes and the incredibly decadent company burger, made from a blend of chuck, short ribs and bacon, topped with gorgonzola and served on a house made brioche bun. Salmon, swordfish and halibut dishes, plus several inventive salads and appetizers round out the eclectic menu.
Battite is serious about using local ingredients whenever possible and you’ll often see farms and purveyors listed on the menu when relevant. Produce from local Allandale Farm is a constant and the cheeses for a cheese board come from nearby Boston Cheese Cellar.
Whatever you choose to eat, save room for dessert. After all, at its heart, Sugar is a bakery. Hand-rolled cannoli, pear tatin, giant half moon cookies, the list of temptations goes on.
But a word of advice: like your mom used to say, don’t fill up on the bread basket. Served when you sit down, accompanied by an addictive olive tapenade, it’s a delicious way to start, but a dangerously filling one.
Sugar Baking Co., 4172 Washington St., 617-327-4174.