Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop pastry chef Kendall Melton is jumping aboard the long-awaited Italian restaurant Al Fico. She will begin in the kitchen in late July after a stint staging in Paris at L'Arpege. Melton, who recently hosted a pastry pop-up at Sugar Mama’s, previously worked as Contigo’s pastry chef.
From Vino Vino owners Jeff Courington and Kelly Bell, Al Fico is intended as a "homage to the way things were." The space on 1700 East Second Street includes a wood-fired pizza oven, an all-Italian wine list, and will serve Osteria-inspired cuisine. The two launched a membership plan similar to community supported restaurant program in the spring to help finance the build-out. Clinton Bertrand, formerly of Vespaio, joined the staff as the executive chef in April.