Thursday, February 18, 2010

AKA Bistro: Coming Soon to Lincoln

AKA Bistro is coming....and it intrigues me.

Christian Touche, the GM who assisted in opening Ken Oringer’s Clio Restaurant in Boston, as well as managing it for 12 years, and Chef Chris Chung of Uni are collaborating on AKA Bistro, which is set to open in mid-March in Lincoln. AKA Bistro will feature original Japanese sashimi and traditional Provençal fare, presented separately, with respect for the two cuisines. "AKA" means "red" in Japanese, and you can see the color reflected in their logo.

Touche will supervise the front of the house. Chung, who will serve as executive chef at the new AKA Bistro, was recently named the 2009 Boston Rising Star for his innovative sashimi creations. Chung combines the east/west food influences he grew up with in Macau, China, a former Portuguese colony, with other cultural influences.

Chung has over 600 unique recipes to rotate into the sashimi bar menu. The restaurant will feature both local and imported fish and will be the first in the Boston area to feature Kindai tuna from Japan. Kindai is unique in that it is farm raised from the egg and is supposed to be more sustainable than wild caught bluefin. Though the practice is not without controversy, and I will explore the issue in the near future with Chef Chung.

I have always cared about the environment. I want to show people we can still enjoy good food without destroying nature,” said Chung.

The French side of the menu will introduce the authentic Provençal recipes handed down from Christian’s great grandmother through his mother, Anny Touche. Whether choosing from the French bistro or the sashimi menu, everything will be fresh, seasonal and locally grown when possible. Touche and Chung will maintain a strong relationship with local growers and consider the farms around Lincoln to be one of the restaurant’s biggest assets. The small community of Lincoln with its surrounding farms has many of the same idyllic characteristics as Beaumes-de-Venise near Avignon, the rural village in France where Touche is from.

"This is the food I grew up eating in southern France, so it comes easy to me,” said Touche.

AKA Bistro will bring a city dining experience to Lincoln with quality food and quality service, but without city prices. “It is casual country dining with a pedigree.” The new space will be rustic and casual, comfortable for a family dinner, date night, or business gathering. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant will also serve brunch on weekends and provide take-out.

We want people to feel relaxed when they are here and know this is a place they can return to again and again,” said Touche.

I will be getting more information about AKA Bistro so look forward to a future post.

AKA Bistro
145 Lincoln Rd.
Lincoln, MA

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