With a wood-fired oven that heats to over 900 degrees, head chef Andres Marsilio is ready to cook his favorite pizza on Tarry Lodge’s menu: burrata cheese, pancetta and chili oil.
Tarry Lodge, set to open at 278 Park St., is the latest offering from restaurateurs Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich. The restaurant hosted an invite-only opening celebration Thursday evening and plans to open to the public this weekend, with menu offerings including wood-fired pizza, an assortment of pastas, items from the grill and an extensive wine selection. The property, which has stood vacant for seven years, is owned by the St. Thomas More Corporation, but under a long-term lease with Yale University Properties.
“We are all inclusive — we will cater to the student, and we want to be friends with all of our neighbors outside of the Yale community too,” said Nancy Selzer, managing partner of the restaurant. “We want to be a little bit of everything to everybody, going along the parameters of well prepared, fresh ingredient food, a well selected wine list and a fun environment.”
The restaurant is significantly smaller than the two other Tarry Lodge locations, located in the Connecticut town of Westport and Port Chester, New York. In addition to the smaller size, the New Haven location will distinguish itself from its other two branches through expanding the menu variety to include items more suited to a college student’s budget. Selzer cited a new meatball sub and turkey sausage sub as items catered towards a student’s wallet.
When Selzer and Andy Nusser, the other managing partner of the restaurant, decided that they were going to open their next restaurant in New Haven, the team knew immediately that they wanted it to be associated with Yale, Nusser said. After scoping out several locations last spring, Tarry Lodge signed a lease with University Properties.
“It was just this little box in a perfect city, waiting for us,” said Nusser of the Park Street location they ultimately decided on for the restaurant.
After the lease was signed, Nusser and Selzer spent six months completing construction of the restaurant.
Tess Koenig, an assistant to Batali, said she was surprised by how quickly the restaurant opened, given that the very first meetings about creating the restaurant were held less than a year ago.
Although Nusser said he and Selzer typically buy their restaurant spaces, they said they are happy to be leasing from University Properties.
“From my perspective, working with Yale has been really, really pleasant,” said Selzer. “They have been really helpful in including us in the Shops at Yale community and made themselves extremely available to us,” she added.
Patrick O’Brien, marketing coordinator for University Properties, said that the establishment of Tarry Lodge over the past few months was an exciting process to witness.
Because of the expected younger clientele, the restaurant hopes to have an increased social media presence, said David Gruber, digital media director for Tarry Lodge.
The restaurant features an imported oven, crafted by Italian oven-maker Valoriani, which, according to Marsilio can cook a pizza in under two minutes. Marsilio, who was approached about the position in June, has six other chefs working with him in the kitchen.
“Everything is running so smoothly — we’re off to a great start,” said Marsilio.
The first Tarry Lodge was opened in Port Chester, New York in 2008.