Brendan Pelley’s Modern Greek Pop-Up Pelekasis Is Taking Over Wink & Nod
With a modern Greek concept called Pelekasis, Brendan Pelley will be the next chef to take up residence at Wink & Nod.
Boston Nightlife Ventures’ culinary incubator and speakeasy-style cocktail bar has previously hosted Whisk chefs Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta; Bread & Salt Hospitality‘s Josh Lewin and Katrina Jazayeri; and Akinto, from chef Patrick Enage.
“This is definitely a passion project, and I feel like it’s the right next step for me,” said Pelley, who is leaving his post as executive chef at Zebra’s Bistro and Wine Bar next month, in advance of launching Pelekasis on January 5.
Pelley is previewing Pelekasis at upcoming pop-ups coming up before he moves into Wink & Nod, though he said the residency will be a different experience from both events. A casual, souvlaki-style shop takes over La Brasa next Wednesday, November 11; and Pelley is offering a five-course tasting menu at Commonwealth on Monday, November 16.
Pelekasis at Wink & Nod will offer a full menu of spreads and breads; meze, starters, entrées, sides, and desserts by pastry chef Kendall Vanderslice, formerly of Sofra. Expect sweet potato skordalia with black garlic and preserved lemon; foie gras dolmades; whole-grilled fish; ouzo-marinated bay scallops, curry squash keftedes; and house-made loukaniko, a rustic sausage with pork and lamb, orange zest, herbs, and spices.
Wink & Nod’s beverage director Michael Boughton will bring on some Greek wines and liquors like ouzo, too, Pelley added.
“Food-wise, I’ve been cooking with these flavors for a long time. I grew up with them, too,” said Pelley, who is part-Greek. “In the past couple years, I’ve revisited the dishes I grew up with, but with a cheffy twist on them. I’m reworking [classic dishes] with new ingredients.”
Pelekasis at Wink & Nod is a chance for Pelley to lay the groundwork for opening his own place. “Ideally, I’d love to say a year from now I’m going to open a restaurant in Boston, but nothing’s set in stone yet. I’m focused right now on getting this started up, and really nailing it. I’m just excited to cook for people in Boston. I’ve been cooking in the ‘burbs for a while, and there are a lot of people who haven’t been able to try my cooking,” he said, adding, “I’m going to really miss Zebra’s. It’s been great for me, and I love it.”
Toro alum Andrew Grosse will take over at Zebra’s this December. Grosse staged in the Medfield kitchen with Pelley in the past, and owner Craig Neubecker promises a “seamless and exciting” transition in a press release.
Grosse is a Falmouth native who now resides in Walpole. “I know that Zebra’s is the best restaurant in the area. I am thrilled to come cook for my friends, family and community,” he said, via the release.
The chef trained in Florence, Italy, before moving back to Massachusetts and learning from the high-energy team of Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. At Zebra’s, a generally excellent suburban bistro with a focus on sustainable, seasonal sourcing, Grosse will continue the restaurant’s charcuterie program and build upon its new American fare.
Wink & Nod, 3 Appleton St., Boston; 617-482-0117 or winkandnod.com.
Zebra’s Bistro & Wine Bar, 21 North St., Medfield; 508-359-4100 or zebrasbistro.com.