Spoke Wine Bar Launches New Guest Chef Series

Chef John daSilva's inaugural "Tight Squeeze" is a summer omakase with help from two Uni alumni.

Chef John da Silva of Spoke. / Photo by Webb Chappell for "Best of Boston 2015 Best Chef Up-and-Coming."

Chef John daSilva of Spoke. / Photo by Webb Chappell for “Best of Boston 2015 Best Chef Up-and-Coming.”

He’s not hindered by it, but executive chef John daSilva will admit the kitchen at Spoke Wine Bar is a bit small. So when he decided to launch a dinner series that would put more chefs on the line, the irony didn’t escape him.

“We were kicking around some names for a few weeks and finally I thought—Tight Squeeze,” he says.

DaSilva was chatting with Youji Iwakura, ramen master at Snappy Ramen and one-time sushi maker at places like Oishii and Uni, and Chris Chung, an Uni alum who recently shuttered his Lincoln restaurant, AKA Bistro.

“[They] approached me about teaming up for an event at Spoke where we could all collaborate on a
menu that marries all three of our unique styles,” daSilva says. “From there, I thought how cool would it be to turn this into a series?”

The first Tight Squeeze dinner, dubbed Summer Omakase, is Monday, July 11. DaSilva, Iwakura, and Chung will dish out eight courses, including bluefish nigiri and poke, ramp okonomiyaki (Japanese pancakes) with trout, and barbecue lamb ribs with rice yogurt and cucumber. An exclusive drink menu, curated by bartender Liz Mann, will feature various beers, sakes, and cocktails to complement the spread.

DaSilva plans to invite a chefs to the Spoke kitchen regularly, and eyes September for the next event, he says. Any future lineups haven’t been announced, but daSilva hints he’s been talking with chef Patrick Campbell of Café ArtScience and Menton chef de cuisine Scott Jones. Keep an eye on the restaurant’s website for details.

Tight Squeeze: Summer Omakase, $65, Monday, July 11, 5:30 p.m., Spoke Wine Bar, 89 Holland St., Somerville, 617-718-9463, spokewinebar.com.