Delays are part of the deal. As we speak in mid-November, Chef Michael Schlow isn't sweating the fact that The Sinclair, the new rock club and eatery in Harvard Square, is two weeks late in opening.
"We're at the mercy of inspections," says Schlow, who migrated to Boston from New York City in 1995 to head Louis Boston's Café Louis. It ended up being more than a month until The Sinclair opened last week.
He's gone from Radius, his first restaurant and still one of the city's best, to rock 'n' roll. At Sinclair, Schlow helms the restaurant, while Bowery Presents handles the music. Even with the number of other restaurants he has opened, he says Radius, which is almost 15 years old, remains special: "It's a wonderful experience, it's such a creative outlet. ... But when you have a family, the baby needs attention."
Sinclair is that baby, comprising a mere 110 seats split over two levels: "It's small, but it's lively. Food and music are things that me and my friends bond over. I have a lot of musician friends who like good food," says Schlow, whose wedding guests included R.E.M.'s Michael Stipe and Mike Mills.
Hiccups, Schlow says, are bound to happen: "If it were easy, it wouldn't be as much fun."
On the menu
Schlow gives us the dish on Sinclair's menu:
Pork belly pastrami slider "They're addictive and go perfectly wth some beer."
Disco fries "These have a hint of nostalgia for me. We'd eat them at the diner after shows. We have a new version with chorizo and poblano. They're totally decadent."
Crispy fried oysters "Bowery Presents has New Orleans roots so these reflect that. We add Cajun seasoning to the remoulade."