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Dec 27, 2007 01:33 PM

Grezzo (former Sage space)

I just read an article in Stuff at night saying that in late January a new restauranr Grezzo will be occupying the old Sage space. It's supposed to be some sort of Raw Italian food.
Any more info out there?

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  1. I don't know anything first-hand, but my Google-fu reveals it's a "100% raw organic vegan" joint, from Alissa Cohen. [
    ]As a vegetarian, I'm hopeful but skeptical. I like cheese too much to really go for vegan food, but I appreciate any and all options for meatless dining-out!

    2 Replies
    1. re: thrasher543

      I feel this is one of the boldest moves I could even imagine...To open a raw food restaurant in the North End goes against so much convention. Fancy vegan dining might have sprung up in Cambridge - but to put it in the land of cannolis - just wow...

      Based on my casual reading of the chef's website, this new venture does not necessarily follow from her current activities - she seems to already have a pretty good gig going - With this restaurant, seems like she's really taking a chance.

      To try this place is about as excited as I have ever been as a chowhound. Something truly new, different and yummy I hope.

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Funny you say this is the most excited you've been to try a place. I on the other hand am happy I don't have something else to add to the list. It's reminding me of that Sex and the City episode. Maybe they'll have waiters who are as cute as Samantha's boy.

    2. A fascinating concept, certainly a daring business venture. I'm kind of a raw-food ignoramus, but the chef/owner has a blog that looks helpful for the uninitiated:

      8 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        tough idea to pull off.
        charlie trotter tried it in CHI and that when belly up. There have been a couple of other places that I have heard of that while popular in the begining, went out of business after a while. It will be interesting to see what they can pull off here.


        1. re: gutterman

          Trotter had collborated with Roxanne Klein who opened a raw foods place in Larkspur, CA (Roxanne's Restaurant) that has since closed.

          1. re: limster

            I'm a bit ignorant to the vegan lifestyle and am curious if wine will be an option.

            1. re: phatchris

              Raw foodism and veganism are distinct if occasionally overlapping philosophies / lifestyles. Raw foodists sometimes eat animal products; vegans often cook their animal-product-free foods.

              Hardcore vegans avoid wine in which animal-based clarifiers (finings) like gelatin are used in the winemaking process. I'm not sure how raw foodists view wine.

              1. re: MC Slim JB

                I'm not a vegan or a raw foodist, but I do understand a lot of their views towards wine.

                Most wine never tops 85 degrees at any point allowing it to meet the strict standards of raw cuisine (although in the Raw book by Trotter & Klein, Jason Smith give the high temp for wine as 118, seems like a wide margin, no?). Animal based clarifies like egg whites, casein, etc. are sometimes used to 'fine' the wine but can easily be avoided if you make conscious choices. Wines that are organic or biodynamic are more likely to NOT be fined or filtered, leaving you with the purest version (and sometimes more sediment - a blessing, not a bad thing) of the wine and also a guarantee that it hasn't come into contact with an animal product. It's easier to find organic and biodynamic wines these days; restaurants and retail shops with knowledgeable staff can steer you in the right directions. There's more O&B wine out there than you think, but i'll save it for a different board...

                My guess/hope would be that Grezzo would limit their offerings to wines and beers that adhere to vegan guidelines for maximum guilt-free dining.

              2. re: phatchris

                One criteria for raw food was that it shouldn't be heated above a certain temperature. I remember reading that Roxanne had a pretty impressive winelist, and that was allowed because the winemaking process didn't involve heating beyond that threshold temperature (well, except for madeiras etc...). Other raw food places I've been to elsewhere didn't serve wine but weren't as upscale, so it might vary with the philosophy of the chef.

                1. re: limster

                  Interesting. So does that mean no vodka at the bar? ;)

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I know that was facetious, but I suspect that if anything, they'll have either the old beer/wine/cordial license that Sage had, or a new license, which is also likely to be beer/wine, as the full liquor licenses are fewer and in much higher demand.

        2. I will have to check this place out. Anyone know when it is opening?

          1. We've tried some of the more prominent vegan food places nationally, including the raw food Cafe Gratitude ( in San Francisco. As vegans based in Boston, WE ARE ELATED to see a vegan establishment open. It's a major milestone. For the record, we enjoyed Cafe Gratitude a lot -- and they did have "cold pressed" coffee, and did serve wine.

            We wish Ms. Cohen well, but would say that many might expect this restaurant to be in it's more natural "habitat" around Central Square in Cambridge, or perhaps the South End or JP. As one who infrequently makes it from the Back Bay area to the North End, I really worry that this place may not be convenient enough for it's core audience. Not only is it difficult to launch a restaurant, never mind a vegetarian one, or vegan one, or RAW vegan one... we'll do what we can to support it.

            Count us in for reservations in the first week! Hopefully the adventuresome foodies are willing as well, and the reservations-only policy helps with the inventory costs. We wish her the best!

            4 Replies
            1. re: dsheim

              I am so excited to try Grezzo! I travel to Beverly to Organic Garden Cafe so having a vegan raw food restaurant in Boston will be amazing! Does anyone know when it will open?

                1. re: gini

                  It's so nice to know there is at least one restaurant in the North End I will be able to walk past without thinking ... "gosh, I wonder how that place is?"

                  First yoga, then coyotes, then raw vegan food in the North End. What's next?

                  1. re: yumyum

                    I am SO curious about how it will be - bring on the sprouted pizzas!

            2. I understand it is now open. Has anyone been?