Geppetto carves out a market in an evolving corner of Cambridge

The backstory: Gilson’s relatives runs Groton’s Herb Lyceum, and he’s been a player on the Boston dining scene due to the fact his times as a chef at the late, lamented Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge, which put together good dining with pub coziness. He opened Puritan in 2012, with a New England-y menu — grilled oysters, butterscotch pudding.

Now he has three eating places at Cambridge Crossing: Café Beatrice, an all-day cafe The Lexington, a cocktail bar and restaurant with a rooftop terrace and the recently opened Geppetto.

Chef Will Gilson at Geppetto restaurant in Cambridge Crossing.
Chef Will Gilson at Geppetto cafe in Cambridge Crossing.Erin Clark/Globe Team

The advancement is in its infancy, evidenced by the ample construction and problem finding it applying Google maps (note: It is at North Very first Road, not To start with Avenue nearby). You’ll undoubtedly get Early Seaport vibes as you cruise via. Geppetto is open up solely for takeout and shipping and delivery in a 5-mile radius for now, but with any luck , that will evolve as the pandemic, and the neighborhood, does.

It is a throwback for Gilson, whose 1st big-time cafe task was at Marcuccio’s in the North End less than chef Charles Draghi, later on of Erbaluce, where by he concentrated on Northern Italian dishes. For now, Gilson’s manufacturer of Italian focuses on ease and comfort food which is simple to transport, this kind of as Sicilian-design pies created by pastry chef Brian Mercury (Harvest) and lasagna.

The region is hushed at the instant, but Gilson is optimistic that the development will appeal to foot site visitors soon enough.

“We’re blessed that right here at Cambridge Crossing, the progress will be lab space, existence sciences, and residential buildings. I fear that in other components of the metropolis the do the job-from-home mantra will keep on being solid, and corporations that rely on heaps of commuters and office workers may well struggle to see that business occur back again right away,” he states.

The chicken parmesan sandwich at Geppetto.
The rooster parmesan sandwich at Geppetto.Erin Clark/Globe Staff

What to consume: Durable squares of Sicilian-fashion pizza, burnt at the edges, dotted with oily small pepperoni cups, are a substantial strike with my kids. (In case you’re wanting to know, the pepperoni is Hormel, at least for now.) Kitchen sink lasagna, a compact log of ricotta and mozzarella, is enhanced with no matter what meat scraps are on hand. Currently, that implies limited and key rib. It is splashed in a tomato bechamel which is thinly creamy — not much too weighty or muddled with unwanted cheese. Braised pork sugo with cavatelli tastes of wealthy, fatty pork, but also receives a zesty pinch from chili breadcrumbs and fried rosemary. Other dishes will be superior appreciated in human being creamy burrata on a mattress of roasted beets, pistachio, and arugula grows soggy in transit. The menu is easy and concise, and also presents alternatives for lighter eaters, these types of as a braised pork sandwich with provolone and hen parm on ciabatta. Dishes are $21 and under.

Sicilian style pepperoni pizza at Geppetto restaurant in Cambridge Crossing, which recently opened for takeout and delivery only.
Sicilian design and style pepperoni pizza at Geppetto restaurant in Cambridge Crossing, which a short while ago opened for takeout and shipping and delivery only. Erin Clark/Globe Employees

What to consume? Purchase neighborhood beers like Lamplighter and Narragansett, as very well as a compact assortment of rosé, pink and white wine, and bubbly.

The takeaway: This may not be the restaurant that Gilson quite meant, but you could do a great deal worse than Sicilian pizza and a comforting hunk of lasagna for the duration of a pandemic wintertime. “The public could have to wait around right up until spring or summertime to attempt the meals as we dreamt it,” Gilson claims — but it is however really fantastic.

100 N. Initially Avenue, Cambridge Crossing, Cambridge,

The chopped salad with chickpeas, salami, herbs, and marjoram vinaigrette at Geppetto restaurant in Cambridge Crossing.
The chopped salad with chickpeas, salami, herbs, and marjoram vinaigrette at Geppetto cafe in Cambridge Crossing.Erin Clark/Globe Workers

Kara Baskin can be arrived at at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @kcbaskin.