I had a chance to catch up by phone with Sarah Acconcia, the Baltimore celebrity chef who is playing an important role in Otto’s Kitchen & Cocktails, the new restaurant Robert Faucette and Roburitto’s owner Rob McGrath, who goes by the name “Rob Burrito,” will open late this summer in the former Bistro 19 space in downtown York.
Acconcia, whose participitation in the project was announced last week, clarified her role at Otto’s. Acconcia, the executive chef at Bookmakers Cocktail Club in Baltimore, won’t be Otto’s executive chef, she said. She’s keeping her day job at Bookmakers, a Federal Hill eatery.
But as a consultant to Faucette and McGrath, Acconcia will play a key role in shaping Otto’s. She’s helping plan the menu, laying out the kitchen and helping hire and train the kitchen staff for the highly anticipated restaurant.
She’s excited about being part of the project, too.
“Rob (McGrath) saw it as an opportunity to have a good chef he knows and trusts work on his project,” said Acconcia, a contestant on Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” and Baltimore City Paper’s “Best Chef” of 2014. “This project is really special to him, and it will be special to York.”
Acconcia and McGrath got to know one another because her husband plays in a band with one of McGrath’s employees. Neither Faucette nor McGrath could immediately be reached.
Look for a menu at Otto’s with “easy, approachable food,” Acconcia said. But she wouldn’t didn’t spill too many details about the menu, which in the press release announcing her participation in the project, was described as “a new take on American comfort favorites with a signature nod to the American South.”
“The menu that we’re writing doesn’t exist in York right now,” she said.
Acconcia said being part of the Otto’s project has introduced her to York’s growing restaurant scene.
“I wasn’t super familiar with York until recently, but it seem like there are a lot of small, interesting places popping up,” she said.