In a signal that Belmont businesses are transforming themselves with the expectation of a revitalized Cushing Square, the area's top-rated restaurant will begin serving a lunch menu by mid-September.
Owner and chef Tom Cutrone of Savinos Grill at 449 Common St. came before the Belmont Planning Board on Saturday morning, July 27, to seek a change in the site plan agreement between Cutrone and the town when Savinos opened in April 2007.
The Tuscan-style Italian Mediteranian eatery sought to add a moderate-priced mid-day menu in addition to its award-winning main selections.
"Lunch is dove tailed off the dinner menu," said Cutrone, noting the new service will run from noon to 2:30 p.m.
Cutrone said the move was two-fold; a response to his existing "dedicated and supportive" customer base "who mentioned to us" that they would support the additional service, and, "quite frankly," the need to increase the number of people dining at his establishment.
"We need more than Belmont people and that can be done with lunch," said Cutrone.
In addition, the owner – who is a graduate from the Culinary Institute of America and moved from New York to Boston working in such establishments as Le Bocage, Tuscan Grill and L’Espalier before opening Savinos – said the construction of Cushing Village, the large-scale retail, residential and parking development that was approved by the Planning Board minutes before his presentation was another reason for the expansion.
Cutrone said his increased service would not increase deliveries to the restaurant and might increase trash by "maybe one more barrel and one more pick-up date."
"It seems to me like a good thing," said Planning Board Sami Baghdady, as the board voted 4-0 to approve the changes to the agreement.
When board members and some in the audience expressed a desire to come by the restaurant for lunch, Cutrone said "We like hungry people."