New restaurant Bar Athena, owned by Lisa Mendoza-Wood and Gordon Wood, should open in late spring at 770 Washington Street in Holliston.
Bar Athena will be a Mediterranean style restaurant with foods influenced by a number of countries in the Mediterranean region such as Italy, Greece, Southern France, and Morocco. The restaurant will also be focusing on Spanish style cuisine.
They will be serving a selection of different kinds of pasta, salads, risottos, chicken, and desserts.
“It’s my favorite food,”chef Mendoza-Wood said. She also mentioned how the food is very “versatile” and how there are “lots of sources for inspiration,” adding “it’s all too good to leave any of it out.”
Mendoza-Wood plans on “changing the menu with some frequency.”
Steak frites, a steak and potatoes dish, will also make its way onto the menu.
“I love steak,” Mendoza-Wood said. She also mentioned the possible use of “chimichurri,” an Argentinian sauce to go along with the dish.
Other than steak, Wood says his wife “makes wonderful pasta” with “fresh, brightly colored sauces.”
Along with Mediterranean style meals for dinner, Bar Athena will also be serving wine and cocktails for refreshments in the evening as well as providing a brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays.
“I love cooking brunch,” Mendoza-Wood said.
As they plan, Mendoza-Wood also said how they will “use great produce” and make “everything from scratch.”
“If [the customers] don’t see something they like, just talk,” Mendoza-Wood said.
Mendoza-Wood also mentioned how “it’s sad” when restaurants do not have options for everyone and use cheap alternatives as opposed to fresh food.
“We really want this to be a place where there is something for everyone,” Mendoza-Wood said.
They also plan on using “no cheaper alternatives” along with focusing on the “freshness and quality of the food.”
Wood previously worked in New York and also attended business school while Mendoza-Wood worked at Zuni Café in San Francisco.
The menu at Zuni Café contains integrations of French and Italian cuisine with seasonal organic ingredients.
In December 2013, Zuni Café chef, Judy Rodgers, passed away. Mendoza-Wood said Chef Rodgers taught her “how to taste.”
The couple mentioned how they “thought about having their own restaurant in [their] early 20s.”
“We always wanted to own our own business together,” Wood said. He also said he is most excited about “working with [his] wife every day.”
Jasper Hill the previous restaurant that opened in 2014 served a variety of salads, burgers, paninis, wraps, along with providing live music on the weekends and on Thursday nights. They recently moved their location to 270 Exchange Street (Route 115) in Millis.
“People really missed having a restaurant there,” Cynthia Canavan, manager of Beautycounter and employee/manager at Fiske’s General Store, said over a phone interview. “I think the people of Holliston will embrace this new restaurant.”
Her main hope for the owners of the new restaurant is that “they will really stay true to what they hope to accomplish.”
Wood says he hopes to see “folks really happy to be here” and that they “light up when they walk in the door.”
“I love hospitality,” Mendoza-Wood said when asked why she wanted to open a restaurant. “I love to cook and please people and make people feel special.”