Just spoke with Gerard Craft of Niche
(1831 Sidney Street
; Web site
) about the news -- first reported
-- that the restaurant is closing its bake shop, Veruca
. In its place will be Niche Taste Bar
, where Niche's staff will serve up a selection of small plates.
Craft said he sees the bar as something like an enoteca, where diners can enjoy a snack or two with a glass of wine or cocktail. Dishes will likely be priced between $4-$10, and as a "bar," there will be no reservations. Look for a late March or early April opening.
Mathew Rice fans need not fret. Though Veruca is no more, Rice will continue as Niche's pastry chef. He will also be overseeing the in-house bread program that the three-year-old restaurant is finally starting.
"We've caved," Craft told me, laughing.