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Aurum restaurant in Jamaica Plain readies for grand opening

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 15, 2014 04:26 PM

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Aurum, a new restaurant in the Hyde Square section of Jamaica Plain, plans to hold its grand opening Saturday.

Owner Matthew Virzi and manager Andrea Belanger, both JP residents, said the eatery, at 377A Centre St., will feature dishes inspired by the Lebanese meat pies and Syrian dough pockets they ate during their respective childhoods in Massachusetts – Belanger is grew up in Fall River, while Virzi is from Worcester.

The duo said they “couldn’t think of a better idea than adopting that memory evoking dough and adding fillings with fresh and wholesome ingredients.”

Their menu will also include fresh juices, smoothies, vegetarian meals, salads, and soups.

They’ve spent the past five weeks making major renovations to the space, formerly Kennedy’s Fried Chicken, “recycling, repurposing, and reusing as many materials as possible, they said.

“The enlivened space boasts a reclaimed oak counter, burlap fitted tables and JP local artist’s work on the walls,” the restaurant said in a statement.

Belanger and Virzi said they hope the restaurant will become more than just a place to eat. They envision “a gathering space where people can watch projected movies, listen to live music, enjoy art and attend a variety of workshops.”

The grand opening is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 18. There will be giveaways, taste testing, free food, and local art.

The restaurant unveiled some of their food and drink options listed below:

“The Della” is a meal with carrot, zucchini, red onion and portobello topped with a balsamic reduction and served over a bed of quinoa. The dish is named for Della O’Connor, an 86 year old, JP-famous, poetry reciting woman that used to frequent Virzi’s previous place of work.

“The Lu,” a spinach, lemon and garlic pie is named for Virzi’s mother Lucille.

The Beetnik is a drink packed with beet, apple, carrot, celery and spinach.

Sides include kale chips, beet chips, batter dipped deep fried cauliflower, and cauliflower carrot fritters.

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com.
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