By JOHN T. WARD
In the works for more than three and half years, the move by San Remo to Red Bank from its longtime home just over the town line in Shrewsbury is finally finito.
Back in 2010, San Remo owner/chef Giovanni Bougdour bought the space from a titan of Teutonic cuisine, Dieter Bornemann, who for more than 40 years ran his Little Kraut restaurant there, just a schnitzel’s throw from the borough train station. Bornemann lived in an apartment above the restaurant before retiring and moving to Las Vegas.
What took Bougdour so long to complete the move?
“I’ve just been busy at the other place,” he says. “That’s it.”
As passersby already knew, however, Bougdour was also engaged in a gut job that transformed the gray exterior of the Kraut into something bright and appealing at the corner of Bridge Avenue and Oakland Street.
The same is true inside, where what had been a single, dimly lit dining room on the ground floor is now two floors of airy dining space, with seating for 105. There’s also an ample yard for outdoor dining in nice weather where Bornemann had a biergarten.
Joining Bougdour – a native Moroccan who grew up in Italy – in the kitchen is assistant chef Sandro Rosella, newly arrived from Sicily after stints at restaurants in Italy, Mexico and France.
Together, they’ll be continuing what Bougdour’s been doing for 17 years at San Remo’s former home, on Newman Springs Road: plating highly-praised Italian dishes anchored by fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. Bougdour calls the restaurant “a high-class BYO with decent prices.”
Reservations are recommended. Call 732-345-8200.
Meanwhile, the busy Bougdour hasn’t relinquished his Shrewsbury space, at 37 Newman Springs Road. He’s rebranded it as La Provence, which features “contemporary French, Italian and Mediterranean dishes,” Bougdour tells PieHole.