Husband and wife duo Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder present Henderson Avenue with an only-ever-so-slightly belated Christmas gift tonight when they unveil their first restaurant venture Gemma in the old Fish City Grill spot, promising an intimate atmosphere, a dining room decked out Hamptons-style, and a "fresh and modern American" menu heavy on the local/seasonal influence.
The duo recently relocated from Napa Valley, where Rogers was chef and Yoder was general manager at a restaurant called Press. Expect dishes like grass-fed beef tartare, ricotta cavatelli with wild boar ragu, duck two ways with barley "fried rice," and of course the requisite kale salad — served up here with celery root, satsuma oranges and ricotta salata.
A wine list promising "friendly markups" was assembled with the help of sommelier Sabrina Snodderly; there are also craft cocktails in the $10 to $12 range that incorporate unusual ingredients like fennel fronds, persimmon and cardamom, plus 20 or so bottled beers including local selections from Lakewood Brewing, Franconia, et al. But perhaps the most exciting thing Gemma brings to the table is its late-night hours: It plans to stay open till 1 a.m. every night it's open (that's Wednesday through Sunday).