Just weeks after shuttering their restaurant, Taylor Railworks, chef Erik Van Kley and his partner in business and life, Gabriela Ramos, are now part owners of Belmont’s Italian-influenced bistro, Accanto. Van Kley replaces executive chef Chris Frazier — now chef de cuisine beneath Matt Sigler at Renata — while Ramos will help run the front of the house and overhaul Accanto’s bar program.
Van Kley made his name as Gabriel Rucker’s right-hand man at Le Pigeon, before rocking seafood-forward menus of updated American classics at Taylor Railworks. According to Ramos, the two plan to gradually introduce new elements, starting with bringing in a half a pig a week.
“We’ll begin by making charcuterie and sausages to see where that gets us,” says Ramos.
Accanto will also launch throwback dinners in early 2018, inspired by the now-closed Genoa, one of Portland’s most historically important restaurants, often credited with introducing European-style food and fine dining to the city. Van Kley will work from binders of old Genoa menus that he unearthed in Accanto’s basement.