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Former Fork & Wrench chef opening Italian, Spanish restaurant in Brewers Hill

This new Italian and Spanish restaurant is replacing Brewers Hill Pub & Grill.

A new restaurant with Spanish and Italian influences is nearing its Brewers Hill debut. 

Brian Lavin is opening Gnocco at 3734 Fleet St. The space formerly housed Brewers Hill Pub & Grill, which closed about four weeks ago.  

Gnocco is the first restaurant Lavin, previously the chef at Fork & Wrench and Salt, has owned. He partnered with the owners of Brewers Hill Pub & Grill to reinvent the 52-seat space, which received some cosmetic updates in the four weeks since the pub closed. 

"It just kind of needed a revamp," Lavin said.

As for the menu, Lavin said Mediterranean flavors have always called to him. Sample dishes include lamb tartare with eggplant, harissa, sesame and oregano; ricotta cavatelli with morels, duck confit and apricot; and razor clams with grapefruit, tarragon salsa verde and prosecco.

"The concept is just something that I’ve always wanted to do," Lavin said. "Italian and Spanish food are kind of my food, my jam.”

Sam White, Lavin's friend who most recently worked at Cinghiale, will head the front of the house and Gnocco's bar program, which will highlight Spanish and Italian wines, amaro and vermouth. Lavin and White studied abroad in Italy together during their time as students at the University of Maryland.

Lavin was slated to head the kitchen at Modern Cook Shop, a new concept in Fells Point by the Fork & Wrench owners, but he said the project took too long to get up and running. Modern Cook Shop opened recently after being in the works for a couple of years. 

Lavin is aiming to open Gnocco on June 14, and the restaurant will be open for dinner Tuesdays through Sundays. 

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