2011-04-07 / Front Page

Local restaurant group purchases Narragansett Avenue property

By Jeff McDonough


Matthew MacCartney joins Cathy and John Recca in launching a new restaurant at 14 Narragansett Ave. in Jamestown. MacCartney is an award-winning world-class chef and wine expert. The Reccas have owned the Narragansett Cafe for three years. Photo by Jeff McDonough Matthew MacCartney joins Cathy and John Recca in launching a new restaurant at 14 Narragansett Ave. in Jamestown. MacCartney is an award-winning world-class chef and wine expert. The Reccas have owned the Narragansett Cafe for three years. Photo by Jeff McDonough The island buzz has already started with the news late last week that Narragansett Café owners John and Cathy Recca are leading a group of investors that have purchased the former Tricia’s Tropi Grille property.

The group is planning to launch a new restaurant at 14 Narragansett Ave., John Recca said. The new restaurant has yet to be named.

“This has all happened pretty quickly. We do know that the building will undergo some serious renovation starting right away,” John said. “We do not yet have a date when we will open. We are planning a very nice concept, something different with its own niche.”

He added that the new restaurant will have main floor dining and dining on the outdoor patio.

Cathy said that they plan to offer the best and freshest ingredients and the best possible wines.

“This restaurant will be something special,” John said. “It will be a destination, a reason for people to cross the bridge to come to Jamestown.”

One of the chief partners in the new restaurant group is Matthew MacCartney, a New York City chef with world-class restaurant credentials.

The award-winning MacCartney has worked at some of the top restaurants in New York City and in Europe. He studied at the New York City Technical College and apprenticed at a vast number of noted restaurants in Italy and France. He also holds a diploma from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

MacCartney’s resume reads like the “Who’s Who” of respected restaurants. He served as the roast cook at Cibréo in Florence, Italy, considered one of the leading restaurants in the world. He was the beverage director and general manager at Pasta Nostra in Norwalk, Conn., where he worked with chef and owner Joe Bruno. He has recently worked at Colicchio & Sons in New York City as beverage director and assistant general manager under the tutelage of Tom Colicchio, who is the head judge on the television show “Top Chef.” He also worked with Daniel Boulud at Daniel in New York City.

The new Jamestown restaurant will be MacCartney’s first venture where he will be able to craft his own vision of fine dining. “This will be a culmination of all that I have done,” he said, adding that “comfortable elegance” best defines his vision for the new island restaurant.

“I’m respectful of what we need to do in Jamestown,” he said while praising the community. “Jamestown has the water and the wonderful farms. We want to be as local as possible while respecting the price point.”

“I have a passion for food and wine and adapting it to where I am,” he added.

MacCartney said he is looking forward to the “off-season” in Jamestown and has some ideas to make the slower season a lively time at the restaurant.

Already, the new group of partners, which includes several unnamed investors, has met with a number of restaurant professionals, wine experts and kitchen designers to plan the new facility.

“This is a dream come true,” John said. John and his wife purchased the Narragansett Café three years ago. “The Narragansett was our first entry into the hospitality business,” he said. “It made us hungry for more.”

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