Satis Brings Bistro Flair and European Flavors to Paulus Hook
By Amy Petriello
The owners of Lucky 7 Tavern have teamed up to bring a new foodie haven to Paulus Hook. Satis, Latin for “enough” — as in, satisfied — will feature a butcher, a baker and … a gelato maker.
The bi-level space at 212 Washington Street was most recently Taste of Cin deli and, long before that, a meat market/grocery called The National.
“Our initial name was actually Butcher Block Cafe,” says Mike Garcia, one of Satis’ owners. “But based on feedback, [we decided] it was very long-winded, aggressive and violent.”
Garcia and Geza Gulas, his business partner, are keeping the history of the building alive through both the industrial chic decor — Edison light bulbs hang low over repurposed rough wood tables fashioned from the floorboards of a house on Montgomery Street — and the food: hocks of jamón serrano and logs of salami hang front and center, ready for deli orders and sandwiches.
In addition to a deli, Satis will feature a barista/cafe counter for morning coffee and pastries, a sit-down restaurant for lunch and dinner (and eventually brunch), and an adjoining dessert shop that will serve cupcakes, cake and up to 24 flavors of gelato.
The bread is from Balthazar; the pastries, homemade; the coffee, Bristot; and the gelato — well, that’s a secret.
“But I can promise you it’s delicious,” says Garcia. The top-secret gelato will be highlighted in sundaes such as The German Chocolate Cake, which features milk chocolate and Almond Joy gelato, topped with toasted coconut, candied pecans and warm butterscotch sauce.
“The girls will like them, and the guys… we’re sure they’ll like them, too,” says Garcia. Dessert will be served both in the restaurant and the sweet shop — “like Serendipity,” says Garcia, referencing the New York dessert mecca.
In fact, Garcia and Gulas name-drop a few New York restaurants as they talk about Satis, including Citarella. Like the fine-food deli, Satis will sell its prosciutto and other meats and cheeses — as well as imported specialty foods from across Europe — to retail customers.
“Geza and I saw this working in a lot of places in the city,” says Garcia. “We just tried to fill what we felt was a void — a nice, casual bistro with fine meats and cheeses. And who doesn’t like fine meats and cheeses and breads?”
Chef Michael Fiorianti, who has worked in corporate dining for the past nine years and was a consultant for the lauded but now-shuttered Jersey City restaurant Ox, has created a menu with a variety of European influences, including Italian, Spanish and French.
“It boils down to a Manhattan dining experience,” he says.
“There are so many very good Italian and French restaurants in Jersey City,” Garcia says. “We wanted to add something. We didn’t want to be one or the other. We’re going to do favorites from all.”
Fiorianti’s signature dish will be braised short ribs with chorizo and goat cheese mashed potatoes. Also on the menu are appetizers like bacon-wrapped, marcona almond-stuffed dates, and entrees like jumbo prawns with elephant garlic and saffron aioli potatoes.
Though it doesn’t have a liquor license, Satis has worked with a sommelier to create a wine list that will be available for purchase from Liberty Liquors, located just down the street. Diners will be able to order wine from the store and have it delivered to their table.
The restaurant will have seating for 68 inside, and up to 55 outdoors. “Outside will be a true European-style cafe,” says Garcia.
Opening the restaurant took Garcia and Gulas almost a year. Throughout the process, neighbors frequently stopped in and offered their support.
“The neighbors are really great. Really nice people,” says Garcia. “It’s been a long road. People have been coming in saying, ‘Don’t give up.’”
Garcia and Guzas are confident Satis will return that warm welcome when they open its doors on December 9.
“In the morning, you’re going to know the guy who makes your coffee, and he’s going to know you and how you like it,” says Garcia.
Satis Bistro | 212 Washington St. | Opening December 9 | Lunch: Monday through Friday. Dinner: Tuesday through Saturday. Brunch: Saturday and Sunday after January 1.