Balena | The Bristol’s new Italian sibling

Breaking down the combined effort between the Bristol and the BOKA Group.

Chef Chris Pandel of Balena and The Bristol

Chef Chris Pandel of Balena and The Bristol Photograph: Jeff Kauck

“The Bristol is kind of a mutt of cultures, whereas Balena is more of an Italian-inspired restaurant,” says Chris Pandel of his second restaurant. Italian-inspired entails a variety of handmade pastas, such as strozzapreti (a sort of twisted rigatoni whose name translates to “priest-strangler,” pictured) served with rabbit meat that’s been braised with Cerignola olives; “puffy-on-the-outside, not super-thin” pizzas; and mains that are “cooked over wood and then kind of left alone,” such as char-grilled quail brushed with hazelnut butter on top of just-wilting escarole.

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