Raleigh, N.C. — The trio behind Cafe Lucarne are opening a second City Market restaurant this fall. Royale, which is described as an American bistro with French and European influences, will be located in the old Battistella's space.
Will Jeffers, also a partner in Raleigh's Stanbury, has joined with executive chef Jeff Seizer and baker Jesse Bardyn for the project.
“Soon after meeting Jeff and Jesse, it became clear that our complimentary experience would be the foundation to a strong partnership,” said Jeffers, who is also serving as general contractor on Royale.
Seizer will be the executive chef at Royale. He said there will be a lot of culinary collaborations with fellow partner Bardyn, who will continue to serve as Cafe Lucarne's executive chef.
"This is the most harmonious culinary relationship I've ever had," Seizer said.
Seizer has extensive experience throughout New York City's culinary scene. His has served as Chef de Cuisine of the Gramercy Park Hotel, Executive Chef of Langham Place on New York’s Fifth Avenue, and Executive Chef of Salumeria Biellese and Biricchino where he also oversaw the artisan meat wholesale institution and their restaurant. He is looking forward to bringing elements of each of his experiences to the kitchen at Royale. He said it will most closely resemble NYC's Union Square Cafe, where he was a sous chef.
"Not over the top prices. Just a busy bustling restaurant," Seizer said.
Bardyn is an accomplished artisan baker and member of the Bread Bakers Guild of America. He was the head baker of Asheville’s City Bakery for seven years. He relocated to Raleigh three years ago.
The group relishes a chance to be part of a revitalization of City Market. While the renovations to the space will bring a fresh look, Royale will retain some of the building's older elements, like some exposed beams and centuries old brick.
"That's stuff you can't buy," Seizer said of the historic elements.
While the menu is still taking shape, Seizer said the focus will be on local products and it will change seasonally.
Battistella's closed its doors in December.