PEPPERELL — A new restaurant is opening in town, and its name, The Lazy Bubble, may have you scratching your head.
So let’s ask the question you’re probably thinking right off the bat: What does The Lazy Bubble mean?
As it turns out, it’s a term used by famous chef James Beard to describe the process of simmering to cook meat at a lower heat for a more tender and flavorful meal. While some customers might want their food served fast and as frequently as possible, co-owner and head chef Chris Finn wants to bring a different dining experience to Pepperell.
“The philosophy behind the name is that everything is so rushed. We cook things low and slow,” he said. “Not a lot of chefs have the time to cook certain stuff. We create dishes with simple elegance, something with only a few ingredients that you put a lot of love into to make extraordinary.”
Simple elegance is the bread and butter of The Lazy Bubble. Set for opening on Tuesday, Nov. 19, the restaurant, at 112 Main St., welcomes customers into its relaxed dining room, with darkwood furniture and lush lighting, for a tight menu of international comfort food. Guests curious about the cooking can peek inside the open kitchen as Chef Chris and his kitchen staff use fresh produce to prepare dishes like pan-roasted haddock and chicken paprikash.
Finn is no novice to the restaurant business. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he’d previously worked at the Boston Harbor Hotel, the Ritz Carlton and the Harvard Club of Boston. He described himself as having traits similar to the late Anthony Bourdain, who scoured the globe for the best dishes in even the smallest eateries.
Chef Chris gushed about Pepperell’s local farms, at which he and other Boston chefs would frequently shop, and the top-notch produce they grow. He also noted the flip side of Pepperell: its lack of dinner options.
“There are only three sit-down restaurants in Pepperell, so there’s not a lot of choices,” he added. “We’re good managers, and I’ve built kitchens from the ground up. We talked to people at Town Hall and they said local business owners like to host events outside of Pepperell” because of the lack of options.
The Lazy Bubble’s origins were not on Main Street but actually at the Pepperell Senior Center on Nashua Road. Ann-Marie Finn, Chef Chris’ wife and co-owner of the restaurant, said she and her husband volunteered at the center for seven years, first cooking meals and then buying food for the center. She said she did it as a tribute to her late grandmother, for whom she cared.
“We wanted a restaurant ever since we moved here,” she said. “We drove by the plaza over and over and wanted it partially because it was on Main Street. I’m a repurposer, so I’ve been purchasing things to get ready. The space before was not warm and welcoming. This space is about not wasting. We wanted to keep everything small.”
Ann-Marie said the furniture in the restaurant is reused and its tables are repurposed. The restaurant also earned an entertainment license, which Ann-Marie said could be for live music in the back corner of the restaurant. She added that she has been communicating with local artists to display works on the wall in the restaurant.
While the restaurant also has a liquor license, it does not have a bar. According to Ann-Marie, that’s for good reason.
“We want to change perception of the area,” she said. “We want to be a restaurant that serves cocktails and not a bar that serves food.”
As a means of community outreach, the restaurant is communicating with the Culinary Arts program at Nashoba Valley Technical High School in Westford to plan for students to visit the restaurant as a field trip and see a professional kitchen in action.
“We pride ourselves in having a nice, clean kitchen and would like kids to come help enforce what they’re learning,” Chef Chris said. “You have to have an appreciation for the kitchen and cleanliness. There are a lot of subtleties in the kitchen.”