As Nolita Hall prepares to launch later this month, the Little Italy bar and restaurant is revealing its culinary team. The project is a debut for new restaurant group Black Swan Collective, which is aiming to provide the neighborhood with an accessible menu combined with great drinks in a stylish setting.
Joining the hospitality group as its culinary director is Nathan Coulon. The chef, a San Diego native, is part of a local culinary dynasty; his grandparents ran the legendary Belgian Lion restaurant in Ocean Beach, his mother owns renowned pastry shop Michele Coulon Dessertier in La Jolla, and his cousins created Point Loma’s charming Little Lion Cafe. Coulon, a 2007 James Beard “Rising Star” Award nominee, once owned Modus Supper Club in Bankers Hill and was the executive chef of Andaz San Diego before most recently working as manager of culinary standards for Fox Restaurant Concepts’ True Food Kitchen.
Coulon, who will also help develop Black Swan Hospitality’s future projects, tells Eater that he’s looking forward to the freedom of changing up the menu with the seasons and using only peak quality local produce. The menu, based on a Forza Forni-brand oven (also used by Roberta’s in Brooklyn), will include creatively-topped wood-fired pizza as well as meal-sized salads, charcuterie plates, and affogato with homemade ice cream. Coulon will collaborate with Nolita Hall’s executive chef Jordan Herigstad, also an alum of True Food Kitchen; yet another True Food Kitchen vet, AJ Manente, will be the restaurant’s general manager.
The bar program will feature a cocktail menu from Brian Prugalidad, who has been a trusted member of many of the city’s top cocktail spots including Seven Grand, Polite Provisions, Banker’s Hill Bar+Restaurant, The Lion’s Share, and Campfire. Revolving around amaro, or Italian herbal liqueurs, the drink list will include two kinds of a sparkling wine aperitif also known as a spritz as well as a version of The Garabaldi, a Campari-orange combo, and a Lambrusco Float.