Indianapolis chef Layton Roberts, who left Mesh on Mass Avenue two years ago to take on executive chef duties at Meridian Restaurant & Bar, is returning to the popular Massachusetts Avenue restaurant. His last day at Meridian is Feb. 13.
The 31-year-old chef, whose second child is due to arrive any day now, will take a couple weeks off before getting back in the kitchen, but is looking forward to the change. “It’s definitely a good move for the family,” Roberts said. “There’s a lot of room for growth with the company.”
He’s also excited about the sheer number of customers he’ll be serving. Mesh, which seats about 200, he said, serves up to 600 customers on a typical Friday night — more on busy weekends. “It’s a beast of a restaurant,” he said. “We’ve done 800 in a night, easily.”
But don’t expect immediate menu changes. “We’re not going to jump in and change the menu,” he said. “Our focus is going to be taking our time and making that first menu change a really nice one. We’ll bring some of what I do back, a little bit of country flair. You’ll definitely see some tofu dishes come back around.”
Roberts is also looking forward to working with Mesh sous chef Alan Sternberg and Jessica Sciortino. And although excited about the move, Roberts said he enjoyed his time at Meridian, where sous chef Allen Smith will stay on. “I hope what I did had an impact,” he said, “for the Meridian and the clientele.”