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Pollito Chic, Forno Lab restaurants open in Guaynabo

Chef Ariel Rodríguez, who spent 20 years creating culinary experiences at Augusto’s restaurants and then Ariel, recently unveiled two new gastronomic concepts — Pollito Chic and Forno Lab — after a $750,000 investment.

The 2,500-square-foot space that houses both concepts at Plaza Alta Mall in Guaynabo aims to “offer the experience of haute cuisine in an accessible way for everyone in the family,” the owners said. Some 22 direct jobs were created.

Pollito Chic is a “southern style fried chicken” concept that offers each member of the family an option to enjoy in the restaurant or in the comfort of their home. Meanwhile, Forno Lab responds to that same interest in bringing the Ariel experience to families and at the same time giving a unique touch to pizza.

“Collectively, both concepts promise to create a space for a memorable dining experience with fresh island flavors, a diverse program of activities and convenience for the family,” the restaurant’s owners at the concepts’ recent unveiling.

Rodríguez sources all the chicken he uses locally, as well as the other core ingredients for both restaurants, such as vegetables, flours and juices.

“Both spaces have allowed me to explore beyond the traditional family meal menus. Mondays are very special days, because I can spend time with my son after school and when deciding what to eat, he always tells me that he wants pizza,” Rodríguez said.

“I know this is the case with many families with busy schedules. We want to bring our recipe to more families in Puerto Rico who enjoy eating delicious and healthy food for all tastes, including pizza lovers,” he added.

Rodríguez began his culinary career in 1996 while studying economics at the University of Puerto Rico. Driven by his passion for cooking, he finished his university studies and then trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York before returning to become a sous chef at Augusto’s, his first professional experience in the kitchen.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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