Fired Up

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Char’d City, a restaurant dishing out a mix of Southern Italian and North African fare, is officially open in Hamilton. Located at 5402 Harford Road, in the old Clementine space, Chard is co-owned by husband and wife Sindee Gibson and Yassine Rmadhnia. Rmadhnia says he’s hoping to bring some of the flavors of his native Tunisia to his newly adopted city.

The menu features Tunisian novelties such as tajine el bey (Tunisian style quiche made with three layers of ground beef, lamb, spinach and ricotta), brik rolls (phyllo dough stuffed with boiled potatoes, eggs and cheese) as well as an assortment of Tunisian desserts.

The establishment also dishes out popular wood-fire pizza such as the traditional margherita pizza, with San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Other popular pies include the Charm City Pie, topped with mozzarella, ricotta, Maryland blue crab, cherry tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.

Another customer favorite, according to Rmadhnia, is the Famous Tunis Tuna Pizza. “Most people find it strange we have a tuna pizza on the menu, but once they try it, they really love it,” he says.

Toppings include San Marzano tomatoes, two types of mozzarella, pecorino Romano, Tunisian tuna, oregano, olives, capers, harissa and extra virgin olive oil. There are also vegan options available for the pizzas.

At Char’d City, they also source local, high-quality ingredients —using produce from nearby farms as much as they can as well as making their own dough daily to withstand the high heat of the wood-fired oven. Meats also are strictly farm-to-table, Rmadhnia adds. “Back home, everything’s fresh. So we wanted to bring that fresh Neapolitan style here,” he says. “We like to keep it simple and use real ingredients.”

Inside the 1,700-square-foot restaurant, the couple has transformed the former Clementine dining room with burgundy cement walls and charred wood accents. There is also a white-tiled bar and a spacious open kitchen area. The restaurant is BYOB, but Gibson says they hope to add drinks to the menu as well as host wine tastings.

“Right now, we are only open at night, but we hope to open up during the day for more “fast-casual” options,” she says. “We will also be offering a new brunch menu on Sundays this fall.”

And while Gibson and Rmadhnia are both enjoying their first business venture, they also have a love for music and the arts. So, they want to use the space to host community workshops, shows and events.

“We want to showcase local artists, and we are going to start an open-mic night on Thursdays and have live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights,” Gibson says. “We wanted to do something positive for the community, and I feel like the community has openly embraced us. I think the most rewarding part is seeing the locals happy. We couldn’t have landed in a better area.”

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