At Home with Brian Piccini
The restaurant owner’s home décor hits all the right notes
by Scott Kearnan
| June 29, 2012
The restaurant owner’s home décor hits all the right notes Restaurant owner Brian Piccini knows how to entertain guests — on and off the clock. They come to Dorchester’s dbar and Back Bay’s Deuxave for a refined but lively scene, filled with neighbors chatting, wine glasses clinking, and, not infrequently at the former, piano keys tinkling. And Piccini’s Dorchester home likewise reflects his sophisticated and super-social personality. As he puts it, it’s a space that’s “clean, efficient, and classy, with a wild party side” — much like its owner. When he’s hosting fetes, this open living area is where you’ll find guests gathered for food, music, and wine. So we stopped in for a sip and a spot of conversation.
A. If you’ve been to dbar during one of its sing-along-style Show Tune Tuesdays, you probably know its owner is a music fan. But we were surprised to learn Piccini was classically trained on the piano for 12 years. At age 16, he was playing professionally in a hotel lobby, where he first observed the ins and outs of the hospitality biz; as a college student, he tickled ivories in Top of the Hub’s lounge. And Piccini once recorded his own Christmas album as a gift to friends and family when holiday funds were tight. Now you might find him playing Mozart, Chopin, or even a little Adele for party guests at this Sojin baby grand. But acoustic sounds aren’t his only love: Piccini once owned his own recording studio, Decibel Productions, which turned out Billboard-charting dance music. (Classy with a party side, indeed.)
B. Souvenirs from a favorite getaway can brighten any room (and mood). Piccini owns a beach house in Provincetown, and he keeps reminders of his Cape retreat in his home in the Hub. On one wall hangs a piece from artist Christopher Marley’s Pheromone collection, a jaw-dropping mosaic of iridescent beetles from WA in P-Town. (You can check out Marley’s work at pheromonedesign.com.) And Piccini’s coffee table boasts a striking red seaweed centerpiece from Provincetown boutique Shor. Each piece of the plant has been meticulously dried and glued upright, so it looks much as it did underwater. Piccini named the plant Ursula after the voice-thieving villain of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (a flick whose songs have popped up more than once at Show Tune Tuesdays).
C. The key to hospitality? “Making people feel welcome — and keeping their wine glasses full!” says Piccini. So it’s no surprise he keeps his prominently displayed wine rack filled with dozens of selections, including, naturally, a few bottles of Piccini Chianti from Tuscany. Turning your own collection into a showpiece is definitely one way to create an intoxicating accent wall. “The different labels of wine bottles are beautiful, so why not showcase them?” says Piccini. Other stylish details include Piccini’s silverware, glassware, cloth napkins, and candles, all the same as those kept at his restaurants. “And yes,” he admits, “I’ve had to run home to restock.”
D. Many of us have managed to make party favors part of our permanent décor. (We hate to break it to you, but that vase filled with wine corks isn’t that original.) But Piccini’s unique choice of throw pillow really takes the cake. If the face on it looks familiar, that’s because it belongs to Ricardo Rodriguez, a local realtor and social scenester. It’s a fun little remnant from one of Rodriguez’s birthday parties — and a reminder to get more creative with party souvenirs.