If sommeliers did to wine what so many chefs are doing to food, the vintners and wine makers of the grape producing valleys in
Well, not really, but I wanted to paint the picture that chefs across the country are committing culinary manslaughter as they suffocate food with a variety spices they assume add flavor. They have to stop this. Aside from increasing the airtime for Nexium, The Purple Pill, they are assuming they can disguise their lack of talent and creativity with something that resembles a home made Lawry’s salt. The sixties are over. Let’s get fresh.
It’s time for a stark reality here. The case prompting this opines was a recent dinner at the much touted Stark’s Steakhouse in
The steakhouse which has been open for almost six weeks is a very appealing addition to
And, upon entering the space, which boats approximately 150 seats in three rooms one is excited to stand amongst the glow of soft light and electric activity. The space beckons a call from a time when
Yet, there was something about the place that was one shade off. In the bar, most of the perimeter of the room was served in faux banquettes- those new two person benches that give the feel of a banquette, but offer the privacy of a chair. A nice effect, but they needed to be turned in booth fashion to allow for more intimacy and to fill the room out.
The place screams for white linen clothes as most steak houses do. Yet, the napkin was the only starch, aside from the potatoes, to be found.
And although the menu is priced at chain style steakhouses, there were a few things left out that would have made the place a well rounded eatery.
The dinner menu offered little for the casual diner. There was an obvious absence of a burger on the menu. And for a restaurant with a bar the size of the main dining room this seemed a bit foolhardy culinarily speaking as it isn’t how it’s priced its how much profit it brings to the bottom line. Stark will find, over time, that the addition of a burger, albeit a $15.00, I would presume, handmade mound of fresh ground beef, will summon people on those cold, dreary, don’t-want-to-spend-a-fortune-nights that happen so regularly in the restaurant business.
Also, there was only one fish entrée on the menu. With entire seafood house 14 miles north, it would be advantageous to offer those Volvo driving Californian’s something other than one fish entrée. But, entrée and menu evolution is what it is all about. And, diversification of concept is another glorious option in this business.
But let us not forget that as we all grow and expand our empires and kitchens that it is essential to formulate a plan and a menu that both compliments our style in our other locations, and leaves a great taste in the mouth’s of the customers who have frequented our countryside gems.
Nothing is more hurtful to a strategic expansion plan than to falter the least little bit on a new opening. Customers don’t realize the essentials, the numbers, or the work which goes into a new culinary birth. So make sure the plan is solid before marked in stone. Make sure your menu offers everything you think it should and then move on as though all of your restaurants depend on this one new location.
In many instances, they do.