Finding the magic, how do you do that in a restaurant? What is the key to creating a sexy, affordable, restaurant with great food, which lives up to the current trends, all at the same time?
Last week I was asked to help share the helm in a new restaurant in my neck of the woods. The restaurant is owned by several of this country’s most influential food personalities. So influential in fact that they quite literally helped to shape cuisine in America as we know it today. The problem is that these guys are so busy; they do not have the time to coddle this place through its infancy stages. To make matters more complicated the wine country of California tends to be fickle and even judgmental when it comes to its restaurants.
They called me in to help nurture the relationship between the restaurant and the community, including the local artisans, wine makers and farmers. The idea is to create a buzz, and interject a renewed energy into the staff. The space has a wonderful room with and open kitchen. All the right components for success exist, but for some reason the place is not taking off like it should.
Although I fully believe that this can be done, there is always the risk factor in creating that perfect atmosphere. I have seen restaurants that seem to have no apparent redeeming feature go ballistic with customers, while that great place across the street with the wonderful chef and perfect service drowns in debt.
Hiring a guy like me to revive a young restaurant is a crap shoot. I’m not sure what I can do, if anything. Then on the other hand I might be able to pull it off. Over the course of this period I am going to focus my blog on the experience step by step. We will go on this journey together and see what happens.