The Making of a Restaurant

Friday, February 22, 2002

FLORENCE, ITALY -- My last meal in Italy, lunch at the Cibreo Trattoria, also happened to be the best, both food- and experience-wise. It's a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, and I was seated at the head of a long table. As the place filled up, so did the table, which I ended up sharing with two groups of Italians. What a great system and one we should employ: It uses table space efficiently (no loners wasting tables built for two) but also gives the solo diner the chance to eat with others.

There were only two drawbacks: My food arrived before everyone else's, so I felt awkward digging in. And everyone spoke Italian, reducing my role in dinner to smiling broadly and turning my head in the direction of each speaker. Then again, this is pretty much how I socialize in the States, so I felt right at home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2002

FLORENCE, ITALY -- Tuscany has introduced me to biscotti con vin santo. It was so, so good. Regardless of which type of cuisine we settle on -- French? Chinese? Ethiopian? -- this is a dessert we must serve. It's fun and tastes good, too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Someone asked me recently if Luke and I were any closer today to turning this dream into an actual restaurant than we were when we first started. I had to ponder it for a second. What I told him was this: originally, this idea was nothing more than a novelty, forever destined to be based entirely in our heads (and this blog). Now, a year later, I feel it may actually become a reality someday. I can't point to any explicit moves on our part that have put us closer to opening a restaurant, but it just feels like we're closer. Quantitatively, we're talking mere fractions of a percentage. But closer, still.

So, happy birthday, blog! From your not-so-humble beginnings, you've blossomed into quite a thing. You've gotten yourself a following -- even among the Google bots -- so there's no backing down now. Hopefully, all these thoughts will be put to a good use someday. We'll keep plugging you with new ideas in the meanwhile.

Now, who knows how to bake a cake?

Monday, February 18, 2002

LUCCA, ITALY -- Another note on the wine here. In Italy, it's been common to have a single serving of wine served in a .37-liter bottle. This gives the solo diner the pleasure of pouring from a bottle without forcing him to drink too much. Is such a bottle available in the States? It will be at our place.

Sunday, February 17, 2002

Mary Beth wrote in recently to relate her impressions of the menu at the deli/bakery chain Panera:

"For $6 I got a bowl of good soup, a hunk of bread and a good helping of greek salad. If I were a student at the nearby State U, I'd be taking meals there regularly! I had enough money left over for a large coffee to go. The meal was served in a big tray that held the bowl, the crescent shaped salad dish, the bread and my REAL utensils."

I've been a long-time fan of the soup/salad combo. Simply eating just a full salad or just a soup bowl is too boring -- it lacks the variety of a real meal. Getting a smaller portion of both satiates that need for variety (a bite of the crunchy, then a spoonful of the creamy) while keeping the pocketbook in check.

Of course, with Panera, the advantage of volume allows them to get away with charging so little for the dish, whereas we might have to settle for a bigger mark-up in order to cover our costs. In any case, we'll definitely have it on the menu.
| 1 comment




Amazon Honor System

« chicago blogs »


Powered by Blogger Pro™