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Some menu questions


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#1 newyorkomnivore

newyorkomnivore
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Posted 17 February 2004 - 02:48 PM

Marco,

I understand you're going to change the menu every several months - on what will you base the changes, besides availability of seasonal and fresh ingredients?

Also, the four side dishes you are now offering: polenta, potato puree, gnocchi, and hen-of-the-woods mushrooms - well, I notice an absence of greens. Do you plan to change this with the season? I loved your vegetables at Craft.

(How do you get those gnocchi so, so light?)

How often have you been tending to create "specials," and on what do you base your decision to offer them or not?

Thanks.

P.S. You have such beautiful eyes - I'm betting they get mentioned in the review!

Edited by newyorkomnivore, 17 February 2004 - 02:52 PM.


#2 Marco Canora

Marco Canora
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Posted 19 February 2004 - 09:46 AM

Your first question about what dictates menu changes other than availability and seasonality of ingredients is a bit hard to answer. A lot of the time new menu items are just based on random inspiration. I also think about what the menu is missing. For example, on our current menu, we do not have a pork dish, so when I change the menu again, I'll probably put one on.

As for our selection of side dishes, the reason that they are what they are is because I like to design main dishes that do not incorporate starches. Most of my main dishes right now simply pair a protein with a vegetable. So, it makes sense to me to offer classic starches like polenta, potato puree, and gnocchi and allow customers to choose their favorites. If a customer requests a vegetable side dish, we always have something on hand--roasted winter vegetables, braised escarole, or something else--and we will do our best to accomodate that customer.

As for specials, in the beginning days of the restaurant, I have not had much extra time to plan them. As time moves on and my staff and I have more of a handle on the operations, I hope to have more freedom to be creative. My partner, Paul, however, is not a big fan of verbal specials, so whatever I do come up with usually just ends up on the regular menu. For fun every Sunday night, I do run my veal and ricotta meatballs, which people go nuts for, but the meatballs will never become a fixture on the menu because they don't exactly fit in with the rest of the dishes.

Edited by Marco Canora, 19 February 2004 - 09:54 AM.