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gfron1

Starting a high profile new restaurant (after closing another)

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7 hours ago, gfron1 said:

Last Sunday was at our Endangered Wolf Center where I did a Eat What the Wolves Eat dinner highlighting the ecosystem of wolf habitat.

 

This brings to mind Farley Mowat and his book, Never Cry Wolf.  I seem to recall a lot of mice and berries were in the wolf diet so I'd also be interested in your interpretation!

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IowaDee   

LOL, loved, loved, loved that book and the movie was great too.  The scene where he's eating the mice and just holding them by the tail and lowering them into his mouth!  Can't quite see Rob serving them that way but you just never know.  Unique dining  experience for sure.  Gives new meaning to the term "finger food."   Just don't make the diners run around their tables and mark their territory....

 

 

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gfron1   

Let me back up. I want to align myself with a small number of perfectly fit organizations with whom I can make my charitable contributions. The wolf center is one of them. In New Mexico I was in the heart of where wolves are released, including wolves from this center, and I gathered from wolf ecosystem for nearly a decade. It's a perfect fit for me to be with these guys.

 

For the menu I had expand beyond what wolves eat (obviously), hence the ecosystem idea:

1. Flavor of the Forest: Cocktail slushy of foraged plants harvested this week and finished with bergamot shrub and spicebush blossom vinegar, finished with bergamot salt (This has become a recurring thing that we do - create an opening drink of items foraged that week, so guests truly can taste what is forageable right now.)

2. Rhubarb poppers and salted rhubarb sauce, goat cheese mousse, pickled cattail stalk

3. Seeded crackers with Apache red grass and amaranth, Chicken of the Woods paté, cattail pollen, wild onion blossom        

4. Nettle fettuccini, duck confit, mustard & onion sauce, maitake salt, pickled yucca, wild mustard infused oil

5. Woodear mushroom, trumpet mushroom honey, redbud caper, redbud jelly, pork terrine, kombu beans, lichen rye bread

6. Venison tenderloin, apricot/grapefruit molé, roast vegetables from farmers market, pickled onion bulbs

7. Hibiscus sorbet, violet sorrel sugar, sumac macaron

I really wanted to serve rabbit but haven't established my source relationship yet. Working on it since rabbit was my go-to protein back in NM.

 

We also tried out some new language on the back of our menu this time:

 

Quote

 

Foraged for tonight’s dinner:

 

Fresh & Dry

Red bud powder

Field garlic powder

Field garlic ash

Nettle ash

Dried bergamot

Maitake powder

Cricket spice

Spicebush

Elderberry marinated roasted Juniper

Wild oregano

Hibiscus

Grass seed

Sumac

Acorn flour

Cattail pollen

Garlic mustard

Woodear

Cattail stalk

 

Salts

Bergamot salt

Maitake salt

Wild garlic salt

 

Sweets

Red bud jelly

Bergamot honey

Black trumpet honey

Spicebush honey

Violet sorrel sugar

Elderberry shrub

 

Sours

Red bud caper

Spicebush blossom vinegar

Spicebush/sassafras vinegar

Pickled ramps

Pickled virginicus

 

We are committed to foraging all of our ingredients ourselves. That way we can guarantee that they were foraged ethically and safely for your meal.

 

And thanks @Anna N. I've learned to not need fancy shmancy equipment...except I did order the new centrifuge :) At the end of the day don't we just need a little heat and a little cold from time to time?

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gfron1   

I have two things I'd like to share. First, is that since this real estate process is taking so long, my investors are becoming concerns. Two different investors have had major life changes so now their funds are in question. I'm not concerns because I know others will step up, but most wrote me a check seven months ago that I'm just sitting on. Relatedly, I'm sure many of you saw this Eater article on how much it costs to open a restaurant. Scary numbers.

 

The second is that I'm getting nervous about progression in my social media followers (which hopefully translates into later supporters/customers). I spent the weekend reaching out to some of the more successful food bloggers and social media players. That led to me starting my Instagram business page, working harder on my hashtags, and switching from my cookbook photos back to my personal pics, which are good but not overly polished. In just a few days I've seen big results in followers and engagements.

 

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Tri2Cook   

I keep hoping to hear the announcement that things have come together so you can get in your own place. Yes, so you can get back to doing what you do best... but mainly because all this waiting has to be a heavy burden. I hate to see that at this stage of your career when you've worked so hard to get where you're at. Good vibes continuing to be sent your way.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Thanks for the update.  Are you doing custom plates and the whole 9 yards?  I can see why chefs geek out on plates, but the custom chairs in the Eater article seemed like gilding the lily.  I think construction costs were most surprising to me - does that include material and labor, or just labor?  $220k for construction and the place is only 1250 square feet.

 

I wonder how well social media really translates into sales.  Say you get 10k followers, how many of them are going to be local? For me, the cool thing about Instagram is following people all over the world.  OTOH, the book can be shipped is already a source of sexy photos, maybe that will sell on social media.  Or maybe people just like to look and it's forgotten 30 seconds later. 

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Maybe think a little smaller dream at first anyway?

 

While a glass walkway would be a lifetime memory for most of the patrons at a restaurant that had one, isn't that also extremely expensive?

 

I know you would love to settle down and not have to haul your equipment hither and yon. I would love to see you establish a permanent venue to share your talent with everyone. You might want to start off with more basics and then go from there, though. I wish you much good fortune.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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gfron1   

Yeah, those are definitely not the numbers I'm looking at. By all accounts I'm in at less that a quarter million easily, and I'm a cheapskate so I won't go crazy when it is time to spend. You may remember I worked on two Kenmore ceramic top ranges ($425 each) for nearly a decade. And @Tri2Cook That is exactly how I'm feeling and a huge reason why I don't sleep. Then things like last night happen where I made that omoshiroidesu (sassafras sochite umeboshi) using foraged plums and sassafras, and I realize how quickly I'll be back in the game once I have my own kitchen again. I've learned a lot about patience and humility over the past year.

 

Oh, and I almost forgot that I was on a PBS cooking show HERE

sassafrasumeboshi.thumb.jpg.ca301b53b7478bbc6ca9bb7b40d30195.jpg


Edited by gfron1 (log)
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heidih   

Thanks for the link to the show - was any of the feedback surprising?  Sure the sleepless night wear on you, but hang in there -you've got both a great concept and stellar execution!

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17 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Maybe think a little smaller dream at first anyway?

 

While a glass walkway would be a lifetime memory for most of the patrons at a restaurant that had one, isn't that also extremely expensive?

 

I know you would love to settle down and not have to haul your equipment hither and yon. I would love to see you establish a permanent venue to share your talent with everyone. You might want to start off with more basics and then go from there, though. I wish you much good fortune.

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,

Or what's a heaven for.

(Robert Browning)

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Anna N   
9 hours ago, gfron1 said:

That's the quote I put on my high school graduation mug and have lived my life by it ever since.

Wrote my first published essay on that theme. I was 16 years old. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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