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gfron1

Starting a high profile new restaurant (after closing another)

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Monticello's not quite the Ozarks. Southeast part of the state; Ozarks are north central, northwest.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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2 hours ago, kayb said:

Monticello's not quite the Ozarks. Southeast part of the state; Ozarks are north central, northwest.

Remember I am trying to define Ozark cuisine, and differentiate it from other identifiable cuisines. So boundaries are not a limiting factor so much as concentration of ideas. Seeing what surrounding communities did and didn't do is important to the process.

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Love your dedication and research. Perhaps you shared already and I missed it. I am wondering how you plan to educate your customers on the background and underpinnings of Ozark food culture aside from presenting the menu items.

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56 minutes ago, gfron1 said:

Remember I am trying to define Ozark cuisine, and differentiate it from other identifiable cuisines. So boundaries are not a limiting factor so much as concentration of ideas. Seeing what surrounding communities did and didn't do is important to the process.

 

There are a lot of similarities between Delta (which is Monticello) and Ozarks cuisine. Things like greens and dry beans are the same; cured pork is about the same (though barbecue is decidedly different). The Delta has more African influences in its cuisine, as well as more Spanish/Creole influences (tamales, gumbos, etc.). Fish is bigger in the Delta, game in the Ozarks. Cornbread is common to both regions, but it's more likely to be sweetened in the Delta (an abomination, IMHO). There tends to be a bigger variety of vegetables these days in the Ozarks. Tomatoes are big in both regions. 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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4 hours ago, heidih said:

Love your dedication and research. Perhaps you shared already and I missed it. I am wondering how you plan to educate your customers on the background and underpinnings of Ozark food culture aside from presenting the menu items.

I can answer that roundabout by saying my greatest fear is coming off as a gimmick. Yes, i want to educate, but I'm only using the knowledge to give me a spark on my menu design. For example, turns out because of the German Euro immigrant influence I found all sorts of kruellers/doughnuts in the cookbooks. So that would be fun for me to always have a krueller on every tasting menu - both sweet and savory. I'd like to be able to talk about why that is, but certainly not claim it as an authentic Ozark experience.

4 hours ago, kayb said:

There are a lot of similarities between Delta (which is Monticello) and Ozarks cuisine. Things like greens and dry beans are the same; cured pork is about the same (though barbecue is decidedly different). The Delta has more African influences in its cuisine, as well as more Spanish/Creole influences (tamales, gumbos, etc.). Fish is bigger in the Delta, game in the Ozarks. Cornbread is common to both regions, but it's more likely to be sweetened in the Delta (an abomination, IMHO). There tends to be a bigger variety of vegetables these days in the Ozarks. Tomatoes are big in both regions. 

I agree on all of this and I am trying to dig into older sources. I want to know what enslaved people contributed and was it more rooted in their African cuisine or previous ownership's cuisine. I want to know what indigenous people at before resettlement. And of course, the intricacies among the Euro-immigrants. A good example is you mentioned corn bread. Yes, but styles seem to have strong difference. I'm still teasing this out but pone seems more common in Northern AR and Souther MO than elsewhere. My process is to keep digging to find the first reference to pone either as a term or possibly just a description of the technique.

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Ha! should have known you had thought this through well. Agree on avoiding "gimmick". I see another book in your future :)

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A somewhat forced day off for me so here's a good opportunity to share a bit more of what's happening and where things stand.

 

The building is well underway with its construction. The landlord's internal contractor should be done any day now with the "white box" work (utility rough in, dry wall, patch the floor and some walls, HVAC complete). My contractors will go in as early as next week. They're just waiting on the final permit sign-offs. Unlike a traditional project, our white box and build out blurr both in labor and cost. A good example is the bathroom. White box normally gives you a finished bath with fixtures, but we knew we were going to upgrade the toilet and sink so the contractor stopped at rough in, and gave us a credit to be spent on the build out. My contractor and I have selected mid-tier fixtures which cost a bit more, but will definitely offer a stronger message to the guest about our quality.

 

I've also been spending inordinate amounts of time on flatware, glasses and a few more dishes. The flatware was decided and will be purchased next week (unless my vendor has a Black Friday deal I can't refuse). I haven't settled on my glasses yet but gave my vendors the glasses i want, but aren't available for them to find something that I'll like just as much. At home we love our Denby Oyster tumblers. Unfortunately they are no longer available. I like them for three reasons. First, they drink really well, meaning the way liquid pours over the lip into your mouth. Second, they have a heavy bottom making them very upright steady. And lastly, they feel great in your hand between the weight and the shape. You may recall that I have custom  dishes being made from artist Alice Ballard and her meditation bowls, and those were chosen because I want people to feel the dish in their hand and have that be a part of the experience. Same goes with glassware.

DenbyOysterSet.jpg.5fc515837442b970b08daac6ec246adf.jpg

I've also been shopping insurance...boy howdy its a lot more expensive than it was for my operation in New Mexico...like $8k v. $2.5k per year! Yikes! A lot of the budget variance I just ignore or absorb into my projections, but that one I had to update in my cash flow statement.

 

I've picked Resy.com as my reservation system, and Square as my POS. Square is an iffy choice. I could probably get slightly better prices elsewhere, and possibly more robust OS elsewhere, but they are based in St. Louis and just rolled out a new restaurant POS system, so they gave me a decent deal, and they are only month-to-month, with no contract, so if I don't like it I can move on to someone else. These are not the sexy decisions, but necessary.

 

In an economy with 3% unemployment, even with our high profile, it has not been easy finding my Beverage Manager (the only position I am currently recruiting for). There are just very few people out there with the skill set I'm looking for. If they're good, they're in a good job. But we've had some strong leads and the opportunity to mentor a less experienced person into the role. What I need is a big personality, a huge curiosity and desire to create everything from scratch, and they need a great palate for cocktails. I can handle the beer and wine if needed, but cocktails are not my strength.

 

We've spent a lot of time on furniture as well. This is an area where I've had to tone down my dreams. Commercial furniture is expensive and we have a reasonable but reserved budget on all of our furniture. We've also added an area to the floor plan that required un-budgeted furniture...more on that in a moment. For dining room chairs we selected the Article Chanel armchair. Our bar stool is the Industry West Circuit barstool.  Our tables and bars are being custom made. 


We ended up with this awkward space in the bar that we were going to put some two-top tables, but I told the designer that I wanted a place for post-dinner optional experiences. My thought is that most guests will be coming for an anniversary or birthday celebration, so if I could create a romantic little nook where a couple could relax after dinner with a few treats and a bottle of champagne, that would be  a great use of space. I then looked for high back love seats and fell in love with this one:

BossEntente.jpg.1c0ff88a5c4298283bfe0284065d6253.jpg

But at around $5k a piece and design considerations we stepped into Knoll Rockwell high back love seat.

KnollRockwell.jpg.2b5c3ca7dbeca91f39ac2d23ab0c9774.jpg

This is more appropriate for our overall feel and at half the price of the Boss.

 

No need to tell me if you hate any of this stuff because the ship has left the dock. I am very happy with all the design choices (note that all of these are stock photos and don't have our fabric selections), and we're even a touch below budget!

 

So that's where things stand. There's a whole bunch of financial stories to share but I'll save those for another day.

ETA: Current construction timeline has us opening the end of January.


Edited by gfron1 (log)
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@gfron1

 

I could not figure out your three glasses

 

I do like the two on the L

 

these days Im not sure what a '  stem ' gets your but breakage 

 

I also hope

 

and its an odd thing to say

 

a really fine glass has s lip that does not have a ' bulge ' of glass on it.

 

the lip is as fine as the glass itself

 

best of luck

 

 

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I really like the privacy nook concept for the awkward space. That is an experience happy customers will share with friends to provide great "advertising". I think you are tall. Imgine you are test driving the furniture as well as the flatware etc with folks of various sizes?  Do you ever sleep?  Insurance is a nightmare. Certainly there are required floors from landlor/lender but it is like playing a gambling gme over that amount.  Hang in there and thanks for update. 

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7 minutes ago, rotuts said:

I do like the two on the L

Those are the only two that I've used. The picture showed me the stemmed which I've never seen before. These are for cocktails only not wine. Wine will be a totally different set. (And as I said, these aren't available so they won't be our cocktail either)

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@gfron1

 

wine does not need a stem these days

 

the lip of those glasses who'd be smooth

 

w/o a '  bump ''  glass

 

thing about the economics of ' breakage '

 

do not use a steam for  any thing

 

but

 

with a smooth lip , with out a '' bump ' omn that lip

 

cheers

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My tastes align with yours, particularly on that love seat you loved but decided against for price reasons. Why is it we have such expensive tastes? Love the glassware.

 

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

@gfron1

 

wine does not need a stem these days

 

the lip of those glasses who'd be smooth

 

w/o a '  bump ''  glass

 

thing about the economics of ' breakage '

 

do not use a steam for  any thing

 

but

 

with a smooth lip , with out a '' bump ' omn that lip

 

cheers

 

I suppose one could imbibe one's MR right from the pressure vessel if it hadn't been in the freezer long and if one's lips didn't mind the threads...but I am of the school a wine glass should have a proper stem.

 

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@JoNorvelleWalker

 

I do understand the ''' old '' part

 

as soon it will be me !

 

but

 

stems in a restaurant are one thing

 

for me

 

Ive move to these :

 

1803497559_MRG.thumb.jpg.81c88ddb9c23520eb94b23d397a16383.jpg

 

sorry a not zoo good pic

 

and have got them here :

 

https://www.zwilling.com/us/tabletop/glassware/

 

look at the top line

 

I and the ones on the R

 

but they were somewhat slippery to had wash

 

so now i use these :

 

https://www.zwilling.com/us/zwilling-sorrento-9-oz-double-wall-tumbler-glass-2-pc-set/39500-211.html?cgid=tabletop_glassware

 

and they go on sale

 

and keep the cold in the cup

 

anyway

 

sometimes we see stuff

 

that's mighty fine

 

and better for the application

 

sometimes we do not.

 

Ill never go back to stem wear

 

but that's just me.

 

cheers

 

and a happy thanksgiving to all

 

 

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I seldom dine in restaurants (fine or otherwise) but seriously I can't remember ever being served wine in a glass without a stem.

 

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I really like the glasses and the bowls.  I don't care for stems on wine glasses either and I too am an old(er) fart.  I use stemless riedel glasses but I also keep wine glasses with stems for those who prefer them.  In restaurants I use what they give me, but my preference there would be stemless.

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I appreciate the nostalgia of swirling a stemmed wine glass and I have lived the whole (somewhat horrid) Mason jar thing. Personally I prefer stemless but I can see maybe offering an option if not too cumbersome. "Test drive" right?

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Stemless users will not mind stemmed glasses but the opposite may not be the case.  Especially if you are planning to sell high end wines.  I love the glasses that you posted BTW.

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9 hours ago, rotuts said:

@gfron1

 

wine does not need a stem these days

 

the lip of those glasses who'd be smooth

 

w/o a '  bump ''  glass

 

thing about the economics of ' breakage '

 

do not use a steam for  any thing

 

but

 

with a smooth lip , with out a '' bump ' omn that lip

 

cheers

 

The only wine type glasses I own that do not have the little bump on the lip are some I bought at TJ Maxx for not a lot of money. They seem to be handpainted, which makes them a pain to hand wash. They are balloon glasses, tall and very beautiful. The lip edge is cut off at a 90 degree angle, and doesn't seem to be sanded or rounded down much, and this another drawback to me. These are really left at a thin and very square edge, but never has actually cut anyone. It's not quite sharp enough to cut your lips, but it makes you think about it. That is never good. :) They are stem glasses and quite tall, another reason they cannot go into the dishwasher, another drawback. They're also really fragile and half of the six of these glasses have succumbed to breakage over more than a decade. (I got called out for my age tonight when speaking to my sister and eldest niece about an experience I was relating and referred to it as "not long ago". xD I went on to tell that it was about twenty years ago, and the niece is not much over twenty herself.) So these glasses might be considered durable in some circles?

 

However, when I bring these glasses to a dinner party where wine will be served, they are always a conversation point. Also I think the sip is cleaner and less likely to dribble. I would just like the very thin edge sanded off a little more, myself.

 

What kind of "no bump" glasses do you own/prefer @rotuts?

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Just make sure your cleaners get under the cushions of the loveseat. There was a sitting area in a restaurant on Kitchen Nightmares and the hidden ‘gifts’ were revolting. Clearly no one was remembering to clean properly.

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@Thanks for the Crepes

 

I used to use Baccarat glasses i got in FR in the mid '80's for almost ' FREE '

 

11 FF to the dollar then for some reason.

 

Crate and Barel had the same mid sized glass and the B's , with a thin rim

 

2.98 or so , maybe 3.98

 

no fuss when those were broken.

 

I still use the ongnac Baccarat glasses i have for

 

' aromatic high test grape products '.

 

but I never wash them the day i use them .  just fill w soapy water and wait for a few days.

 

last puch longer that way.

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4 hours ago, quiet1 said:

Just make sure your cleaners get under the cushions of the loveseat. There was a sitting area in a restaurant on Kitchen Nightmares and the hidden ‘gifts’ were revolting. Clearly no one was remembering to clean properly.

I remember that episode clearly. Absolutely!

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