If I had my own place~
I've often thought, as I am sure you have, what would the perfect restaurant look like? What would be the ultimate dining experience? What if I owned my very own establishment? Ok, maybe you haven't spent hours a day dreaming about wine lists, server uniforms, and contemporary yet warm décor. I guess it could be just me. As I start blogging about my experiences and opinions of area restaurants it might be a good idea to let you in on my "dream bistro" so you have an idea of my tastes. Call it a base reading of my culinary attitudes.
There are certain aspects of the décor I feel are essential. As a diner I want something unique, exciting and different visually, while still making me feel at home and comfortable. I'm big on use of color, and a bold color in a warm tone can go a long way. For me that color is orange. Not a bright blazey hunter orange, but a warm rusty or ruddy orange. Dark wood tables and chairs in a contemporary or mid-century modern style and a German shrunk style bar back with plenty of rack space for wine bottles would complete my visual presentation. I'm also a lover of Milwaukee and vintage photographs or historic memorabilia would be a great touch. Yes I realize I've just described The Eatery On Farwell @eateryonfarwell but I swear this was my vision well before I ever set foot in there. I'm also a big fan of Kil@wat at the Intercontinental Milwaukee. @interconmke
As far as staff there is nothing better than being taken care of by a server or bartender that truly has a passion for what they are doing. We have all been to too many places that have great food, great atmosphere, and everything we look for in a night out, all ruined by an uninterested, goes through the motions, fake smile server. I also don't want the scripted overly nice hoverer. Just give me someone that is real and enjoys their job. I have yet to find an entire staff of people like this, but there are a bunch of great people in this city bringing us food and making us drinks every day. Most of the burden for having that great staff lies with the owners. Passion for food and people rubs off on others, and that passion can be felt by the guest through the server's attitude.
My pallet, I'm ashamed to say, is not as adventurous as I would like it to be. I was raised a mid-west meat and potatoes guy and I still enjoy large amounts of both. Rather than giving detail as to my likes and dislikes I'll instead share what I feel a menu should look like. A good menu begins and ends with a good chef. A chef or cook that is invested in the menu takes more pride and puts more effort into the food he or she is making. A menu should have four or five of these "signature" dishes. They do not have to all be entrees, but an identity from the kitchen should be expressed through the food. The menu should also have some easily identifiable comfort foods, perhaps with a unique twist in presentation. It allows for people without that adventure in their pallet to check out a new place and maybe even get up the nerve to try something different. If the menu is too exclusive or unique you are turning away a lot of hungry people. I like new thoughts on pizza and burgers like @crisppizzabar and @stackedbar , allowing for some adventure without missing the boat entirely.
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