Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Carpaccio Opens!

We finally opened to friends and family on Sunday. Each night this week through Wednesday has been/will be part of our soft open. Grand opening to the public is on Thursday. So far I've been enjoying only working nights, since that's the restaurant life I'm used to. Working days is not going to be fun. Especially if we have to pull doubles. That is going to be an extremely long day.

After our initial disappointing menu tasting before we opened, things have gotten much better. The food is getting better each night as the kitchen finds its rhythm. The pesce spada (sword fish) is really good, and I don't usually like fish much. The calamari is incredibly good. I've gotten rave reviews on our polpettine di granchio (I think that's how you spell it), which are little crab balls. I had two born and raised Annapolitans say they were the best crab balls they had ever had. I had the bruschetta last night and was very impressed. All three of the pizzas I've tried (Amalfi, Sorrento, and Caprese) were delicious, especially the Sorrento, which has an assortment of Italian meats--sausage, prosciutto, etc--on it.

I am excited to try the bistecca fiorentina, which is our 18 oz. New York strip steak with garlic and mushrooms and other goodies, with our fantastic tuscan potatoes on the side.

It's a much better feeling to be excited about the food now, since none of us were at first.

I haven't gotten to try any of our specialty drinks, and may not get a chance to any time soon. They have been strict about not letting us taste any of the alcohol, except for the wines at some of our tastings.

I had a guy come in while I was standing up front and talk at me for a few minutes while he browsed the menu. He hated the wine list and was happy to tell me the restaurant was going to fail as a result. While I don't know wines well enough to argue it one way or another, I was a little disappointed in the size of the list. For a restaurant that has 'wine bar' in its name, I thought we'd have a more extensive collection. Maybe in time they'll add to it as things smooth out in the daily operations department.

So far, all of us--servers and bartenders--are struggling to find our grooves. Each of the first two nights we have had every owner and every manager in house, as well as managers imported from other Monte restaurants (Four Seasons, Pomo Grille, Squisito). Waiting on their families and close friends is a little stressful with them breathing down our necks.

Here's to sticking it out for a few more months.


Jon said...

1) Swordfish is one of the least "fishy" fish around. I think it's also really overfished.
2) Anyone who tells you your restaurant will fail because he doesn't like the wine list is A) a dick and B) probably drinks really overpriced wine.

Marjorie said...

I´ll be there on thursday, so i´ll ask for you.
I have friends working there (Brooke-Jessica-Allie) and i love reading your blog because i can see how is everything at their new job, so, Thanks !