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Tag: Café

Tea, with a squeeze of optimism

Tea, with a squeeze of optimism

“Tea is just wonderful!” says Melissa Oraibi. “We’ve found a way to infuse a modern flair to classical tea at the Wenham Tea House (Wenham, MA) and we’re appealing to a wide spectrum— young, crossover customers who come for our full lunch and dinner menus to these die-hard ladies who “like to do lunch, baby.” And many in between. As the world opens up to life-after-Covid, Melissa and her husband and chef Brenden Crocker are brimming with optimism. The new…

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Hanging tough at Olde Bryan Inn, Saratoga

Hanging tough at Olde Bryan Inn, Saratoga

The Olde Bryan Inn of Saratoga Springs has hung tough over these past few months through a combination of staff grit, customer loyalty and by keeping a positive attitude. Like every other hospitality business shuttered during the Coronavirus, the doors of the 40-year-old landmark restaurant were shut by orders of the state on March 16; at which point, the management and staff of the legendary restaurant —which makes its home in a historic property that has existed since the Revolutionary…

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From pasta to Food Network & famous hot oil

From pasta to Food Network & famous hot oil

Long before Pastabilities earned its stripes as a popular Syracuse restaurant, gourmet food merchandiser, and Food Network star, they were hitting home runs serving simple, fresh, homemade pasta; cafeteria style in downtown Syracuse. And from those humble beginnings sprang a well of creativity and success. Thirty-seven years later, their daughter and front-of-house manager Ryland Heagerty, reports that the oldest continually run restaurant in Syracuse has grown and stretched into something quite special. “We’re turning 37 next week,” Heagerty says. “And…

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Making hay with a wine bar

Making hay with a wine bar

The kitchen was a madhouse. It was Thanksgiving in the late 80s. The club house at The Fair Grounds racetrack in Louisiana seated around 2,000; and on that holiday, all eyes were on the kitchen doors. They remained stubbornly closed. Hungry guests began to wonder why. Finally, Vicky Bayley stood up and decided to find out what was going on. Part of a longtime horse racing family, she’d worked alongside her Thoroughbred-trainer father and eventually went to work for the…

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Lesson from the lobster pot: selling what people want

Lesson from the lobster pot: selling what people want

Near the pristine mountains and crashing seascape of Acadia National Park sits a humble restaurant that turns sweet, tender lobster meat into restaurant gold. The Union River Lobster Pot Restaurant in Ellsworth, Maine isn’t fancy. There’s always a line to get in. And they don’t do takeout. But what longtime owner Brian Langley delivers on the plate is the meal Maine tourists and locals will wait patiently for: lobster, blueberry pie, and a water view. “When I first opened the…

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Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid inspire NH hole in the wall

Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid inspire NH hole in the wall

Thinking “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” way back when, a husband/wife hospitality team “got out of Dodge” (technically they left Dedham, Mass.) and headed to North Conway, N.H. to build a thriving restaurant where the air was clean, the vibe friendly, and the nearest big city many miles away. “When we decided to move north, we’d already been working our whole lives in the Boston hospitality business,” says Richard Delaney, of Delaney’s Hole in the Wall of North Conway,…

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Glasshalfull toasts a smooth finish

Glasshalfull toasts a smooth finish

The financial crisis of 2007/2008 was just getting started as James Wald of North Carolina swung open the doors to his new wine bar & restaurant, Glasshalfull. He admits the timing could have been better. “It wasn’t the best time to start a business,” Wald says. “And I’m not sure how good of a job we did that first year.” But by playing the cards they were dealt, he and his staff played offered creative options to diners feeling the…

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Revolutionary War heroism & American fare

Revolutionary War heroism & American fare

The limestone walls of the Olde Bryan Inn protect a story, a cuisine, and an attitude of American goodness and heroism that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Beneath the rough timbers supporting the ceiling, diners sip from ale cups and cut into steaks from a menu that is a modern interpretation of Revolutionary fare, says longtime manager Robin Kelsey. “We serve Revolutionary cuisine,” says Kelsey, a fixture in the 40-year-old restaurant for 25 years. “Our restaurant is named for…

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From powdered potatoes to homemade heaven on a plate

From powdered potatoes to homemade heaven on a plate

After retiring from a 20-year commercial real estate career, John Zimka picked up the reins of an Illinois café and kicked it into its second act. Tackling the menu with determination, Zimka got rid of old “diner style” staples like powdered potatoes and canned gravy and ushered in menu items such as fish tacos and stuffed potato pancakes, as he went about revamping Tony’s Café of Crystal Lake, Ill. “Tony’s was at the tail end of its run after 20…

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Charleston partners open 3rd restaurant on same block

Charleston partners open 3rd restaurant on same block

When the owners of two popular restaurants in Charleston, S.C. decided to open a third, they asked themselves one question: “Who doesn’t love Italian food?” And with that, the creators of Melfi’s restaurant, dove in. Spending two years researching the cuisine and wines of Italy, and perfecting their trademark Romanesque pizza, (along with full pasta menu and traditional fare), the new eatery fired up its two beautiful wood-fired ovens last month. “It’s going great!” says General Manager Adam Gainer. “We…

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