FOODIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED IN THE MYSTERIES OF DINING AND CONTINUE TO BECOME MORE INTERESTED IN THE WORKS OF THE KITCHEN AND HOW ITEMS ARE PREPARED.
And you, the restaurateur are tasked with captivating that audience in a market fraught with countless dining options in both the fast casual and full service arenas. Open kitchens where you see the action, have been on trend for over a decade and the numbers continue to grow. There was quite a buzz when Napa Rose opened with that beautiful open kitchen and the
“chef’s table” with stools up close to all the action. Years before that remember the awe as a kid at the pizza parlor as the pizziola tossed the dough in the air? Buffets have long been a source of entertainment with their steamship carving boards, omelette bars and waffle stations. Steak grills have always held fascination as oil was added to the fire solely for the
guests enjoyment and now, you can see anything and everything prepared counter-side; Waffles to Wagu.
EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITIES
Tableside preparations have evolved from the days of Caesar Salad and Steak Diane and now smoky illusions are being created mid dining room using the latest techniques, dry ice and sometimes chemicals to prepare cocktails and deserts creating a buzz on the floor. Though fewer in number in recent years, the small hibachi style grills rage for diners that want to
cook their own appetizers. If fire is your passion you can have your dessert brulee’d at the table or you can create your own s’mores over a small grill. Oyster bars like Shuck and other seafood concepts including TAPS Fish House & Brewery capture audiences around the seafood bar with the flick of the knife and the number of sushi restaurants with your favorite itamae continues to grow and become more popular every day. Teppan Tables host groups of hungry diners for fresh grilled options. Though they may be fewer in number I’m sure you can still find a few that toss shrimp into the mouths of their hungry audience while demonstrating their knife skills. Back in the day at the previous location of The Catch large steam kettles on display captivated the audience and now, at other restaurants, individual, jacketed steam kettles dish delicious meals to diners at the surrounding bar.
ENGAGE THE CUSTOMER
Many options are available to actually prepare your own food. We’ve had offerings in the mix for centuries including Korean BBQ and Shabu Shabu. Fondue and hot rock cooking methods have come and gone through several cycles with very few venues remaining though Yojie, a growing Japanese concept markets Shabu Shabu Japanese Fondue and it’s gaining popularity. Shall we call it Shabudu? The latest 21 and over, cook your own concept is The Gaslamp Strip Club where you “grill-your-own” from a menu that includes steaks, seafood, chicken,
burgers, and appetizer skewers served with traditional sides has just emerged to keep diners
Whatever your pleasure or your pain there is an interactive dining concept to match your mood.