Being where we are it's sometimes a challenge to do new and interesting things and have them be accepted by the masses. Of course creative menu writing helps, being a little vague in the description area can help us do what we want to do. In my eyes that's what I want as a diner. I don't want your paragraph long description of a dish, surprise me. It doesn't always work for everyone though. Right now we are flooded with families on vacation. If we want to survive we have to adapt to our clientele and their needs or wants. We run a lot more pasta\italian based dishes and scaled back family style menu on top of our a la carte to get the extra business that wouldn't have come through the door.
I recently read a post from Shola about his experience at Corton and listening to Drew Neiport saying, "the cream rises to the top", referring to all these restaurants offering cheaper menus to get people in the door will slowly sink to the bottom and how the ones holding their ground and don't give up on their ideals or style of food just because the economy sucks will rise to the top. I agree to an extent. If I was talking about NY then yes. Orlando isn't NY or even close to being any kind of culinary mecca so we have to take what we can get at the moment.
That being said, If we have to do basic, simple food for the masses then we have to slide these new techniques into our dishes where we can. Here is an example with some mozzarella orbs that we put in the pasta.

Looks like mozz until they stick their fork in it and all that rich mozz fondue seeps out. That's the "Gotcha!"

Sometimes I will argue the necessity of a technique, does it make the food better? In this case it does, when the mozz orb breaks and mixes into the sauce it enriches the dish.

By no means are we reinventing the wheel with but at least these little things keep us going in a time of split plate, separate checks, mac'n'cheese, 2 for 1, free glass of wine, $24.99 three course meal awesome time that we are in.


  1. seeing as how i have been traveling a lot lately, i am currently in new york and can see exactly where you are coming from, from certain chefs i have talked with, they may be not budging on prices but they are certainly barely keeping it together or they have big investors that are just taking the hit in hopes that the economy will make a turn. there is a very small handful of restaurants in ny who can keep their operations running like before the shit storm and even they will tell you they are thinking of tweeking prices lightly to absorb the blow. for 25$ i would be beyond pumped to be eating 3 courses, i have eaten the foies and caviars long enough to have it out of my system and actually prefer using the "lesser" (obviously not low quality) ingredients and push my creativity to a higher level, and doing more with less is a good way to push yourself to focus on your food more and hell if you have to making dishes you may want to to pay the bills so be it, you obviously are finding creative ways to make it more interesting for you and your diners. hope everything is running smoothly in orlando.

  2. We are in a great spot and backed by some big time investors but when you write the budget for the year and this is how much you tell the owners you will make then you better give it to them. They(owners) know what state the economy is in, we have to show that we are doing everything possible to get revenue, put money on the bottom line and keep our flow through high. If you don't do this then you will be out of a job and most likely will be replaced by someone for less $$.