The final touches of the restaurant are beginning to take shape. Architectural renderings have given way to a building, the design boards seemingly seeped off of the page and filled the space and the hours of food and drink tastings have transformed into a tangible menu that I can hold in my hands. This journey has been incredible. That is not to say it has been easy but rather a remarkable time filled with emotion, excitement, energy and exhaustion and here we are about to transition into the next phase. Our vision is about to become a reality and if I’m being incredibly honest, it is so scary. There’s this fear of sharing what has been such an all consuming piece of our lives for the last year...and a half with the world.
You see, these shipping containers were sitting in a scrapyard a year ago and not many people could see their potential. There are hours of sweat equity invested by family and friends that gave up their weekends, evenings and free time to paint, wire speakers, test chairs, preview menu items or whatever we needed. Jeff has spent every spare hour breathing life into the space. The bar tile was laid as our friend Carlo ended a long shift at his real job and made time to help us and we all love that there’s a piece of him here. Our kids potted the plants, grew the basil, spent hours asking when we were going to get wi-fi and now we’ll replace the juice boxes in the coolers with San Pellegrino, we’ll stop singing beauty and the beast as we push a 7 year old across the restaurant on the rolling ladder and use it to fetch beautiful Italian wines. We will give up our personal sunsets as the golden hour floods the space with amazing warm hues and open the patio to you all to enjoy an Aperol Spritz and chips and fill the space with laughter and chatter. For so long this space has become a second home and we want you to feel that when you walk in the door. From the upcycled buckets and ladles to the prints from our most recent trip to Italy, the space is filled with pieces of us.
Because Nipote’s is an extension of our home, hospitality is so important to us. Jeff has begun interviewing and looking for a great team that loves to take care of people and can work together like a family-minus the sibling rivalry of course. With our unique footprint our team will have to be flexible, reliable and passionate about service. For us, dining is as much about the experience as it is about food prepared with love. Our kitchen is designed to be open, to allow the guests to say hello and peek behind the curtain. As a chef, Jeff loves to cook and entertain at the same time and for those who’ve been to our home they would tell you most of the evening is spent standing in the kitchen. We consider the kitchen the heart of the house and know that there’s magic in watching how ingredients transform into a meal.
The literal translation of restaurant is “that which restores or revives,” and we believe in the nurturing power of food and hospitality. So as we pull together our team and train them; as we all work towards finding our groove know that while it is a little scary we are so excited to serve you, to allow our guests a piece of what we experienced in Italy, meals not for the purpose of consumption and convenience but rather an opportunity to taste love through food, to set the busy world aside and to celebrate life, to cultivate friendships, to come together, to be restored, to laugh and linger, to watch the sunset paint the sky, to gather around the table and enjoy the dolce vita.