For April a fortuitous suggestion lead Dinner with G. to Open Kitchen. I instantly liked the idea for 2 reasons:
- Wine and Pizza.
- The “total lifestyle” trend. For consumers name and brand are no longer enough as the internet has replaced physical shopping. The selling of a lifestyle i.e. the experience with a product is the new frontier. Open Kitchen and Walkers World (and by extension Wine Cave) are the first local brands to follow the likes of Gucci (Gucci Osteria, Florence) and Tiffany Co. (Blue Box café, NYC) with a combined store and upscale eatery.
At Open Kitchen dinner is the exception not the rule offered only on Friday and Saturday nights. The restaurant is about 70% of Walker’s World’s bottom floor doubling as an active showroom. For our sizeable booking we arrived to a specially laid out table; an elegant mix of furnishings beneath modern light fixtures. Overall their seating is an eclectic mix of chair and table styles. A lounge with both furnishings and accessories, all on sale, completes the layout of the space. The restaurant-showroom is a hard sell for the home of your dreams.
They have friendly and accommodating staff but I get the sense parties our size may not be the norm. There were a few stumbles like consistently replenishing water and remembering a drink order but this is easy to overlook because everything else is on point.
Open Kitchen’s European inspired café & bistro menu is separated into 4 sections; Small Bites, Sharing is Caring, Pizzas and Not Pizza, that’s pretty darn clear. Small bites ($12 – $35) includes interesting eats like Warm Goat Cheese Balls, yum… no seriously, someone tried them. Sharing is Caring ($36 – $45) had a Cheese Board I wanted to try all night, Error! All night is too long. The kitchen closes at 9pm so late diners place all your orders early. Pizzas ($39 – $49) was a series of personal masterpieces and the excellence of Not Pizza – most epic Menu title ever ($59 – $64, Steak $80) – proved Open Kitchen is more than a one trick pony. Simple desserts like warm brownies served with ice-cream as well as specialty baked g
luten free options completed dinner (starting at $14).
Nothing goes better with an upscale “lifestyle on sale” like a glass of wine. To get your glass you make your way to Wine Cave through the restaurant/showroom affording you a good look at the expertly placed furnishings along the way. You can either purchase select wines by the glass ($12), specialty beer or any full bottle of wine. If you do know what you want beforehand the waiters will bring it directly to the table but it’s worth having a conversation with the knowledgeable Wine Cave staff, it’s all part of the experience.
Open kitchen is simplicity done right, selling “Affordable Luxury”. By serving their upscale lunch menu as an affordable dinner they entice new customers through their doors. This is a beautifully choreographed act of mutualism with Walker’s World and Wine Cave, bundling aspirations in an affordable little package. Once you try them for dinner, you’re going to be strongly tempted to return for lunch, wine and maybe a sale? Give them a try and I promise from the great food, wine and ambiance for purchase, you won’t be disappointed.
So until next month….
See you at Dinner.
- Georgina Callender