Wayne Cafariella, executive chef at bc Restaurant
Native of Patchogue, Long Island
On the difference between modern dining and fine dining
bc’s culinary style is modern dining. We say this instead of fine dining because we don’t want anyone’s experience to be stuffy or snooty. There’s nothing wrong with “Fine Dining” but it’s not what we’re trying to do down here. We want to be that every-day location versus being “oh, that fancy place we only go to once a year.”
We want people to feel comfortable coming in to the restaurant wearing jeans to enjoy a four-star meal. I think our ingredients separate us from the average restaurant because it’s about being in tune with what’s fresh and available and also about working and collaborating with local artisans. The restaurant recently underwent a renovation to give it an update and a more comfortable feel. The restaurant has new hardwoods to give it a warm feel and we’ve added a large communal table at the front of the restaurant. People can grab a drink there or sit and eat their meal. The communal table has been a big hit so far. It really breaks down boundaries because there is such a mix of people sitting together. People will strike up conversations as the food comes out and it’s like you’re catching a show when you sit there. You can basically see the whole restaurant from the table- the kitchen, the back room, the front room and the bar. We think if people come in and try our food, they’ll understand what we’re talking about. We want bc to be a place you want to come to on a weeknight or a weekend- that spot right in your local neighborhood.
On bc’s dishes and the ingredients they use
Pretty much all of the food we serve at bc is familiar food. A lot of it is comfort food.
We’re not reinventing the wheel, but everything we do, we take pride in. Dishes like lobster mac and cheese or roast chicken are familiar, but even though people have had versions of these dishes before, they will be wowed by our version. What sets us apart is using the highest quality ingredients and preparing dishes to the highest quality. Part of that means taking what ingredients we can get and trying to do the best with them. We get the freshest ingredients we can which means we use as much local product as we can. We are already planning our menus for summer with local farmers. Suppliers will come to our door to show us what they have to offer. Ken from Fresh Herbs in Fabius grows a lot of stuff for us, like microgreens for garnish. We were really blown away by his product. Grindstone Farm in Pulaski is another local outfit we work with. I moved to Syracuse in October; I have friends and family here. I fell in love with Armory Square and liked that there was a really great green, locavore scene here.
On Dining Week at bc
Dining Week gets people to come into the restaurant who don’t usually come in.
We’ll be running our full menu during Dining Week, too, so that people have a chance to try everything. The Dining Week menu will feature good, quality ingredients, so that we can get the person who hasn’t come in before. Consistency is important because we need to wow that person every time they come in. The Dining Week menu is a mix of bigger hits along with dishes that aren’t on the regular menu. We offer a meat, fish and chicken for entrees to give people a choice. The Dining Week menu also features desserts so that we can really show off what we do. We make all of our desserts in house and have tweaked the recipes so that they’re perfect. The courses will feature regular portions. Since Valentine’s Day will lead right into Dining Week, we plan to be prepped and ready to go. Everything will be ordered fresh and our fish will be flown in overnight. We plan to change the menu every four seasons and will unveil a spring menu in March. The spring menu will feature fresher produce, while our winter menu features a lot of braising.
bc Restaurant is one of the 25 restaurants participating in the 2012 edition of AmeriCU Dining Week(s). Visit the restaurant at 247 West Fayette Street, call 701-0636 for information or reservations or visit www.bcrestaurant.com.