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Micro restaurant...need some menu ideas

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello to all 


It's my first posting..with any and all ideas appreciated


In two weeks time I open the doors of our little gourmet sandwich (and I mean little - 4m x 2m) eatery as a micro restaurant in the evenings...and my brain cannot focus on what to offer.


I can seat only six as one table or two tables of 2/3. 


Looking to serve a table d'hote style...but limited to the equipment that the local laws allow for a sandwich..


Tools at my disposal are - Panini press...combi oven/grill...toaster...slow cooker...rice cooker...veg steamer...and a cupcake maker. I just cannot have naked flame/hobs or fryers.


Bacon/chicken/belly pork are all cooked regularly on the press...but I want to take it up a notch to doing more than just a tasty sandwich...and am passionate about French cuisine.


I have the dessert side of things covered...put would love some input from others.


Anyone out there with some ideas...and I will always credit on our forthcoming website.


Looking forward to hearing what you talented folk can suggest.


Neil J.

Dorset, UK

post #2 of 9

You might look at this thread and get an idea or two.  Not very French if that is what you are asking for.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the link. I will take a look and see what is suggested...and what ideas I can put a spin on. Wild boar sausages on a garlic mash seems like a good start.

post #4 of 9

One thing I can remember that I liked when stationed there in the early 50's with the the US Air Force, other than the bangers and mash which was my favorite, yes I know LOL, was the mixed grill.  I looked on the net and couldn't find the right picture, but in the Ipswich area back then, it had chips, egg, pork chop, pork sausage (not blood), rump steak, tomatoes and peas if my memory is correct.  All that for 2 and 6 pence, about 35 cents American.  England was not up very high on the culinary charts then.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ahhh...the Mixed Grill...'the Pain In the Butt' meal when you have a busy night. You may have ignited my cells into creating a muffin tin/soup meal based on those flavours. 

post #6 of 9

Interesting concept and I'm intrigued to find out what you end up serving. My restaurant seats about 25 and I have a 'proper' kitchen, but my approach may be fairly similar, since I'm the only body in the kitchen.


If you're into French-style comfort food, why don't you take a look at what the traditional bouchons in Lyon do and put your spin on it. A bouchon is the Lyonnaise version of a traditional French bistro, and they tend to be very small and crammed. They cook the food in extremely small kitchens and design their menus accordingly, i.e. stuff that can easily be prepared ahead of time and then plated quickly. To some degree they utilise certain 'chip shop' techniques such as holding sauces or gratins in bain maries etc. But the food tends to be awesome. A bit rustic but awesome.

I 'studied' bouchons and small French bistros before I opened my restaurant and learned a lot from them.


Keep us posted!




post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Recky...MANY thanks for pointing me in that direction. I am definitely going down the bain-maries route with rustic being an ideal target to aim for. In the main...all the town has are two Indian restaurants and two Italian for evening dining (and a couple of local pubs serving the obligatory 'good, home-made' food) we have a great opportunity to offer something different in a very tiny way (with an extension and ten extra covers in mid-December). I will keep you informed on ideas, and hopefully a menu, in the next few days. research...




Neil J.

post #8 of 9

I just searched YouTube for a clip of Bill Buford 'helping out' in a bouchon kitchen to set you off on that path, but it seems to have been pulled.


Your kitchen set-up obviously dictates what you can and cannot do. If the press is capable of browning meat, you can do almost anything except making and reducing stocks and such like. Would you agree?




post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I will be pushing the boundaries on what I can use. The panini press will be supplemented by a contact grill so the meat angle is covered. Stocks I will make at home...and bring to the cafe in a flask. input yesterday has really helped to focus what we are looking at...and the bouchon route nailed it.


I owe you one...okay...a few.


I will keep you in the loop.




Neil J.

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