Posts Tagged ‘Calles Cucina’

So I have retreated to my home town of Olean to mend my financial fences after three years of globe trotting, business and personal misadventures all of which is chronicled in this blog. And the best thing is I am really feeling good about it.

Kate Sager at the Olean Times Herald wrote a really nice article OLEAN TIMES HERALD ARTICLE and I have been landing several new law and mediation clients each week. All good right?

knivesTomorrow I am teaching my first culinary class at Cutco Cutlery Company. Knife skills, because they make some hot ass sharp knives and Intro to Italian Cuisine because that is what I know. And, I am actually getting paid.

I must admit that I am still more excited about Italian cuisine than legal affairs but I have to pay the bills and I get to have some fun cooking at the same time.

I hope to get some good photo’s to use in my next post.

Stay tuned.







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I received a great compliment today from a freezer repairman of all people. My “True” freezer work station combo had stopped working last Friday so I needed a repair. I was very worried over the repair cost because I had bought it used and had no warranty. I suspected the compressor blew but luckily it was just the fan motor which was an easy fix for a mere $302.00. Ouch.

Anyway the repair guy, who spends his life in restaurant kitchens said “wow, you have a really clean kitchen which is really unusual in most places I work.”

Made me feel great because we work hard to keep our totally open kitchen as clean as possible.

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Some good news on the review front. We received a great review in the Food and Wine Blog. CLICK HERE

My seafood specials have been selling out each week so I am continuing to challenge myself and staff with more complex

and diverse seafood items. Check it out. Some great food photo’s out there as well

Dinner 3 28 12


Salmoni Crudo

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Raspberry Cream Cake with Strawberry Rhubarb Gelato.

I am using Open Table to schedule on line reservations. Each customer who reserves on line is asked to describe their experience at

Calle’s Cucina. Some of the reviews, all unsolicited by me, are really uplifting for a chef to read.


Window at Calle's Cucina courtesy of Simon.





Ravioli with Carrot Cream

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So, posts two days in a row. A recent record. I learned today that last Thursday night a food critic from the Baltimore Sun dined at my restaurant. I remember the table as we were not that busy on Thursday so the service was excellent. I had time to give each table a couple of samples (chef’s gifts) of dishes they did not order so that could not have hurt, I think. I learned this because I was contacted by email today to schedule a photographer and for some follow up questions.

The reviewer dined on my Artichoke Scallop appetizer which is a number 10 scallop (meaning 10 to the pound) very large wild sea scallop harvested off the coast of Rhode Island I believe.  The single scallop is gently seared and served with a confit of artichoke, raisin and orange. This dish was a big hit so I am thinking this is good so far.

Next she had the Braciole which has been a big seller and one of the few dishes on the menu since the day we opened. A somewhat Italian  culinary school friend of mine known as Cip, short for Cipriano Illiano actually tried my recipe and he liked it so I think I am good on this one too. The Braciole was taken from  the oven about 30 minutes before service so it was really fresh.

She finished with the Panna Cotto topped with a hot raspberry sauce. I had made the Panna Cotta a few days earlier so it wasn’t brand new but it holds well in the fridge so I am hoping she loved it. I remember giving her a sample of my orange marmalade gelato which was really tasty.


Dinner 2 2 12        Seafood Specials 2 2 12

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Well readers it finally happened. I finally opened a restaurant after 2 years of career changing, mind bending, relationship destroying, life altering activities that took me from Olean NY to Hells Kitchen to Soho, to Alma, to Baltimore and finally to Calle’s Cucina in the Heart of Charles Village.

So much has occurred recently that I have to say it would take several days to write in detail about it all.

I am now the owner/chef of Calle’s Cucina at 2431-2433 St. Paul St. Baltimore Maryland.

From the time I took  possession to opening took 60 days, quite quick actually in the world of restaurant openings.

Cleaning, painting, remodeling, equipment purchases, furniture purchases, staff recruitment and hiring, menu development, HAACP plan writing, vendor research and selection, to creating the first dishes.

Calle’s Cucina is about 2000 square feet located on the first floor of two adjoining townhouses. We are BYOB and have an art gallery. We serve lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.Check out our website for all the details.


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So much to talk about but so little time. Below is a chronology of the past two months. I will now be updating this blog frequently. Thanks for following this adventure of a lifetime.

Let me start with a chronology of the past 2 months.

October 9, 2011. Sign lease for my restaurant in Baltimore. Two empty rooms painted hideous colors.

October 15, 2011. Take possession and begin cleaning and renovations.

October 20, 2011. Meet Deon Brown who has since become my right hand.

October 24, 2011. Paint exterior.

October 27, 2011. Initial health department inspection.

October 28, 2011. Begin remedying health department identified issues.

November 1, 2011. Begin painting interior.

November 7, 2011. Begin floor cleaning.

November 9, 2011. Begin researching kitchen equipment and food vendors.

November 13, 2011. Begin purchase of kitchen equipment and furniture.

November 14, 2011. Apply for Fire Prevention Permit.

November 15, 2011. Rent U-Haul and begin picking up equipment and furniture.

November 16, 2011. Fire Prevention Permit obtained.

November 17, 2011. HAACP Plan approved.

November 18, 2011. Health department final approval. Begin work on menu and HAACP plan.

November 19, 2011. Fire Department initial inspection. Begin remedying FD issues.

November 22, 2011. Obtain Food License.

November 24, 2011. Initial Building Inspector inspection.


November 26, 2011. Begin remedy of Building Inspector issues.

November 27, 2011. Purchase of dishes, silverware, pots, pans and smallwares.

November 28, 2011. Obtain Building Permit for removal of 23 recessed lights which pose fire hazard.

November 30, 2011. Obtain Building Permit for replacement of stairway. Begin interviewing vendors.

December 1, 2011. Begin interviews for servers and kitchen staff.

December 8, 2011. Receive approval for lighting modifications.

December 9, 2011. Complete 30 inch deep concrete footer and reassembly of steps.

December 10, 2011. Purchase sound system for dining room and make meatballs for freezing.

So, I have been very busy in a very good way for the past two months.

The Building Inspector should, higher power willing, give final approval tomorrow or Wednesday and we should be open by Wednesday or Thursday.


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