I have always said that New York was missing a successful, quality-driven, and affordable restaurant. A place that anyone could visit for an enjoyable evening and fantastic food, without having to mortgage their home to do so. I want to give that gift to everyone with my new venture, Louro, opening shortly in Manhattan's West Village.
For years I have thought about what it was gonna take to actually open my own restaurant. As many of you know, more often then not its an almost million dollar investment. Then all of a sudden an opportunity like this comes across your foot steps. A chance in a lifetime really. The opportunity to convert an existing restaurant to a new restaurant. All this for a fraction of the cost it would normally take. The funds I am looking to raise will be used to renovate the space (both the kitchen and the dining room), outfitting the kitchen with new equipment and interior design.
It is an opportunity for me to open my own place and involve the people who have supported me over the years to get involved as well as for neighborhood patrons to feel involved and have a stake in a local establishment.
The Portuguese word "Louro" means "bay leaf", and it embodies the restaurant that I have dreamed about for years. One of my fondest, food-related memories takes me back to my last trip to France, where I visited my aunt and ailing uncle. Though struggling with a heart condition, his passion for harvesting the land was obvious. He led me to the backyard to show me his flourishing bay plant, as he knew just how much I loved using its herbaceous leaves in my seasonings. My uncle wanted me to share in his pride of the healthy plant, and he trimmed off a few pieces for me to take home to the other members of our family. My mother, also possessing a green thumb and being a fan of bay seasoning, replanted the sprouts to create two potted trees to add to her garden. Sadly, my uncle has since passed on, but his memory thrives in the many well-seasoned, family meals that have been sprinkled with these clippings. Like his gift from the earth that often appears in my cooking, his belief of sharing the joys of life with close company similarly inspires the friendly, relaxed dining experience that I hope to give you with my restaurant.
Things like table cloths, expensive plates, and glassware are not needed in today's dining scene. By removing these frivolous items, I can pass the value on to my diners. It is my belief that people want to experience a delicious meal that is inspired by unique flavors, but served at a fair price.
With a variety of menu options ranging from small bites and pastas to large format dinners, tastings and guest chef collaborations, there will be a little something for everyone. Each day will start as a blank canvas, laying the foundation for seasonal inspirations and whatever sparks my creativity at the time. My dishes stay true to what drives me. Sometimes my ideas may stem from a documentary on the History Channel, while others will spring from the timely harvest. I am asking that you step out of your comfort zone and discover just how much you can enjoy something new. Our vast and rotating options plan to keep you coming back to sample our newest concepts.
In the end, my goal is to give people an experience to remember. I always say that truly good food evokes memories. A successful meal should bring a smile to your face, as each bite triggers a delightful memory of the first time you enjoyed the dish. Sitting around the table and savoring great food and wine with our family and friends is such an important event that needs to be fit into all of our hectic schedules. If there is anyone in this city that can remind people of this fact, it is me.
I was raised by hardworking, immigrant parents from Portugal, and truly understand the meaning of being dedicated to your craft. By pairing that sensibility with the training that I acquired working side-by-side with the likes of Thomas Keller, David Bouley, and Nicholas Harary, you will discover an accomplished recipe for a memorable experience. Over the last year, I have been assembling people around my Um Segredo table for evenings full of witty conversations, interesting stories, and, of course, delicious meals. The supper club project has garnered rave reviews, as well as the frequent question, "So, when are you going to open a restaurant?"
Well, for all of you previous diners, and for those of you that I hope will soon partake in my passion for the experience, I want to let you know that this is your chance to get involved on the ground floor of something that holds a special meaning to me. I appreciate your help with this journey and hope that you agree that my dedication to and love of the art are a combination not to be missed.
I look forward to seeing you at Louro. Thanks in advance for all of your support on this...the first real project of my career.
Risks and challenges
As most people know, there are a great deal of challenges in the restaurant industry. However, through hard work and determination, these risks can, and will, be overcome. My passion for cooking keeps my mind focused on a goal of providing each diner with an experience they will not soon forget. In addition, my background and previous gigs have given me the operational knowledge to keep me grounded. I know what will lead to a profitable and engaging restaurant and look forward to making my dream a reality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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