Yesterday Mark Militello, executive chef at Trina, the Fort Lauderdale beach restaurant at the Atlantic Hotel, shared some of his background and how he got to where he is today. In this next part, we'll hear more about what he has in store for the relaunch of the restaurant later this year.
New Times: It sounds like you have planned some changes for Trina -- any you can divulge?
Chef Mark: Nothing yet; it's still too early. I can tell you that there will be changes both on the menu and the décor, but it won't be anything too trendy. We will have quite a full menu with a wide-range appeal. The price point is one which will make sense for people who come off the beach in shorts and flip-flops and those guests who come in wearing suits.
Will there be a name change?
Yes. But we aren't ready to announce that yet.
Can we expect to see any new food trends starting in Fort Lauderdale?
necessarily trends, but I do think we will see a lot more vegetable
dishes showing up. I think that's where it's all headed.
Will we see any dishes inspired by your other restaurants?
I think you can expect to see some selections inspired by my old dishes. As it is now, I already have customers who come in and ask for my two-pound yellowtail... I do plan on having a lot of focus on fresh local seafood, and the menu will change a bit each day depending on what is available.
How is the menu impacted by being a hotel restaurant?
The main difference is that we will have breakfast service and brunch on the weekends. There is also a large bar area where guests can eat. It will be the same menu as the main dining room. But the restaurant will definitely be a Mark's restaurant in a hotel as opposed to a "hotel restaurant."
Is it difficult to be part of a hotel as opposed to a stand-alone location?
No. I've done this before, as executive chef at the Regent, so I know the drill. There are just a few more formalities, but everyone is still focused on the same thing: opening a good restaurant.
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When do you expect the new restaurant to open?
We had hoped to be operating under our new name at the end of summer, but it is taking longer than expected, so we are aiming for late September. We are staying open as Trina until we are ready for the relaunch.
What do you hope people will say when they come to eat at your restaurant?
A room with a view and great food.