Sunday, November 25, 2007
In order to continue my addictive relationship with the highly esteemed Mission Beach Café I feel that it is finally time for me to return to the restaurant, both for a meal, and in my blog. It has been several weeks since I have stopped by the café, and I have heard that the menus have changed, and new pies have been added. I absolutely must get there to try the pumpkin pie before it goes out of season!
A huge part of my attraction to this restaurant, besides the food, atmosphere, and personnel, is that the philosophies of the owner, Bill Clarke, are so dead on with my own ideas about food. It was almost a month ago already since I sat down and met with Bill to discuss what it was that he was trying to do at Mission Beach Café, and his thoughts have stuck strong to me ever since. I am even more impressed by this place to see how well thought through the entire production is.
There were two main ideas that Bill touched on that made lasting impressions on me. His words were so meaningful to me because they reiterated many of the ideas I had been discovering on my own at the same time. It was almost as if Bill had read my blog and my mind before our meeting because he seemed to agree with all of my beliefs. I can’t tell you how wonderfully reassuring it was for me to realize that people who were successful in the restaurant business shared my ideas. Maybe I can make it in that world as well.
He talked a lot about how not only food, but also the atmosphere, and the experience in a restaurant affect the meal greatly. The ideas he spoke of reminded me of my post about service. Bill said that there are many different ways that we are “fed” by a restaurant. Food is clearly one of these ways. The meal itself is definitely important, but there is also the ambience of the restaurant, the presentation of the food, the comfort that the patron feels in the restaurant, even the person’s company all greatly determine a diner’s opinion of a restaurant and the dining experience. The customer’s sense of taste must be pleased by the restaurant, but their sense of smell, sight, sound, and touch must also be tended to.
It is for this reason that Bill put so much time, effort, and money into making Mission Beach Café as delightful as it is. He spent almost an entire year picking out the perfect wood for the tables and chairs. Because of this, all of the furniture is gorgeous, and comfortable. He tested hundreds of restaurants in San Francisco to find which level of noise is the most suitable to having a calm conversation. He also chose to use very mellow and warm colors to paint the interior of the restaurant, and he picked some beautiful pieces of art that complement the colors of the walls. To set the mood, the lights are kept just above a flicker so that the dining experience seems very classy and elegant. I can’t say enough about how satisfying and relaxing a meal is at Mission Beach Café.
Another idea that Bill spoke to was that the best part of his work at the Café is to see all of the people in the community have a special place to get to meet, relax, eat, and enjoy themselves. I have always felt that one of my favorite parts about cooking is to see the reactions of the people I’m serving. It is a great feeling to see how happy someone can be when they taste something truly delicious. I fully understand how Bill feels. When I see the great interactions between the community and the restaurant, I know that I love being a part of something that can make many people so joyful.
Once again, I love Mission Beach Café.