The Road Fewer Traveled: The Harwood District’s One of a kind Method to Restaurant Reopening

While other individuals in the field scrambled to pivot towards takeout and supply, the Harwood District, house to nine dining places, has taken what has been nearly a year of closure to revamp and reevaluate its cafe organization designs.

“Together, we initiated a potent renaissance inside Harwood Hospitality Team while our concepts were quickly closed,” Harwood Hospitality Group vice president Michael Muskat explained.

With no tension from landlords—Harwood privately owns and operates all of its properties—the district has been in a position to apply a phased reopening system preceded by personnel instruction, menu remakes, new culinary management, and inside remodels.

“We intently evaluated each individual concept’s distinctive small business design, carried out numerous scientific studies, enhanced our know-how, revamped our menus, set up new partnerships, and carried out impressive strategies to take our unforgettable visitor experiences to the next degree,” Muskat mentioned.

“In addition to applying our Harwood Cares Programme, other important elements that we carry on to elevate in just about every concept’s company product contain the installation of advanced systems as well as a further dive into every brand’s DNA and how we creatively express these elements in our style, culinary skills, and additional.”

In May perhaps, Harwood reopened its coffee shop strategy, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, and its French bistro principle, Mercat Bistro, adopted by its bar idea, Happiest Hour, in Oct 2020. Happiest Hour, which is property to four bar spaces, debuted a rethought, foodstuff-forward menu under Harwood’s new hire, executive chef Molly Winkler. Winkler was beforehand a chef at Plano-based mostly notion Sixty Vines.

“Our mantra is to go major or go house,” Winkler mentioned.

The new menu is 90 % property-built and aims to demonstrate “what friends really should expect from the meals served at a concept recognized for its comprehensive beer and cocktail program,” Muskat stated. 

Strategies are also underway to completely redo the Italian notion Dolce Riviera’s menu. The district has introduced in Boston hotshot Chef Tom Griffin to oversee the menu remake.

Dolce Riviera’s new Executive Chef Tom Griffin treats the D CEO group to a sneak preview of the Harwood District’s revised menu.

Formerly regarded as an emerging chief in Zagat’s Boston 30 Underneath 30, Griffin started to make a identify for himself in the food scene at the (now-closed) Cambridge fave East by Northeast. He went on to be a part of Philip Tang at the snazzy Banyan Bar + Refuge and came to Harwood from Boston soon after a tenure at Sinatra at Encore Boston Harbor with chef Timothy Hixson. Griffin also will be powering Harwood’s new pan Asian concept, set to open up later on this 12 months.

Harwood introduced Dolce Riviera to the district in 2016. The restaurant’s original eyesight was vintage Italian cuisine—take a phase again in time when the Italian and French Rivieras were being uncomplicated nonetheless exquisite.

“When Dolce Riviera reopens later on this summer, attendees will delight in Chef Tom’s fresh new, approachable menu that is extra balanced than the concept’s previous renditions. He will provide seasonality, influences from Italy’s Ligurian area, and a big emphasis on refreshing seafood to the forefront of the Dolce Riviera culinary knowledge,” Muskat stated.

Mercat Bistro opened exclusively for brunch and lunch in Could but not long ago disclosed a new supper menu.

“As dining establishments had been permitted to reopen subsequent the short term shutdown, our insights indicated that quite a few of our visitors felt most cozy with get-and-go services and confined dine-in ordeals for breakfast and lunch,” Muskat continued.

Harwood listened to the details and created a menu that compliments the restaurant’s passionate ambiance.

“One of my favourite approaches to explain Mercat Bistro is, ‘We simply cannot take you to Paris, but we can take you absent,’ Muskat mentioned. “This genuinely distinguishes when you are at 1 of our nine restaurants you’re encountering a little something outdoors of the norm, transporting you someplace else.”

Mercat’s all-new meal menu was designed by Executive Chef Taylor Kearney, an award-profitable chef who is effectively-versed in French delicacies.

Chef Kearney, who educated under numerous notable chefs, which includes Charlie Palmer, Anne-Sophie Pic, and Thomas Keller, worked on the meal menu over the course of 2020.

“We hope guests really feel as if they escaped to Paris and are dining streetside in the ‘City of Like,’” he stated.

Highlights on Mercat Bistro’s new supper menu include fresh selections from an oyster bar Poulet Rôti, savory French roast hen with Pommes Frites, cauliflower, and white wine jus Crisp Braised Lamb with standard French cassoulet and decadent French desserts which includes Clafoutis, Crème Brûlée, and Chocolate Mille-Feuille.


Led by Govt Chef Ty Thaxton, Te Deseo’s culinary menu blends flavors impressed by quite a few areas of Latin The united states, with prominent affect from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. (foodstuff: Rebecca Adler inside: Rob Underwood)

By the close of 2020, Harwood had also reopened Marie Gabrielle Cafe and Gardens for personal gatherings and released its new principle, British pub Harwood Arms. Lively Latin concept, Te Deseo, adopted a couple of months back.

“We are commencing the year with the reopening of our Latin-motivated strategy Te Deseo. Upcoming, we’re on the lookout ahead to reopening a freshly renovated Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar,” Muskat explained.

 In a handful of months, Muskat claims all 9 Harwood dining establishments will be up and operating. A lot of of the beforehand furloughed staff have returned, and the district is on keep track of to meet up with pre-pandemic staffing stages.

According to Muskat, a boutique resort, new hospitality ideas, and retail in other marketplaces will before long be on the way for Harwood, but first, a dip into what the district avoided earlier this year—takeout.

“What’s future for the cafe market is a continued emphasis on adaptability and diversifying the business product,” Muskat stated. “In the in close proximity to foreseeable future, friends will see Harwood Hospitality Group introducing new initiatives for to-go and supply.”