New grille in town: Chef aims to create Revolution-ary dining experienceWritten by Morgan Delp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Chef Rob Campbell likes to interact with his customers, discovering their likes and — more importantly — their dislikes.
“The best way to make something is to ask what [the customer] doesn’t like rather than what they do like, because that leaves the creating to the chef. … I’m so backwards,” Campbell said, laughing.
Campbell said he is committed to pleasing customers and constantly creating new and inventive dishes when he, in partnership with Mainstreet Ventures, opens Revolution Grille in Toledo on June 12 at 4:30 p.m. Half of all proceeds of the opening night will benefit Kids Unlimited, said President of Mainstreet Ventures Mike Gibbons.
The new restaurant intends to “create the unexpected,” Campbell said. One of the ways Campbell will do this is by having some seating right at the counter looking into the kitchen, so he can interact with customers and get their opinion on his creations.
“I like to get out of the kitchen and communicate to guests and find out what they like to eat. Now I can do that without leaving the kitchen,” Campbell said. “The idea of seating at the kitchen really started developing at Ciao! — one of my former restaurants of employment — where I would get out of the kitchen a lot and talk to guests and cook for people. It’s something I’ve been doing by getting in the dining room, and now I’m taking it a step further.”
Campbell, who has worked in Toledo-area restaurants for years, attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont because it’s all hands-on, he said.
“I loved it. We had classes of seven, and every two weeks we worked in a different kitchen,” Campbell said. Campbell attributes his desire to interact directly with customers to his training.
He said he will use customer input to continuously update the menu, which will be completely electronic and presented on tablets.
“We can change things in the middle of the day on the electronic menu,” Campbell said. “We can change a dish or take one off the menu if we run out. It can evolve during the day.”
“This is getting real popular in big cities,” Campbell said. “We went to a restaurant show in Chicago several weeks ago and they were trying to introduce that. The competitive market is coming here fast.”
Along with the paperless menus, Revolution Grille’s servers will use iPads to enter orders and run credit cards, instead of the terminals that most restaurants use, Campbell said. However, Campbell said that servers will not replace their paper-and-pen method of taking orders with tablets because it interferes with customer eye contact and a personal experience.
The high-tech establishment, located at 5333 Monroe St., will use opentable.com, an online reservation system. The restaurant seats 105 total guests, including a private dining room that seats 12 people.
Some of the specialties Revolution Grille will offer are flatbread pizzas with nontraditional toppings, roasted berkshire pork shoulder with a crispy sweet glaze and Korean barbecue.
“We will not be open for lunch but we are going to have salads, lobster rolls, half pork/half beef burgers and cool sandwiches,” Campbell said.
“We will also try to do some crazy cocktails, like bacon-infused bourbon,” Campbell said.
Other specialty drinks Revolution Grille will offer include martinis and sangria with dry ice, called “smoking sangria.”
The pricing is moderate, with costs ranging from $10 to $30, with few items over $25, Campbell said. The restaurant will also practice “a la ficelle” in an effort to benefit customers, he said.
“It’s a new way to serve wine by the glass. We will leave the bottle at the table and allow customers to drink as much as they want,” Campbell said. Servers mark bottles before and after consumption and that is how customers are charged.
Gibbons said he believes in Campbell’s rest-
“We’ve had experience with [Campbell] before and we think he’s a talented guy,” Gibbons said. “I think [Revolution Grille] will do great. It’s different than anything in the [Toledo] market. It’s a unique experience that will fit well.”
Campbell’s goal is simple.
“I’m just hoping it will catch on and I’ll be able to just cook for people,” he said.
The restaurant is still accepting applicants for positions in the back of the house, Campbell said. For more information call (419) 313-0518.