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What would be your Dream Restaurant?

Okay, so we've all sat in a restaurant and said/thought, "Wouldn't it be great if they did this..." or "Imagine if they made a restaurant like ..."
Well here's a chance to share what your dream restaurant would have in it. Whether its simple dish ideas, exotic locations or whimsical concepts, let's hear those ChowHound ideas. I think I'll wait a few posts before I reveal mine.

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  1. My dream restaurant would:

    have multiple dining rooms;

    Adults only
    Casual Dress
    Dress Code
    With live music
    Background music
    NO music

    Different cuisine with ethnic chef in themed dining rooms giving choices of the cuisines I love

    Have a table always available for me
    Have unobtrusive servers who are well trained
    Be close to Home
    Have ample parking
    Have great food

    Meet my every need and expectation.

    WHAT AM I SMOKING???????????????

    The closest to this is my own kitchen and dining room, where I can set the menu and rules.

    1. go eat in the upstairs kitchen, mom and I want a romantic dinner alone tonight

    2. NO iPods, phones, etc in the dining room

    3. No shirts, no shoes, no towel on your wet hair, no pjs in the dining room

    4. Let's have a casual family dinner at the kitchen table and we'll all discuss our day.

    5. Daughter, why don't you play something on the piano while we eat

    6. It's pizza night, put that remix you made in the Bose

    until a restaurant could be made with so many choices, I have to eat at home, where I set the rules, or choose a restaurant that fits my desires for the night's dining.

    But I can dream, can't I?

    1. Could have sworn I replied to this thread some while back. Must have imagined the whole thing. Anyway, here goes:

      It'll be local - within walking distance of home (which means it'll be in our village or the next one.

      It'll be serving local, seasonal food (as far as it can) and cooking it in our regional/national style.

      It'll have staff who know what they are doing - and, by that, I mean that whilst they will be friendly, their service will be delivered without you really knowing that it's happening.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Harters

        Yeah, I had poked around to look for another thread before I made this one- don't want to repeat a dead topic. But I couldn't find one, so I gave this a shot.

        As for me, local is definitely a big deal. I think it's neat when you can put together a dish with items sourced nearby.

        Additionally, I enjoy learning about the food and its history. (I love watching Good Eats) I'm always curious as to what caused ethnic or regional styles to come about... like what confluence of cultures, climates and events caused dishes to become popular in certain areas? Any restaurant that could train their staff to be food-history buffs would be a dream come true.

      2. My requeat seems like it would be easy to fulfill. I'd like a decent locally O&O diner or family type restaurant within just a few miles of our house. I live in the suburban Twin Cities and while there certainly are restaurants like this, none of them are nearby.

        1. A nice ethnic place where my table faced a large window viewing a vast valley/mountain range/seascape with nice matching easy ethnic music. The only other patrons would be attractive (don't have to be "hotties") 40/50 yr.old casually dressed women with no cell phones or stupid tattoos, no loudmouths or loud noise. I don't wan't much.

          1. The other thread went like this:

            My dream breakfast restaurant would be, Toast of the Town-an all egg & bread concoction type of joint opened 24/7.

            1. I'm pretty sure I've posted this before, but if I ever open up my own place, it'll be a lunch-only joint, where I'd only make one thing a day. The customer's choices were to eat the day's offerings or not. One day it might be polenta, another day possibly jook. Or ribs. Or fried chicken. Or tomato-beef chow mein. The first two items actually inspired the working title of this restaurant, "The Mush Room". I would only charge enough to cover costs, and when the day's provisions were gone, it'd be time to close.

              Of course, I've always said that one thing that would have to happen before I opened this place was I'd have to hit a ginormous lotto jackpot.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ricepad

                Have you ever read "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant" by Anne Tyler?

                  1. re: ricepad

                    Your restaurant reminded me of the Homesick Restaurant. If you like reading, sure :-)

              2. A gritty restaurant called The Gruel Shed, which serves nothing but gruel in three different sized bowls (small, not so big, and oversized). It would be lit by fluorescent lights, half of which flicker and half of which don't work. The chairs would be metal and wobbly, while the tables would be coarse, splintery wood with nails sticking out at odd angles. And the servers would all be big burly types who glower at you, and wear sleeves rolled up to display their arm hair (even the women). And the gruel itself would be mediocre.

                Also, a restaurant called the Bar and Breakfast, which serves pancakes and whiskey all day long.

                Though really, if at this moment I could add any restaurant to the world, I'd want a Belgian frites stand or truck within walking distance of me, because there's only one around here that I know of, and it's overpriced and not that good.

                1. Gee, am I the only one? I want a truly great restaurant, a la El Bulli or French Laundry, that is eat-all-you-can and FREE...! hmmm... I wonder how much it would cost to get on the waiting list? '-)

                  1. Just like the one in The Godfather where Michael shoots the police chef.

                    1. A picture is worth a thousand words---
                      Oh, and grilled seafood and cold, cold beer would be the specialties.

                      1. Not that I'll ever do it, but for ages I've fantasized about opening a restaurant that serves hot & spicy foods from around the world. I'd call it The Pyrogustomaniacal Tavern.

                        1. I'm always coming up with ideas for restaurants I would like to open. My monicker here is from my longest running daydream. There is an old warehouse in a scenic location on the river on the edge of our small town that also has a hiking/cycling/snowmobiling trail running right next to it. I would love to convert it into the Potatohouse Restaurant and Bakery.
                          I would build a boat dock for canoes and kayaks and a deck overlooking the beautiful Aroostook River. The restaurant menu would feature potato dishes and sides (without being pushy about the potato hook) but would also feature other New England dishes. The bakery side would feature pastries and coffee for breakfast and desserts for the rest of the day.

                          1. I too am always thinking about restaurants I would like to open. My current idea comes from what I have learned since my wife was diagnosed with celiac disease, and she thus must get by on a gluten-free diet. There are many folks today with celiac or who choose a gluten free diet, but there are few restaurants that offer much of interest (though many at least are aware of the problem and have lists of what they have that is "safe.") But she gets really tired of eating salads (no croutons) and grilled salmon. There are surely many others.

                            I think there would be a huge interest in a restaurant that is (1) all gluten-free, but also (2) has a variety of dishes on offer, particularly comfort foods like fried chicken, meat loaf, pancakes, pizza, mac n cheese, etc. etc., all of which are practically impossible to find in restaurants currently but which could be made gluten-free quite easily (I do it at home with no problems). The simple freedom to walk in and order anything on the menu would be amazing to anyone like her, and I think celiacs (and their spouses of course) would flock to such a place and it would be a great and profitable business.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: johnb

                              I've had a similar dream for a while now!

                              I would have already done it if I had access to sufficient startup capital.

                            2. One idea would be evoke the layout of Marche Movenpick, but with stalls selling food and drinks from around the world. Popular stalls could be mainstays, while others could rotate to give aspirants a chance. Completely non-smoking, and no mobile phone conversations/earphones. Enjoy your meal, not your monthly phone bill.

                              Another would just be a couple giant containers of olive oil, next to a bakery. I'm not as in to the dizzying array of olive oil "flavors" as I am a nice variety of bread, so every week I'll sort through patron-submitted suggestions to see what to bake.

                              There are more thoughts, but I'll give it a rest now. To anyone looking to realize the aforementioned ideas, rad. Send us an address when you have the soft opening.


                              1. I began a thread on this topic, which got dozens of posts, a few years ago: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/568364

                                1. Like Harters, I would like to be able to walk down a shady lane to my dream restaurant. The building would be old and have character with old glass windows. I would have good local art. It would be facing the water and have a beautiful sunset view. There would have a deck, with no bugs except lightning bugs in the summer.

                                  The food would come from local sources when possible but it would also have great imported things when necessary, as I love chocolate and have to have coffee at a minimum

                                  It would have a great wine list with a reasonable markup, great cocktails(but they do not call the bartender a mixologist), and beer.

                                  It serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and midnight supper.

                                  The chef would be cajun, with the ability to cook all things southern. It would have all kinds of sides and great pie. The menu would be half,all my favorites and the other half changing according to season and the chef's whim. It would have some imaginative entree salads cold or hot.

                                  On the side of the building is a bakery that supplies the restaurant and also has a store front. Two sisters run it and one is a French trained pastry chef and the other is Claudia Fleming.

                                  Danny Meyer's book, "Setting the Table" would be the business model.

                                  1. I would like a dark, quiet (no kids) restaurant with high backed chairs and booths, and a piano player with a baby grand. A fireplace in the winter and a window on a lighted garden out a window in the summer.