Mar 27, 2012 Neil Benjamin Jr. Uncategorized
Gentile’s Restaurant, a place that has built a reputation for having an always-evolving eclectic menu, is moving out of its digs at 305 Burnet Ave. and into the gigantic building on 313 N. Geddes St., the former home to Prime Steakhouse.
Kevin Gentile is the owner and also the head chef, while Andrew Belair, a former restaurant employee, is taking the spot of general manager. The two have been friends for years and both feel the pairing will make for a bright future for a place with a lot of history.
Gentile, in an interview last week at the Burnet location, said the new location has had its share of failed restaurants, but that he’s confident the brand he’s built, along with the top-notch customer service, will help him stay in the new spot for many years to come.
“A lot of people know the history with the place, that restaurants seem to just come and go,” Gentile said. “I think the fact that I’m the owner and the chef will help us. I like to think of my chef outfit as a life preserver, and I never take it off.”
Gentile, who hails from Utica, has been a chef in Syracuse for 10 years and has been one overall for 25 years. What sets Gentile’s apart from other upscale restaurants, Belair said, is that it changes its menu seasonally, giving patrons the chance to experience something new on just about every visit.
The menu also features a wide array of gluten-free items, and also has a section that caters to vegans. Gentile’s website states: “Chef Gentile is more than happy to accommodate any special requests or contour a meal to fit any special needs. From gluten free to custom tastes, Gentile’s Restaurant offers a unique dining experience.”
“If we keep it fresh, people will want to continue to come in and eat here,” Belair said.
The new building is a mansion compared to the Burnett Street building. It features a second floor, complete with a bar and a room that can host corporate events and wine tastings.
Gentile’s offers on- and off-site catering. If you decide you want to host a party at the restaurant, there are private rooms available.
“That’s a nice feature of the new building,” Belair said. “It truly allows us to expand our business.”
There’s weekly events, too, such as Bring Your Own Wine on Tuesday. You can have dinner with whatever wine you choose and there’s no corking fee. Wednesday is Quiz Kevin night, where patrons choose ingredients for Gentile to incorporate into a fresh dish. Thursday is Pasta Night, and Gentile offers 10 different pasta dishes to choose from, and it comes complete with a salad for $14.99.
Gentile summed up the move in a few confident words.
“We learned to adapt to this small kitchen,” he said. “Moving is just a new chapter in our book, which isn’t finished yet. I hope that it will have a happy ending, and I’m sure it will.
“This is just a boatload of fun.”
Neil Benjamin Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.