Monday brought word of northwest restaurant Carlyle's imminent--twelve more days to get your roasted sablefish or Gene Theile's beets--closure. Today, then, brings a little more word, from owner Bruce Goldberg himself. Eater tracked Goldberg down to ask him for a little more insight into what went down, what is going down, and what might go down, in the bright starry future. Happily for operatives, Goldberg not only answered questions, he asked them.
My greatest lesson? As many other owners will attest, Portland's dining scene is chef-driven. Without a chef-ownership stake, there is always a vulnerability. I've been lucky to have had some wonderful talent pass through these doors, although I would have preferred that the doors had swung a few less times. Both Dan Mondok [ed: who just opened Foster Burger] and Jake Martin [ed: heading to
the new Lucier Fenouil come February 15th] were/are great talents, and I'm proud to have helped them advance their careers.
What I'll miss? Sitting at my favorite bar with a Makers, watching the staff serving happy people.
My favorite and most valued employee? My dishwasher, Dany Martinez. As Dorothy said to the scarecrow, "I think I'll miss you the most".
Favorite customer? I have quite a few, but these stand out: The guy that ordered a hamburger and a bottle of $180.00 pinot. The woman that asked if we she could order the pork without the pork; (apparently she liked the sides, but wasn't much of a pork fancier). The street person that regularly charmed us out of the swedish fish we offered on the bar counter, and the 8 year old, whose penchant for Oysters and Foie Gras was a guarantee that we could expect her (and her parents) on a regular basis.
Best Memory? We had an employee retreat at the beach that corresponded with my birthday. Our pastry chef at the time (Steve Smith, very talented) made and presented a spectacular birthday cake, then the whole crew proceeded to get very drunk, and I managed to lose about $100 playing poker.
What my staff won't miss? The iPod playlist I forced them to endure for seven years.
Immediate goal? I'm hoping to sell the space. Have your people call my people, etc, etc.
Short term goal? Winding down my event production business. I have some good projects through May.
Long term goal? A new adventure!
· Carlyle to Close on Valentine's Day [EaterPDX]