“It will say, ‘Now tasting’ and list upcoming events with dates,” says Tim Petrillo of the Restaurant People, the Fort Lauderdale culinary outfit that recently launched the concept. “It’s kind of cool.”
TRP Taste is more like an experimental “black-box culinary theater” than a traditional restaurant, Petrillo says, a food lab and intimate, 24-seat dining room that will showcase visiting chefs, cooking classes and themed, one-off multicourse dinners. Unlike the Restaurant People’s other popular restaurants — including Yolo, Boatyard and S3 — it will not be open every night but only three or four times a month.
The event lineup in January and February includes a snout-to-tail pig dinner created by house chef Chris Miracolo (Jan. 20), a Revolucion tequila dinner (Jan. 24), an evening with “Hunger Diaries” food blogger Lindsay Greene (Feb. 10) and a Valentine’s Day “aphrodisiac dinner” (Feb. 14). The initial events will range in price from $79 to $150 per person, plus tax and tip. Some dinners will include wine or alcohol, others will offer wine pairings for an optional supplement. Reservations are required, with tickets booked online and paid in advance. Diners can choose to sit along the chef’s counter or at a family-style table in the dining room.
“This does not make any sense as a business, but it will give us a chance to pull things off that we could never try at a regular restaurant,” Petrillo says.
Located on the ground floor of 1 W. Las Olas Boulevard with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow passersby to peek in, TRP Taste is a multipurpose venue. The kitchen provides food for the Rooftop at 1WLO, a bar and lounge atop the building that opened last fall and overlooks downtown Fort Lauderale. The space also serves as a testing and recipe kitchen for the Restaurant People, whose headquarters is nearby. And TRP Taste will be available for private dinners and corporate events.
The first visiting chef will not have to travel very far: Local favorite Paula DaSilva from Burlock Coast at the Fort Lauderdale beach Ritz-Carlton will prepare a special dinner on Feb. 3. “She’ll be doing things that she doesn’t get to do at Burlock Coast,” Petrillo says. He says chefs from Chicago and other cities will soon be announced for upcoming dates. Menus will be listed on the website as they become available.
“It will be similar to shows and concerts at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts,” Petrillo says. “We’ll always be announcing new events. ... I’ll let you know in a year if this was a good idea.”
The launch of TRP Taste marks the start of another busy year for the Restaurant People, which also operates Tarpon Bend and Spatch Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken. Tarpon River Brewing, a craft brewery in partnership with Julian and Lisa Siegel (Riverside Market) and Adam Fine (Native Brewing) is expected to open in February. Township, a casual restaurant in the former site of the Tilted Kilt on South Andrews Avenue, is scheduled to open in the spring. And a second location of Spatch is slated for downtown Fort Lauderdale, near the Fresh Market and Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, with an anticipated May opening.