Describe your establishment...
The Fireplace is a contemporary New England grill. Food is procured from local farmers and fisherman, as a celebration of the bounty of the region. With a wood-burning fireplace, a stone hearth and an all-American wine list, The Fireplace marries rustic simplicity with an urban sophistication.
How does turkey fit in with the scheme of your operation?
Promoting indigenous foods of our region, nothing defines New England more than Turkey. While lobster and shellfish also conjure-up notions of local cuisine, Turkey is far more accessible. Turkey is well received as a familiar meat. It is low in fat, and can be perceived either as a "lighter" option than other entrées, or as satisfying comfort food.
How do you currently menu turkey?
Turkey is regularly featured on The Fireplace menu. While usually Turkey is center of the plate, other times it is prominently woven into dishes - such as Turkey Pot Pie with Cranberry Orange Relish or Poached Eggs with Turkey Hash and Country Gravy. Turkey generally can be found on our brunch, lunch and dinner menus.
What are the compelling points that make turkey adaptable for lunch and dinner dishes?
Turkey is always a welcome choice for our guests, whether for lunch or dinner. The affordable price-point and universal appeal render turkey an easy sell, regardless of meal period. Currently at dinner we serve Pan-Roasted Turkey Breast with Caramelized Onion Gravy, Mushroom Bread Pudding, and Pear-Turnip Gratin. While at lunch one of our biggest sellers is Smoked Turkey Club rolled in a Rhode Island Johnnycake with Baby Greens.
Why do you think your patrons order these turkey items?
Our Turkey dishes sell well because they sound delicious when described on the menu. And are priced right. Most Americans have positive, nostalgic notions that revolve around Turkey dinners. The chance to enjoy a dish your family relegates to special occasions, on a regular day of the week is welcome. And, because some people love Turkey, but have a relative that dries the dish-out on family occasions, customers enjoy knowing that the Turkey will be cooked correctly. And, for lunch I believe people like Turkey's versatility combined with its low-fat content.
From a business perspective, as the owner of The Fireplace, why do you include turkey on your menu (food cost, versatility, consumer demand, etc)?
Turkey fulfills many aspects of The Fireplace. Conceptually, Turkey helps the restaurant defines itself. It underscores our New England heritage. Flavor-wise, we enjoy doing justice to this full-flavored bird that can be prepared in a variety of ways. Whether brining and spit-roasting, smoking, grilling or confit, the results are always successful.
The affordability of turkey makes it a welcome component in a menu mix. Its positive effect on food cost always helps. And, the demand, whether for brunch, in a sandwich for lunch or as a dinner entrée, is consistently strong.
When thinking about other proteins you serve why did you choose turkey for this menu item as opposed to chicken, beef or pork?
This question is easy. Who doesn't miss Thanksgiving dinner all year long? I certainly do. We wanted to give people the opportunity they yearn for to savor these flavors. So, no one has to wait for Thanksgiving. At The Fireplace, we have learned that Americans love Turkey year-round.
With the recent push in the industry for healthy menu options and the release of the revised Government Food Guidelines in 2005, how does turkey help you meet this growing consumer demand?
There is no doubt, that Turkey is known to be a healthy menu option. Besides customers enjoying the flavor, we certainly sell a tremendous amount of turkey at all times of day and regardless of season. As people make a concerted effort to eat more healthful meals, Turkey is certainly part of the answer.
How do you use the web as a tool in your work?
We actively employ our web site www.fireplacerest.com. I am interested in using the web to source local turkey growers. I imagine curious diners who value our commitment to what's fresh and local would enjoy trying locally grown turkey at The Fireplace.
Do you use the NTF web site as a resource?
I have been on the site once before. It was particularly well done. I was pleasantly surprised with its professional look.
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