clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chef Frank Bonanno and the Tragic Truth of Restaurant Buzzwords

"Our cocktail list will be a series of mixologist interpretations of the French 75 (and a "secret" bar menu with additional, even Frencher French 75s for those in the know)."

Frank Bonanno
Frank Bonanno
As You Wish Colorado

Earlier this week, Frank Bonanno, shared details about his upcoming project, French 75, a casual French bistro to open in Downtown DenverOn his personal blog, the chef whose group now includes ten restaurants, went into painful detail about what he has in store for the Mile High City. A Portlandia-like spoof, the restaurateur's lengthy description tells the tale of gimmicky buzzwords and hipster-infused marketing strategies that are all too common. Without further ado, in his own words:

Here I sit, about to post an ad for a Master Ecailler for an upcoming bistro venture, it occurred to me that when I was recently interviewed about this project, I left out some of my intentions. I love opening restaurants (I really do), and here's what I'm thinking for the soon-to-be French 75.

The menu will be nothing short of miraculous. No one in our entire solar system will have ever seen anything like it. I'm relying on the skills of a fromagier-a title my team and I conceived, who is currently living in a tunnel beneath the Sixteenth Street Mall, acclimating her cheeses to the unique molds of the Colorado subterranean environment. She's sourcing the milk from a small herd of cattle I imported from Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, currently living in my back yard on a diet of plum tree remnants and snow dusted dandelions. After they've fulfilled our dairy needs, I intend to off them for our daily Boeuf Bourguignon. Know, though, that for the last three months of their lives, those cows will be gently massaged with unfiltered coconut oil so that their hides will gain the suppleness to be properly tooled into kitchen aprons. Every ingredient has been carefully considered. Even the escargot will be raised on sorrel mold alone, and daily tickled with blades of grass after a morning shower in two-hour dew.

As homage to both our neighborhood and the nation that's inspiring this venue, the French 75 wine list will be a unique combination of Loire Valley and Denver wines. Nothing on the wine list will predate 1998, so as to feature (to quote Navin Johnson) "only fresh wine and none of that old stuff." Of the 17 tap beers, 17 will be stouts, as a nod to our location on Seventeenth and Stout. Our cocktail list will be a series of mixologist interpretations of the French 75 (and a "secret" bar menu with additional, even Frencher French 75s for those in the know).

Instead of subway tile, I've sourced genuine subway manhole covers to line the kitchen from floor to ceiling, which can be cross-utilized as event platters and removed after service for Game of Thrones cosplay. The subway motif continues (with a wink to my hometown) in an intimate dining area I've had re-imagined from a New Jersey Port Authority bathroom stall. For the plateware, each dish is intended to bear the mark of a local artist, so I'm asking a small team of Colorado celebrities to literally throw clay - throw it and sit on it - to be baked in our specially commissioned food-clay ovens. Your food, on their special imprints, and to really bring that Paris inspiration home, we are importing bushels of poodle dung for buskers to daily stamp into the morning sidewalks as they smoke old cigarettes.

Speaking of service, though I wasn't, I love the notion of "Hospitality-Theater." Upon entering French 75, diners can expect a warm hug and two air kisses. Our maitre ‘d will then lock elbows with you and your guests as you are escorted through the dining room, with a brief pause before our open line. Here, chefs take a moment to powerfully lock eyes with each diner, so as to better mentally assess food aversions and overall dining temperament. We anticipate several staff wardrobe changes during the course of each meal, thematically representing various menu items.

In fact, this past year, key members of my team and I have been traveling a great deal to prepare for French 75. Emily just returned from her honeymoon in San Diego; Tim spent nearly a year in Australia; Liza is about to head to a wedding in Miami, and I myself have gone to New York, Las Vegas, and Maui. I think, as a team, we are all ready and excited for this next phase of our restaurateurship!
And honestly, we can't wait to see you there!

**a footnote: Honestly, I do love opening restaurants. I love to cook.. This is exciting stuff for me, I just wanted to take a moment to make fun of myself because I know I maybe get carried away discussing this business of cooking and feeding. Here is what I really aim to do:

serve the tastiest food I can cook,

with the finest people I can hire,

to cultivate the coolest clients ever.

I really hope to see you there**

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Denver newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world