What is Thestaurant?
Thestaurant is a fine dining establishment known for its innovative take on classic dishes using locally-sourced ingredients. Located in the heart of downtown, Thestaurant has earned a reputation as one of the city’s premier culinary destinations.
Founded in 2005 by acclaimed Chef Jean-Pierre Dubois, Thestaurant seeks to provide guests with a memorable gourmet experience. The menu celebrates seasonal and regional flavors while also incorporating modern cooking techniques and presentation. Thestaurant also prides itself on its elegant yet inviting dining room, stellar service, and exceptional wine list.
Over the past decade, Thestaurant has become renowned for its creativity and excellence. Food critics consistently praise Chef Dubois’ talents in the kitchen along with the inviting ambiance. Thestaurant has received numerous accolades including the AAA Five Diamond Award and a Michelin star.
History and Background
Jean-Pierre Dubois embarked on his culinary education in France, training under some of the country’s most prestigious chefs. After working in acclaimed kitchens throughout Europe, Dubois eventually moved stateside. He spent years perfecting his craft as a sous chef and executive chef in Los Angeles and New York.
With a growing reputation, Dubois decided to open his restaurant focused on his philosophy of “clean, simple flavors.” Thestaurant debuted in 2005 to great fanfare, including being named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants by Food & Wine.
Over the next few years, Thestaurant quickly cemented itself as the place to dine for special occasions in town. Zagat and Michelin consistently awarded it high honors. Dubois also earned the James Beard Award for Best Chef.
Today, Dubois continues to oversee Thestaurant’s seasonal menus along with an in-house culinary team trained in his techniques. While he works closely each day on creating new dishes, Dubois has become an international celebrity chef often traveling for appearances. However, the excellence and service Thestaurant first became known for remain unchanged.
Menu and Cuisine
Type of Cuisine
Chef Dubois describes the food at Thestaurant as contemporary French-American cuisine. Dishes exhibit both European techniques and regional American ingredients. Menus change seasonally to highlight the freshest local produce, seafood, meats, and herbs available. While classic French preparations like sauces, soufflés, and tarts are found on menus, the food also takes inspiration from across the globe.
Some standout dishes synonymous with Thestaurant include:
- Pan-Seared Scallops with Truffle Celery Root Puree – This appetizer features juicy scallops served with rich puree and celery root chips.
- Duck Breast with Cherry Sauce – The duck is cooked sous-vide to tender perfection and served with a tangy cherry demi-glace.
- Filet Mignon with Bone Marrow Butter – Premium filet mignon is grilled and topped with decadent bone marrow butter.
- Maple Creme Brulee – A classic creme brulee infused with maple syrup and topped with a brittle sugary coating.
Thestaurant boasts one of the most acclaimed wine lists in the region with over 500 labels represented from around the world. Guests can choose from several sommelier-selected wine pairings to complement the seasonal tasting menus. Wine enthusiasts will appreciate the cellar of rare French wines dating back decades.
In addition to wine, the bar menu includes original handcrafted cocktails using artisanal liquors, housemade bitters, and fresh ingredients. Some specialty options include the Perfect Pear martini and the Spiced Plum Manhattan. For non-alcoholic choices, the menu has homemade sodas, fresh juices, teas, and sparkling waters.
The dessert menu at Thestaurant is a must for any sweets lover. Options rotate but often include:
- Crème brûlée – Rich vanilla custard topped with burnt caramelized sugar.
- Molten lava cake – Decadent chocolate cake with an oozing hot fudge center.
- Crêpes suzette – Orange liqueur-infused crêpes prepared tableside.
- A trio of sorbets – A refreshing medley of fruit-based sorbets.
- Seasonal tarts – Petite fruit tarts with flavors like lemon meringue or mixed berries.
- Artisan cheese plate – A selection of imported French cheeses served with fruit, nuts, and crackers.
Interior Design and Ambience
Decor and Theme
Stepping inside Thestaurant’s intimate dining room immediately evokes the sensation of being in a French country cottage. The interior features warm wood, antique brick, and signature cobalt blue accents. Tables are draped with crisp white linens and fresh floral arrangements.
Flickering candles create a soft romantic glow throughout the space. The focal point is a massive stone hearth along one wall housing a fireplace. Original paintings and photographs decorate the walls, most capturing pastoral vineyard scenes from the French countryside.
The cozy, inviting decor transports patrons to the wine regions of France. Every detail exudes Parisian charm right down to the fleur-de-lis patterned china. During holidays, seasonal decorations like fresh garland and lights add a festive flair.
The main dining room accommodates approximately 60 guests at a time. Most seating consists of two and four-top tables, many tucked into intimate alcoves ideal for romantic dinners. A chef’s table located right in front of the bustling kitchen provides multi-course tasting menu experiences. The bar area has additional high-top tables for more casual walk-in diners.
During warmer months, the outside patio opens doubling seating capacity. The lush courtyard is decorated with string lights, trellises, and greenery. A special Occasion Room provides a 20-person private dining space for events like rehearsal dinners, birthdays, and proposals.
Music and Entertainment
Throughout dinner service, live piano jazz sets a sophisticated yet unobtrusive tone. On Friday and Saturday nights, the music evolves into light live bands playing French standards after the dinner rush. Occasionally, the restaurant will host special wine dinners and prix fixe meals paired with music from acclaimed local musicians spanning genres like classical, blues, and folk.
Service and Hospitality
Reservations and Wait Times
Reservations are strongly recommended, especially on weekends. Most diners book their tables weeks in advance. Walk-ins are accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis depending on availability. Wait times can extend past two hours for prime dining times without a reservation.
Guests can make reservations directly through the website up to 30 days out or by phone. Thestaurant also takes reservations through services like OpenTable. Same-day reservations may be accommodated by calling directly or walk-in if space allows.
Staff Training and Expertise
Thestaurant’s impeccable hospitality begins with intensive staff training. Servers must complete a certification program on the cuisine, wine, and service standards. Ongoing wine seminars mean the waitstaff is extremely knowledgeable about pairing recommendations. The team can describe ingredients, cooking techniques, and the provenance of any menu item in detail.
Top-tier customer service is ensured by only hiring experienced servers with a passion for the culinary arts. Staff are expected to provide timing guidance, offer menu suggestions, and accommodate special requests. Managers conduct regular service role-playing as well.
Accommodations for Special Requests
Thestaurant aims to surpass expectations with customized dining experiences. Patrons should inform staff upon booking if they have any food allergies or restrictions. Chef Dubois is happy to alter dishes so anyone with dietary needs like vegan, gluten-free, or low sodium can enjoy the innovative cuisine.
Other special touches like flowers, cakes, or menu personalizations can be arranged for celebrations by speaking with management ahead of time. On anniversaries, the sommelier will select special vintage wines and the kitchen may send an additional complimentary dessert.
Technology and Innovation
Mobile Apps and Online Ordering
In 2016, Thestaurant unveiled a custom mobile app for iOS and Android allowing patrons to make reservations 24/7 from their phone. Users can also access menus, get directions, contact customer service, and view upcoming events.
For corporate catering or local delivery, online ordering is available through Thestaurant and popular third-party apps. Guests can order individual items, platters, or full meals for delivery or pickup. Contactless curbside to-go service is available as well.
Thestaurant accepts major credit cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay for in-person payments. For mobile orders and deliveries, customers can pay online through the app. Thestaurant does not accept cash payments.
Use of Technology in the Kitchen
Behind the scenes, Thestaurant’s kitchen utilizes cutting-edge culinary technology to achieve perfection. Digital sous-vide water baths allow proteins like steak and salmon to cook low and low at precise temperatures. Combination ovens combine features like convection, steam, and microwave cooking in one unit.
Chef Dubois employs a full-time R&D chef to continually experiment with new kitchen gadgets for use in recipes. Technology allows the culinary team to gain more consistency and control over the cooking process. However, traditional techniques like proper knife skills remain essential.
Sustainability and Social Responsibility
Sourcing of Ingredients
From day one, Thestaurant has been committed to sourcing ingredients in ethical and sustainable ways. Seafood adheres to Seafood Watch guidelines and only wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish are used. Beef and lamb come from free-range, grass-fed, hormone-free herds.
Produce is sourced from local organic farms and purveyors within 150 miles. Menu items shift based on the seasonal availability of ingredients. Everything from the arugula to the duck breast reflects the flavors of the region.
Waste Reduction Efforts
Thestaurant has implemented numerous policies to prevent food waste and operate an eco-friendly establishment. Composting and recycling programs ensure nothing from the kitchen ends up in landfills.
Water conservation comes from using recycled water during food prep along with drought-tolerant landscaping outside. Energy-efficient appliances, recycled materials in decor, and partnerships with green vendors complete Thestaurant’s sustainability mission.
Community Outreach and Philanthropy
Since opening, Thestaurant has made community involvement and giving back core tenets of its culture. Chef Dubois and his team frequently host complimentary cooking demos and tastings for various charitable groups. They also cater complimentary meals to those in need during the holidays.
Thestaurant also runs ongoing mentorship programs to provide training and internships for disadvantaged youth and aspiring chefs. These initiatives aim to open doors for those dreaming of culinary careers. Patrons can recommend charities or groups for Thestaurant to support via an online submission form.
Awards and Acclaim
Reviews and Ratings
Critics and diners widely hail Thestaurant as a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience. Acclaimed food writer James Oliver called it “the epitome of dining excellence” after his first visit. Since opening, Thestaurant has maintained top ratings across all platforms:
- Yelp – 5 out of 5 Stars based on 2,000+ reviews
- TripAdvisor – 5 out of 5 from 1,500+ opinions
- Zagat – 29 out of 30 food rating
- Michelin Guide – Awarded one Michelin Star
Its sterling reputation for food and hospitality sets diners’ expectations high – and Thestaurant never disappoints. Reservations are booked months in advance.
Accolades and Write-Ups
The Thestaurant and Chef Dubois have been showered with honors since day one including:
- AAA Five Diamond Award since 2012
- Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star rating for 15 consecutive years
- Wine Spectator Best of Excellence of the Award of Excellence every year since 2008
- Featured annually in Openable’s Top 100 Best Restaurants lists
- Voted “Best Fine Dining” by local newspapers for the past decade straight
Due to its premier status in the community, Thestaurant attracts celebrity diners regularly. Patrons can often spot professional athletes, musicians, actors, and politicians dining at the chef’s table.
Some notable names spotted over the years include Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, Meryl Streep, George Clooney, Steph Curry, and the Obamas during the presidency. Thestaurant maintains discreet service without disturbing stars.
Location and Hours
Address and Neighborhood
Thestaurant’s tree-lined street in the heart of downtown offers a quaint escape amid the bustling urban setting. Just blocks from the riverfront, it stays conveniently walkable for tourists while retaining a local neighborhood vibe.
Street parking and rideshares make Thestaurant easy to reach. But its location feels tucked away from heavy traffic and crowds, especially on the idyllic patio.
Parking and Transportation
Since parking downtown is limited, most guests rely on rideshares, taxis, public transit, or hotel cars to arrive hassle-free. Valet parking is available nightly for $15 per car. Street parking in the area is mostly metered or residential permit-only during peak times.
Options like the bus, light rail, and subway also stop near Thestaurant’s intersection. Walking from downtown hotels is possible as well since the restaurant sits centrally.
Hours of Operation
The Thestaurant serves dinner nightly at the following hours:
- Monday – Thursday from 5:00 to 10:00 pm
- Friday – Saturday from 5:00 to 11:00 pm
- Closed on Sundays
The bar remains open for cocktails and small plates until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Thestaurant offers both indoor and patio seating in all seasons except for major holidays when they close.
What is the dress code at Thestaurant?
Thestaurant requires smart casual attire including collared shirts for men and elegant dresses or pantsuits for women. Casual jeans and T-shirts are not permitted, but a jacket is not required.
What is the average price per person at Thestaurant?
Dinner entrees range from $40 to $60 per person. With appetizers, desserts, and drinks, the average guest spends around $100 to $150 per person. The chef’s tasting menu costs $225 with wine pairings.
Do children require a separate reservation?
Yes, Thestaurant requests that parties with children under 12 book a separate reservation in the main dining room. No children under 10 are allowed at the chef’s counter or in private rooms.
When should I book my reservation?
Booking as far in advance as possible is highly recommended, especially for prime dining nights and times. Reservations at least 2 to 4 weeks prior are ideal for weekends.
Can I request food substitutions or modifications?
Yes, please notify the staff upon booking regarding any dietary restrictions, allergies, or preferences. The kitchen will make reasonable accommodations.
In the ever-evolving culinary landscape, few restaurants manage to combine consistency and innovation quite like Thestaurant. Chef Dubois has created more than a world-class menu – he’s designed an incomparable dining experience fueled by creativity and excellence.
From sensational seasonal cuisine to luxurious decor and impeccable hospitality, Thestaurant remains worthy of its accolades. Anyone looking for that special destination to commemorate life’s greatest moments will find Thestaurant fits the bill, thanks to Chef Dubois’ unrelenting vision.
Booking a coveted table demonstrates great forethought and taste. Beyond just dinner, Thestaurant crafts once-in-a-lifetime memories with the power of truly transcendent food and wine. No matter the occasion, Thestaurant promises an evening that will delight every sense while being utterly delicious.
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