Equipment and tabletop supplied by Singer Equipment Company
Specifying team: Dennis DeCicco, Joseph Steckmeister, Alexander Selig
Teamwork makes the dream work, they say, and so does thoughtful collaboration.
“Is it up to the standards that you would put your name on it? That’s what we expect from our team,” says DeCicco, Project Director.
A name was certainly on the line at Hunter Restaurant in Long Island. Executive Chef and Owner Hunter Wells’ signature is not just on the façade of the building in East Norwich, but on the dinnerware and face masks donned by waitstaff during service. It was equally important that the flow and utility of the Hunter kitchen also had his signature.
For this, Wells and business partner Adam Rand of AGR Hospitality enlisted Next Step Design.
“There are parts of this kitchen that express that this place is the home and job of the owner,” says Wells.
Rand agrees: “You walk into the kitchen and it doesn’t just look like stoves and burners. It feels like a piece of art.”
One such detail is the bright aquamarine tile backsplash behind the line, only visible to guests in the moments when the kitchen door swings open during the flow of service. This was another team decision made possible with the consultation of Bentel & Bentel, the architecture firm that designed Hunter Restaurant.
“It’s becoming a trend in back of house kitchens to give a little bit of a moment,” says Leif Billings, Vice President for the Northeast Division for Next Step Design. “Most kitchens are very industrial and white. If you’re lucky, you might get subway tile. Putting a little color here and there certainly creates a more exciting work environment.”
There’s excitement aplenty with the equipment that Next Step Design specified for this project. A custom Jade cooking suite sits flush against the wall, with the broiler at center, a unique configuration which has proven instrumental in the success of Hunter’s menu, inspired by old world French and Mediterranean cuisine.
“You’ll always feel safe in Hunter’s restaurant,” says Billings. Clean lines and fixtures were a cornerstone of Hunter’s original vision, even before the pandemic hit.
The menu is approachable and inspires guests to treat themselves to dishes sculpted around the Chef’s local purveyors.
“People want the classics. We’re delivering that to them,” says Adam Rand of AGR Hospitality. “We’ve been able to source and work with great vendors paired with great equipment, like our Jade broiler that achieves that great char. I think that’s where Jade was a big plus for us. We felt that was where money should be spent.”
In addition to the equipment, many of Hunter’s kitchen smallwares and entire tabletop specification was supplied by Singer Equipment Company. The custom dinnerware (with Hunter’s signature as the restaurant’s logo) is Stella by Villeroy & Boch, pairing with Sambonet’s Baguette range to provide a polished setting. The robust wines by the glass and cocktail program is complimented by a suite of Steelite stemware.
“Having a company like Singer that’s end-to-end was important especially for our first restaurant. It worked out really well,” says Rand.
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