still is trying to put his
finger on the culinary pulse of the area, but he's
starting to feel the beat. The executive chief at The Drake, 106 Washington St., has created a new menu at the restaurant, which opened in June 2003 on the Burlington riverfront.
Gone are the steaks priced by the ounce, while additions include baked pasta dishes and a variety of seafood options. "We try to offer something no one else has in town," said Reis, who came on board as chef about five months ago. Reis is a certified executive chef and certified culinary educator with the American Culinary Federation, most recently teaching cooking at Arts Institutes International in Minnesota. He
relocated to Burlington with his
wife, Lori Denney, who will be serving as assistant general manager at the Comfort Suites
being built on Burlington's south side. Reis
said popular items such as elk and buffalo remain staples on the two-week-old menu, noting that the revamping of steak pricing has already made them a more popular selection.
"It was confusing for the customers," he
said."Now, we can hardly keep up on the broiler." Reis has teamed with Ron Kastner, Joe Jolin and John Russell to head up operations at the restaurant since the departure of Doug Coyle, a longtime Burlington restaurateur who was among the founders of the restaurant.
said creating a niche in the southeast Iowa customer base takes some getting used to.Unlike the steady stream of customers he
was accustomed to in Minneapolis, the Burlington restaurant sees its dinner business comes in spurts.
But the lunch crowd, Reis
said, has been steady, noting there are a fair number of regulars at The Drake
also plans to use his
education background in the coming months.