Monday, December 9, 2013
By Meredith Goad firstname.lastname@example.org
David Turin remembers the exact moment when he knew without a doubt that he would open a third restaurant.
David Turin will open Opus 10 in the existing David's in Portland.
Press Herald file
Turin, the chef/owner of David's in Portland's Monument Square and David's 388 in South Portland, was preparing a special multi-course dinner at the Kennebunkport Festival when one of the guests started raving about the meal. She said she had never been to Turin's restaurant before, but would have to go there now.
"And I thought to myself, 'and you'll be so disappointed. This isn't what we do.' " Turin recalled.
Rumors have been circulating for a while now that Turin wanted to open a third restaurant that would focus solely on fine dining, but he has kept the details so quiet that some people have booked holiday parties at the new place without even knowing what kind of restaurant it will be or where it will be located.
Turin obviously relished letting the cat out of the bag during an interview at David's last week.
So, what's the big secret? Where's the new place?
"It's right there," the chef said with a big smile on his face, as he pointed to a small room in the back of the restaurant that has been used for private dinners. "It's behind that wall."
Yes, the new restaurant will be inside David's -- a restaurant within a restaurant.
David's Opus 10 will be an 18-seat restaurant with its own independent, open kitchen and a fixed price, multi-course menu. Seven courses will be served Tuesday through Thursday, and nine courses on Friday and Saturday. Turin is hoping to open the place by the first week in November, depending on how well renovations go.
Bo Byrne, currently the chef de cuisine at David's 388, will be moving to David's to cook with Turin at the new place. Carlos Tirado, who has been sous chef at the South Portland restaurant for the past two-and-a-half years, will take Byrne's place there.
Turin said he's been toying with the idea of a new place for about a year and a half, searching all over town for just the right space. Then he realized that he could save money on rent, heat, light, administrative costs and other bills by using the function/special event room at David's, which is now in the middle of extensive renovations.
"It takes huge pressure off financially, and it just opens the door creatively enormously because then you don't have to pander to 'How are we going to get people in the door?' " he said. "I'm going to do the restaurant I always wanted to do, and I'm not going to have all this financial pressure hanging over my head."
Turin hopes to pass some of the savings along to his guests. The price point for a multi-course David's Opus 10 menu will be around $55, with wine pairings optional.
While David's caters to the business lunch crowd and concert-goers who pop in for a bite before a show, Turin says his new place will be "a very foodie restaurant."
The chef worries that some people will think they'll just be paying higher prices for the same broad-appeal food they get at David's.
"One of the elements that I think is really key is that as you walk in, you will see the Opus 10 kitchen, and you will see that it is a separate entity inside," he said.
The renovations will include some sound proofing so the noise of David's doesn't spill over into the new place.
Why "David's Opus 10?" That's a nod to the fact that this will be Turin's 10th restaurant.
Turin celebrated his 30th anniversary in the restaurant business this summer, and it's made him a little introspective.
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