aleks at la bete.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Aleks Dimitrtijevic, aka The Vapor, has worked for Ethan Stowell and John Sundstrom before opening La Bete.
La Bete is a

"/>

Wanna Open Your Own Restaurant? Get Ready To Work Your Ass Off

aleks at la bete.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Aleks Dimitrtijevic, aka The Vapor, has worked for Ethan Stowell and John Sundstrom before opening La Bete.
La Bete is a labor of love for co-chefs Aleks Dimitrtijevic and Tyler Moritz, but its teeny staff means the two are hands on, practically 24-7. Since they started the project last spring, it's been all consuming. The restaurant is open for dinner and weekend brunch and lunch is also in the future plans. Read part one of this week's Grillaxin to learn more.

SW: While reading your bios online, we noticed some funny nicknames. Aleks is The Vapor and Tyler's The Beastmaster. What's the story?

Tyler: That was kind of a joke when we put it up there, but we get asked about it a lot. There's really nothing to it. We did that to show we're not taking ourselves too seriously. We do have fine dining backgrounds and some of the dishes showcase that, but we're not pretentious.

SW: The menu looks great. What's the biggest hit so far?

Tyler: It's probably the crab gnocchi.

Aleks: The squash blossoms and the beet salad have been getting rave reviews. Unfortunately, those won't be on much longer.

SW: Are you selling many of those $75 steaks?

manuel and tyler.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Diners can chat with the chefs while they cook at La Bete.
Tyler: We actually took that off. It was meant for a group to come in and order and enjoy. We still have a steak on the menu, but it's a standard entrée size.

Aleks: The whole idea of the platters section of the menu is to encourage a more communal style of eating. That's an important part of being a neighborhood restaurant, to bring the neighborhood in and make them feel at home.

SW: Who's doing the pastries and desserts?

Aleks: We're making everything in-house. There are some variations on classics. We've got a traditional crème caramel and there's a banana split.

Tyler: Originally, we were planning on doing milkshakes and root beer floats for desserts. We're still figuring that stuff out.

SW: What about brunch?

Tyler: We just started brunch, so we're working that out as well. We started with about 12 items. We've got cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes. We've got egg dishes and some sandwiches and steak-frites.

SW: Aleks, what's your secret for baking a good cinnamon roll?

Aleks: I've worked in several pastry stations in several restaurants. It's not my training. It's much more precise. It requires more planning and a completely different mise en place, but it's really fun and rewarding. There's a lot of room to play and have fun. It's much more labor intensive.

SW: It sounds like you guys are working very hard. How many hours a week are you at the restaurant?

Tyler: Too many! Probably 75.

SW: And you're talking about adding lunch, too?

Tyler: Well, that's a ways down the road. And, we'll hire another person, hopefully.

Check back for part three of this week's Grillaxin for a recipe from La Bete's chefs.

 
comments powered by Disqus