If you’re in the mood for a new restaurant with a Mediterranean style menu then 51 Front Bistro might be the type of dinning you’re looking for. Last month, a local couple, Joe and Elena Marosek, bought the restaurant and reopened the Ballston Spa bistro. I was able to ask one of the owners, Joe Marosek, a few questions recently about his new purchase.
- How long have you been in the restaurant industry?
I have been in the profession since 2000. I graduated culinary school in 2001.
- How is it owning a restaurant with your wife?
It has been challenging to start up our own full service restaurant. The amount of detail going into each element of the business has become the overwhelming part. Starting up it was little “humps” to make it over, then in the month of June as we transitioned, those “hills” got bigger. Then after getting over one suddenly the finish line of our grand reopening was in sight, we ran a sprint and we nailed it. We form a good team.
- What is your favorite item on the menu at 51 Front?
We have the most fun with the starters on the menu. Many of them went through a metamorphosis from written thought to the finished dish. Most of them still have the ability to change as we develop our bar menu.
- What has been the most prestigious moment in your culinary career?
It was going to the Intercontinental Resort at Aphrodite Hills in Paphos, Cyprus. Our Executive Chef of the Meridien was brought there for the grand opening of the resort and he brought a team of chefs he chose with him. We were all-stars. We developed the culinary operations for several restaurants and large banqueting facilities. Chef Stephanos put together two cookbooks with his team and it featured our recipes from the hotel restaurants.
- Who has influenced you the most in your culinary travels?
My wife. We loved our travels together and we enjoy eating all along the way.
- Can you see you and your wife expanding the restaurant in the future?
Expanding operations is a goal that has been thought out and we have started taking steps to introduce growth in the restaurant. We will be active to be part of Ballston Spa’s “First Fridays,” and the “Concert in the Park,” series. Every first Sunday of every month we will be offering brunch.We will be creating food and drink specials as a Happy Hour. Our catering business will be able to grow right along with the restaurant too.
- Who is your favorite chef in the world?
My favorite chef is Gordan Ramsey and Mario Batali for celebrity chefs. Also I like Stephanos Chrysanthou, Ermis Panayotou and George Daminaou of Cyprus.
- If you can describe the menu of 51 Front in one word, what would it be?
- When did you first know that you wanted culinary arts to be your career?
- What are some of your favorite dishes to make at home for yourself?
Hamburgers, eggs, souffle, cypriot BBQ, steak and macaroni.