Plates on plates: An ever-changing menu is The Restorative's specialty

Launched last month, the Dunedin eatery's chef-owners pride themselves on creativity — and variety.

click to enlarge Inside the cozy-casual dining room of The Restorative, new to Dunedin. - The Restorative
The Restorative
Inside the cozy-casual dining room of The Restorative, new to Dunedin.

A casual neighborhood restaurant with an ever-changing menu opened its doors June 1 near downtown Dunedin. The Restorative, located at 420 Patricia Ave., is the result of Erin Plunkett and Jason Borajkiewicz’s efforts to bring something new to the area.

“We want the Dunedin food scene to be the best that it can be,” Borajkiewicz said. “We want to see new things happening that people can be excited about.”

The couple, both owners and chefs of The Restorative, have been cooking together for seven years. They met while working seasonally in the kitchen of Topper’s in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Since then, they’ve gathered more kitchen experience in Martha’s Vineyard.

“Most of our dishes are a collaboration of both of our ideas,” said Plunkett.

The 875-square-foot eatery features an open kitchen with a butcher-block countertop that’s lined with six bar stools for guests eager to sit and watch the chefs serve up brunch, lunch and dinner. Total, there are four tables, as well as a loveseat — in case you're someone who prefers a more relaxed seating arrangement. Borajkiewicz says he hopes their intimate setting creates an experience where people can linger and savor each bite, rather than feel rushed to finish a meal.

“Smaller plates,” “larger plates” and “sweeter plates” make up the food menu, ranging from scallop ceviche with popcorn, seaweed salsa verde and jalapeno to tres leches cake with blueberry compote, sweet corn and coconut. The chef-owners pride themselves on not repeating the same dishes over and over, which allows them to get creative and specialize in variety.

click to enlarge A plate of blue cheese pasta. - The Restorative
The Restorative
A plate of blue cheese pasta.

Beer, wine and house-made sodas are offered on the drinks side. The duo is also excited to expand their oenophile appeal with the help of Sully Bernard, a seasoned sommelier who’s started planning the wine list for this month’s pairing dinner, scheduled for July 29. A new Restorative wine dinner takes place the last Saturday of every month.

Yes, their doors opened over a month ago. But Plunkett and Borajkiewicz say they’ve received great feedback from diners, particularly because of their location.

“People like having an option of dining that is not right downtown,” Plunkett said. “We are a little off the beaten path for the locals who don’t want to have to go downtown.”

Aside from adding a fresh dining spot to Dunedin’s restaurant roster, The Restorative aims to do what its name says.

“The original restaurants in France were called restoratives, because people went there when they were feeling ill to get soups and stocks to make them feel better,” according to Borajkiewicz. “We want people to come here and feel restored.”

The Restorative operates between noon and 3 p.m. for lunch — reopening for dinner service from 5 to 9 p.m. — Tuesday through Saturday. On Sunday, brunch is available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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