With many cities and states pausing or stepping back in their reopenings, the restaurant industry is again facing a reduction in business and a shift back to outdoor only dining and takeout and delivery.

While many restaurants are struggling with the day-to-day operations, others are using the opportunity to be more creative and implement new menus, designs and concepts in order to continue attracting loyal patrons as well as new guests.

One such restaurant group that is creatively testing new concepts is Ocean Prime. The collection of 16 restaurants, part of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and which are located in major cities around the country, is celebrating its associates and has just unveiled a new Pairing Menu which is a result of a leadership development program undertaken last fall.

The Ocean Prime team selected dining room managers and sous chefs from each Ocean Prime location to participate in an immersive opportunity. It was a four-prong experience – a trip to the California wine country for research, menu development and education, a trip to the company’s Columbus headquarters to spend time learning from the leadership team, then creating the menu promotion and bringing it to life.

The team of associates created the dishes with items from a Farmer’s Market they visited and paired them with wines that they learned about and tasted together in California.

The menu, which features seasonal fare, is available as a 3-course experience, a la carte, or for carryout at all Ocean Prime restaurants. Offered through Labor Day, the menu includes:

Sonoma Heirloom Tomato Salad paired with a Blank Stare Sauvignon Blanc by Orin Swift Cellars;

Pacific Halibut paired with Kali Hart Chardonnay by Talbott, and;

Peaches and Cream compote paired with J Brut Sparkling Rose by J Vineyard.

The company’s Young Leaders program has been in existence for several years, but this is the first time Ocean Prime has undertaken an associate-led menu creation. According to Gretchen Moore, senior marketing manager, “This is so special for us and really reflects the culture of CMR. We’re thrilled to share some good news during this challenging time and showcase our talented culinary team as well as bring a delicious summer menu to our loyal guests.”

Columbus, Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has 37 award-winning restaurants under 16 different concepts, including the Ocean Prime brand.

Industry News, Menu Innovations