Peter Ryan found a place of his own -- but turning it into The Plimoth was a challenge

Last winter, Peter Ryan, former executive chef/instructor at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, inked a deal on an out-of-the-way space in North City Park that he felt was just right for the neighborhood eatery he dreamed of opening -- in what happened to be his own neighborhood. But the nearly century-old space was about as far from move-in ready as it gets. See also: Chef Peter Ryan opens The Plimoth in north City Park

It took Ryan, his kitchen crew and even neighborhood workers some nine months to transform what had most recently been a storage-unit assembly area and, much earlier, a drugstore, into the restaurant it is now. While the long buildout was worth it, it meant time away from the kitchen, which Ryan says left him feeling rusty when The Plimoth opened in November.

"We forgot how to cook," jokes Ryan. "I could tell you how to work with drywall, but my knife skills were terrible."

Find out if cooking is like riding a bicycle -- once you learn, you never really forget -- when my review of the Plimoth is posted at tomorrow.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz