Just got off the blower with Curt Steinbecker (that's him in the funny hat up there, standing beside his wife, Deicy) of Ondo's, the Spanish tapas restaurant that I've been waiting forever for at 250 Steele Street (in the former home of French 250).
Okay, so maybe it hasn't quite been forever, but it's certainly seemed that way. The sign they've had out front -- the one that says "Opening This Fall"? That thing has been taunting me, filling my head with dreams of patatas bravas, little fried anchovies, albondigas and bacalao.
But now Ondo's has set a solid opening date. Supposedly. According to Curt, Ondo's will be doing a soft-open next Monday, November 23, followed by a full opening the very next day. As of this afternoon, he was missing just one last inspection -- the one required for his liquor license. And after that? He and Deicy are good to go.
"We're gonna finally start cooking tomorrow," he told me when I asked whether he had a menu set -- insisting that he had a rough draft of a board (one that'll include tapas, cazuelitas, salads, large plates, breads and desserts), but saying he couldn't be sure precisely what would make the final menu until he got behind the stoves.
And for the time being, that's where he and Deicy will be staying. "We're going to be in the kitchen," he said. And while, someday, Deicy plans to back off a bit and stand as a prep cook (giving her time to watch the couple's new baby), "I hope to always be in the kitchen," Curt told me.
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Just five days out from opening? I'm guessing Curt's wish is going to come true.