Gastronomos | Sep 17, 201905:37 AM    

Tom Schaudel sells his crown Jewel.


Tom Schaudel states, “between Yelp and Facebook and trying to hire good people, it’s not as much fun to run a restaurant anymore.”

I assume the Tri-State restaurant club on Facebook, with 65 Thousand members, mostly on Long Island, and a huge powerhouse of kvetching, is overshadowing the known bias of Yelp and its "reviews", locally at least, and is a nuisance to the backtracking of chef/owners trying to "have fun" and "hire good people".

Pulling the wool over the eyes of an unsuspecting public isn't as much fun anymore. An educated consumer can easily see through the smoke and mirrors.
The adage, "the customer is always right" isn't easy to accommodate anymore.
Is it the hard-to-find kitchen help? Or the over-the-top demanding public that just cannot be pleased with anything? The customers are usually clueless and a bunch of rubes with money. And,
Pulling a profit from a restaurant fit for living on Long Island is not easy.

Tom Schaudel did confide that having the landlord as a partner in the restaurant did help the bottom line as a space that size would command a large rent.

I wonder what the rent will be now...

The new owner of Jewel is Anthony Scotto, "Anthony Scotto, 75, still seems to be having fun." He owns several steakhouses on Long Island.

Anthony Scotto has already taken over the kitchen at Jewel with his chef Tomo Kobayashi.

"... that team is led by Tomoyuki Kobayashi who, until recently, was executive chef at 1221 at MFP in the Roslyn Hotel. Kobayashi, a veteran of the Poll Brothers’ organization, had been the founding chef at their pan-Asian restaurant, Toku in Manhasset. "

Chef Tomo was corporate executive chef of the whole Poll empire at one point, and was owner of the short-lived Yatai Casual Asian in Mineola.

Also not mentioned is Louie's in Port Washington that was renamed or "rebranded" in early 2017 when they lost Ron Gelish at the helm of the kitchen and brought on Chef Tomo.
(Formerly Louie’s Oyster Bar & Grille then formally Louie’s Grill & Liquors)


"Soon after Kobayashi came on board, they realized that asking their new chef to keep churning out clam chowder, lobster bakes and fish and chips would be like buying a racehorse to pull a plow."

That never took off well and didn't last long.

I have great respect for Chef Tomo Kobayashi. His trek through the Long Island dining scene since 2007 after his stints in French cuisine New York restaurants of high acclaim has been a rollercoaster of success and failure. Not unlike any (many?) great chef. Yet he continues to take top rank at the helm of highly regarded restaurants on Long Island.

Hiring "good people" in today's world is nearly impossible. And a restaurant has that problem more so than other service industries. Kitchen staff that can just as easily be swinging a hammer tomorrow to unprofessional service staff that hasn't a clue. No one cares. No one except the diner that over pays for the luxury of not having to clean up after themselves.

Although I was never a fan of Jewel through all my many visits at lunch and dinner, all business meetings, I was not a naysayer either, per se, but a drowned out voice asking to just get things straight and right for once in both service and the kitchen that seemed to always forget something on a plate or just screw something up. But one visit to the restroom that talked to each diner that entered usually put the pain of dining at Jewel to rest.

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