The Front Porch
The Front Porch, the latest midtown dining establishment developed by investment powerhouse Hunter+Harp, has engaged famed chef Joe Rego to bring southern flair with Portuguese passion to the highly anticipated seafood restaurant. The iconic setting features nearly 300 seats among interior, porch and deck elements with a Raw Bar that provides the perfect entrÃ©e to a unique culinary experience highlighted by the freshest seafood and locally-sourced ingredients.
In July 2012, Rego gained national recognition when he was named â€œChopped Championâ€ on the popular Food Network television show, Chopped. Chosen from a group of over 150 candidates, Rego competed against two top Atlanta chefs and one based in Las Vegas. The cooking competition challenges the skill, speed and ingenuity of four talented chefs to create extraordinary three-course meals from a menu of common and obscure ingredients. After clinching the win with his Portuguese heritage inspired Torta dessert dish, Rego vowed to use his prize money to take his daughter to Portugal for the first time to meet her grandparents.
â€œCompeting on Chopped was one of the most intense experiences of my life, but it was also one of the most rewarding, â€œ explains Joe Rego, chef of The Front Porch. â€œThis show has opened new doors for me, including the opportunity to join the Tallahassee community. As an avid fisherman and lover of all things seafood, Iâ€™m thrilled to be able to combine all of my interests with the opening of The Front Porch.â€
With nearly twenty years of experience working at some of the finest restaurants in the country, Rego will apply his remarkable skills to create authentic flavors when The Front Porch opens in October. When the Portugal native moved to New Haven, Conn., as a young boy, he made the decision to forgo his full music scholarship in favor of a shipyard opportunity that would help support his family. After the persistent encouragement from a friend to pursue his culinary talents, Rego applied and was accepted into the prestigious Johnson & Wales University.
Upon graduation, Rego began his impressive career at the French-inspired brasserie, The Union League CafÃ©, in New Haven Conn., followed by successful stints at Atlantaâ€™s most critically acclaimed restaurants including South City Kitchen, Fritti and Allegro. He gained French cooking skills working in St. Tropez and learned to make fresh Italian pasta through many years of valuable experience at Sotto Sotto in Atlanta. After returning to his hometown in Boston, Mass., Rego was instrumental in opening five franchises of Not Your Average Joeâ€™s. His expertise earned the restaurants he lead to several awards and accolades including Bon AppÃ©titâ€™s â€œBest Restaurant,â€ Atlanta magazineâ€™s â€œBest Restaurant,â€ and Jezebel magazineâ€™s number nine spot in â€œ100 Top Best Restaurants.â€ In 2012, Rego was rated as one of the top chefs to watch out for.
The Front Porch will boast a menu of delectable seafood dishes, several infused with Portuguese elements. Regoâ€™s specialties include lobster cannelloni with asparagus tips, shitake mushrooms, tomato confit and lobster brodo, as well as Portuguese-style pork and clams with crispy potatoes, smoked paprika, garlic and cilantro. In addition to a full raw bar that includes oysters, blue crab claws and mussels, the menu also offers make-your-own ceviche with a choice of fresh snapper, tuna, scallop, shrimp or salmon.
â€œWe believe Chef Rego will help put Tallahassee and The Front Porch on the map of culinary greatness,â€ says Marc Bauer, managing partner of Hunter+Harp Hospitality. â€œWeâ€™re thrilled to have his immense talent and vivacious energy as a foundation for what is sure to be a dynamic addition to our community.â€
Avenue Eat & Drink owner, Chris Clark, adds, â€œI couldnâ€™t be happier to find such a successful and passionate chef to join me in opening The Front Porch. We are eager to provide an entirely new dining experience to residents of Tallahassee and surrounding areas.â€
Spearheaded by successful restaurateur Chris Clark, of Avenue Eat & Drink and Marc Bauer, of Hunter+Harp Hospitality and Hotel Duval, The Front Porch promises to deliver exceptional cuisine in addition to gracious service and contemporary comfort.
1215 Thomasville Road
850 222 0934