Robert Polacek Eats Out

Robert Polacek

My friend Roby is the Chief Creative Officer and Partner at Puccini Group. The San Francisco based design firm that specializes in creating restaurants with personality and style. You’ve probably stepped foot into one of his firms countless sophisticated, chef-tailored, noteworthy restaurants across the globe for clients such as Jumeirah, Kimpton, Fairmont and Four Seasons among others. He heads up the concept development and design side of the company. He’s promised me over a few drinks (I said a few) that I would someday be the inspiration for a boutique hotel and restaurant. Can you imagine? “I’d like to stay in Juanita’s suite and can you send up an order of  the MORE!marrow appetizer with a bottle of champagne from room service”.

Enjoying “a few drinks” in the Tenderloin.

Robert Polacek answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Hands down – Goat Cheese Cheesecake! There is something about the fact that it has to be made fresh in order to serve it.  I love the tanginess of the goat cheese combined with the sweetness of the cheesecake. I think it is the perfect combination.

What restaurant would you call your home?

The  very establishment of a restaurant in general is my home, given I’m always on the road researching them for upcoming concepts and designs. But if I had to choose one in San Francisco, it would be Anchor Oyster Bar. Everything about it feels like home – the simplicity of the concept to the welcoming staff. I love that everything is fresh and local and there is a ‘feeling’ of genuineness that truly defines what a restaurant experience should be.

Roby and I. We are way overdue for a lunch date.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

Most inspiring and strangest was when I dedicated two full days (all in the name of research) to Singapore Street Food. Everything from pig intestine soup, to chicken feet, duck heart stew, you name it tired it. Long story short – every organ of every animal in two days! In Singapore, one of the most vital food cultures in the world, eating, or as the locals say, ‘makan’, is more than just food. It’s a national obsession, a passion, a way of life. Friends don’t greet each other with hello, instead they’ll say, “have you eaten?”. This philosophy struck me because I share that thinking and which is why my passion in life is creating the perfect stage for eating and enjoying  meals with friends and family.  That exploration in Singapore enlightened me to look further into the culture of eating for my inspiration to design.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Growing up with divorced parents, I learned at an early age the joys of choices and never just settling for one of anything! During the week and at my mom’s I shoveled Fruity Pebbles before they got soggy and during the weekends, sans sugar and sweets, I enjoyed Honey Nut Cheerios at my dad’s house.

What is your favorite food to pig out on after the club?

Cheddar cheese, peanut butter and dill pickles. But that’s only if don’t make it to Cybelle’s pizza – I love a mushroom slice with tons of hot pepper flakes.

Roby in my apartment.