FREDERICTON–Almost two weeks into the opening of a new downtown location, Moco Kitchen is in full swing, serving traditional Italian food with a casual twist from the corner of Regent and King Street. We caught up with owner and chef Brian Foster to chat about the philosophy behind the new location.
Q: Is this location a natural expansion on the Mactaquac location? Is there any particular reason you chose to come downtown?
A: It was a natural progression. We wanted to be downtown for quite a while now. I opened Snooty Fox and Cannon’s so I have some friends down here and I like being part of this community.
Q: Is there a different sort of crowd you’re trying to reach down here?
A: It’s a pretty similar crowd. Mactaquac is a little more family oriented and we get a lot of regulars because obviously there’s not as much stuff out there. Down here the clientele would be pretty similar.
Q: Do you think you’ll get more business people here?
A: I think so yeah, and university students. There’s a pretty good food scene around here so everybody is going to share the clientele.
Q: What’s different about this restaurant from your other locations?
A: We’re a lot more heavily Italian influenced, that’s originally what I wanted to do. That’s my favourite kind of food. I wanted to get in on that. Mactaquac is geared more toward family and good dining as well. We want people to feel really comfortable there and to come there and be part of the park scene, which involves a lot of family whereas here it’s a little more upscale. Not a lot, the food is pretty casual.
Q: Is there anything that’s a specialty here?
A: Everything we make is homemade. We’re pretty proud of it. We’re doing a fresh pasta program and eventually I want to expand on that and make more fresh pasta. How you dress that pasta is where you can show your own flair. When I was a young chef, I was trained by Italian chefs with tomato sauce and pasta and meatballs. I want to do more stuff like that.
Q: Are you going to be cooking at this location mostly or do you come and go between both?
A: I’m going to be cooking here for the first probably three to four months. I’ve got a pretty good crew that I have out there (in Mactaquac). The guys that are out there have been there since the beginning. I’m confident in them. I’ll be there for major functions.
Q: Have you had any response from visitors yet?
A: Yeah, it’s been really positive. Obviously there’s stuff that we have to work on as restaurant owners to make it more efficient but the response so far has been pretty good.
Q: Any future plans?
A: Not yet. Moco is actually named after my two kids Cole and Morgan and we had a surprise third so I have to come up with something for her, a cafe or something.