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THE FRONT BURNER

FLS reporter Katie Thisdell serves up news on local food finds, tales from home cooks and inspiration to help you have fun in your own kitchen.

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Stafford restaurant on Food Network tonight

We wrote back in April about County Fare, a restaurant in the Stafford Courthouse area, being chosen for an episode of the Food Network show, “Restaurant: Impossible.”

Tonight at 10 p.m. on Food Network, you can catch the first showing of that episode, which was filmed over two days last spring.

A crew led by celebrity chef Robert Irvine kicked owner Eric Green out of his restaurant for 48 hours, performed a $10,000 makeover and revamped the menu. The family eatery held a grand re-opening in early May, which the network filmed. So if you managed to snag reservations for the re-opening, you might want to set your DVR so you can prove you are a reality TV star.

I spoke briefly this afternoon with kitchen manager Cynthia Strong. She said the restaurant staff might bring in a TV to watch the show together tonight (the restaurant is closed at that hour), but there are no huge plans for the premier, and she hasn’t seen the show herself yet.

She said things picked up for a little bit after the makeover. Night business–a big area where they were hoping to improve–became a little more steady.

But she said June was the restaurant’s worst-performing month in a long time.

“I don’t know if that’s the economy or what, but it’s been really quiet around here lately,” Strong said. “We are hoping that with the airing of the show that things will pick up again next week.”

Irvine’s crew re-decorated the restaurant to have more of a classic diner look, with metal trim around the counters and retro-style booth and barstool seating.

The crew’s focus was the restaurant’s dinner menu, and the biggest thing Irvine did was to drastically reduce its size.

“Signature dishes” created by the celeb chef have had mixed success: A “Reuben burger” is still on the menu, but isn’t too popular, while a bananas Foster-style French toast dish has been a hit.

Have you dined at County Fare since the Food Network makeover? Tell us what you thought in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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