John is also giving Mediterrano, which he opened in 1995, a face-lift and has been gradually tweaking the menu. He explains that no matter how good your restaurant is, "people don't just come for the food. They come for the food, plus the ambience, plus the service. Otherwise, they would just do it themselves. There always has to be a sense of renewal." The additions to the menu include branzino, gnudi (like gnocchi), walleye, and roasted game hen; but the real change to the menu is not the additions but the subtractions. "Less is more" is the fashion on restaurant menus these days. "Our menu was huge. Now you want to have one steak and it's the best. You don't want to have five steaks. When you really focus on quality, how can you have five people focusing on sixty things? They do a much better job when they focus on twenty-eight things."
The renovation won't be dramatic but "just enough for people to notice." Fresh paint, fresh tile in the entryway, chairs, tables. He's hoping not to close for more than a day or two. He's keeping Geraldine Sakall's three large paintings.