Visiting with Mike Lee, a part owner and general manager of Trezo Mare, is always a delight. You seldom see Mike without a broad smile on his face, and the pride and love he has for his wonderful restaurant and everyone involved is always evident. Running a restaurant is a challenging business these days, and Mike tackles that with an energy, enthusiasm, and respect for guest service that is infectious! As we sat in the dining room, filled with lunchtime diners, we asked him the secret to keeping a smile on his face and those of Trezo guests. Here’s what he told us:
First off, he is thrilled with the consistent success the restaurant has been experiencing as it continually becomes a ”go to” destination for everyone North and South of the river. Their Tuscan inspired cuisine with wood fired accents, phenomenal craft cocktail program, and excellent wine list is just icing on the cake. Speaking of cake, their talented pastry chef creates some of the most delicious desserts in the entire metro. According to Mike, all this results from “a great team of managers and employees who work together to take care of our guests.” The guests are the top priority at Trezo Mare, and the importance of always providing a great guest experience and great value is something that is not taken lightly.
Mike credits much of the upward trending that they are experiencing at Trezo Mare to employee ownership. For more than five years, management positions have shared more than 50% of the company stock, and other employees who have worked at Trezo for three or more years share in the profits annually. Mike first told us about this in 2015. This year, two employees celebrated ten year anniversaries with the company, while another eighteen have passed their three year mark and now share in profitability. Mike says this management approach offers “great value to guests by strengthening employee morale, increased trust in management, stronger level of commitment, attention to detail, and the baseline for success – taking care of the guest.” Employees share in the vision and direction of the company and feel responsible for its success. Everybody wins.
An important aspect of Trezo Mare is maintaining consistency and listening to what the guests want. “This may not be very exciting” Mike said somewhat apologetically, “but the big news in menu change at Trezo Mare right now is to bring back some of the customer favorites that have cycled off over time which we kept being asked to bring back.” On that list is the delicious chicken piccata, tomato basil soup, organic salmon with forbidden rice (the newsletter recipe feature this month) and the ever popular shrimp diablo pasta dish. However, if you are looking for something a little different, they have recently introduced a great fixed price offering called “Tuesdays at Trezo.”
Each week, the culinary team brainstorms a three-course offering that includes a first course, entrée, and a dessert from a list of amazing specials. It is priced at $36 per person, and you can add wine pairings that run from around $3 to $13 per course! This is one of their most popular promotions, and every week, the menu selections will change. The menu we had a chance to look at offered clams provencal, stuffed beef tenderloin, their blockbuster Trezo Chocolate Bar, and many more mouth-watering options. Yum!
Trezo Mare was in the midst of holiday decorating during our visit, so of course we had to learn what festivities they had in mind. Mike said they take things pretty low key, but they host and cater many holiday parties, big and small, at the restaurant and at the Royal Room – a newly opened event space next door. They also offer great deals on Trezo gift cards with added value on each purchase ($10 extra when you buy $50 and $25 extra with a $100 purchase). Mike also reminded us that “Briarcliff Village also offers a great holiday shopping experience with retailers like Nell Hill’s.” Trezo Mare is the perfect place to relax from the hustle of shopping with an assortment of lunch, cocktails, or dinner. With an amazing atmosphere, food, and smiling staff, Trezo Mare truly is the place to go in KC. Check on location, hours, menus, or make a reservation at www.TrezoMare.com.