20 December 2009

What's cookin?

Recess is hosting a staff holiday party for a friend of mine later this week. I wrote the menu with a Mexican theme. Here is what I am doing for them, and what would be a typical menu in the future at Recess (not necessarily always mexican, just a typical offereing). Yup, we are getting close..............

*oysters x 2*
fried oyster with chipotle remoulade
and a kumomoto oyster shot with a lime habanero mignonette

salad of cucumber, zucchini, arugula, pinenuts and cotija cheese,
cider vinaigrette

soup of chicken broth, chick peas, roasted poblanos
and a lot of cilantro

shrimp diablo with cumin crushed potatoes

fisher farms pork shank tacos with 2 salsas
{ verde & roja}

eggnog tres leches cake with peppermint whipped cream whipped cream
and toasted pecans

.......oh, by the way, Recess is always available for your group party needs. Just call and we will develop a menu together that meets YOUR needs

17 December 2009

Tunnel Vision?

I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Food is coming!

Says it feels right this time
Turned it 'round and found the right line
“Good day to be alive, sir
Good day to be alive,” he says

Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train coming your way
Then it comes to be that the soothing light at the end of your tunnel
Was just a freight train coming your way

(Lyrics by Hetfield and Ulrich)

11 December 2009


I need file cabinets, and instead of buying new ones, I want to "recycle" any that you may have. I am willing to trade soup for steel. I especially need 2 drawer desk sized file cabinets. I also need a big ol' fashioned desk or two; the kind you might find in front of a classroom with a teacher sitting behind it. If you have any you are ready to part with, please contact me at gshardesty[at]gmail.com

Thanks and we will see you soon at RECESS

08 December 2009

Update on Recess

Well a lot has happened in the past couple weeks. Gabe has been furloughed twice from rehab and continues to heal and get stronger. He has visited Recess both times and he looks awesome. We are getting closer and closer every day to a finished project. Stay tuned for updates on the dates.

The equipment showed up today and is resting nicely after the trip. It should be hooked up over the next few days. I have to say I am ready to put on my chef hat and shed the business start-up attire.
I believe we will begin by offering the Recess Take Away first. Given the busy and hectic schedules around the holidays and the events of the past month, I think it is best to ease into the fun. We will keep updates coming so everyone knows when food will be available, as well as any special dinners we might host spontaneously before the years end.

In the true spirit of what the Recess concept is all about, I was blessed over the past 10 days with an unbelievable display of community and friendship. I sent out an "e-mail SOS" for help and was rewarded with over 30 volunteers who came in and worked their tails off. They scraped, primed, they painted, scrubbed and they hauled. Nothing spectacular or glamorous, just lots of hard dirty work. I can't thank them all enough. Without their help, we are looking at the very minimum another 2 weeks to open.

Thanks again to Jen Tudor, Nancy Curless, Leslie Altavilla, Annmarie Deetes, Heidi Dilger, Ken Dilger, Tony Altavilla, Greg Bauwens, Abbi Merris, Nick Hammonds, Mike Sylvia, Ellen Krause, Matt McGregor, Marty Krause, Kim Gross, Sarah McGregor, Bruce Juntgen, Becky Juntgen, Dennis Twite, Helen Twite, Amy Cart, Chris Eley, Jack Stark, Susan Prebble, Curtis Witwer, Ashley Ritter, Jake Ritter, Ryan Hidinger, Jen Hidinger, Jeff Brown, Beth Dean, Chuck Dean, Joe Savone.....
.....and most importantly Gabe, Brooke, Mike and Ann Jordan. This is a family that has been rocked with heartache and challenges most of us would certainly succumb to. Yet there they were, lending a hand, determined to see this dream through. If that is not what community is all about, I don't know what is!


14 November 2009


The past week has certainly been a very sad time at Recess. My partner Gabe Jordan was hospitalized Sunday with a gun shot to the back. It really puts everything into perspective when a senseless tragedy such as this occurs. For complete information on the story and to find out how you can help the Jordan family go to gabejordan.org

Please take the time to browse the site and discover just how special Gabe is. Loving father, husband, son, brother and friend. He is obviously an incredible man. Reading all the messages of love and encouragement he has received I am reminded why I chose Gabe to help me open this restaurant.

That being said, he is equally as strong and no doubt will fight hard to come back as strong as ever for his family. I know Recess won't feel complete until he comes back to work.

...thankfully Gabe was there that day to help me figure out this high tech piece of equipment

28 October 2009

pushing forward

Construction has begun and it is going well. I wanted to take time to introduce Gabe Jordan to the future Recess participants. Gabe has worked for me at Elements and H2O so many of you are already familiar with him. He understands as well as anyone what I want to accomplish at the new store. Gabe will be acting as the GM of both the restaurant and the take away food store. He brings a vast knowledge of food, wine and service, so I am thrilled to have him on board. He will be a huge part of the blogging process as well, which is going to be the main form of communication for what is available at Recess, both in take away food as well as the daily menu for each dinner service. Look for Gabe's thoughts in future posts.

For now, we will continue to build, paint, design, shop and develop Recess. I want Recess to be a constant, organic work in progress. This will ensure it always stays fresh and exciting to us all! In the coming weeks I am going to start posting typical menus, as I need to start getting my culinary pencil warmed up..............

13 October 2009

Look, Up in the Sky..........

The chef is? :

a. spotting superman above
b. working on his latest dance move
c. reaching up to touch that dangerously live wire
d. ready to answer questions and have an e-dialogue about what Recess is all about

d...the purpose of this blog (as well as future recess blogs) is to keep everyone updated, informed and in the know. Things are going to change fast and often. I have a vision for this place, but it can only be realized with the help of great customers. So please comment, ask questions, give opinions, have a voice. This is going to be a unique restaurant adventure. I want to change the way a restaurant is "supposed" to be run.......

06 October 2009

A Sneak Peak of Recess Demolition

4907 North College Avenue

it used to be a beauty salon.....
I doubt that we will keep this sign (or the philosophy).

.....which family member isn't quite sure about this whole "restaurant business"?

the future dining room

.....and one of these days I will get all the old tile adhesive up and this can will be replaced with a 10 burner range

25 September 2009

The Commencement of Recess

Here's where we'll explain, explore, wonder, and sometimes maybe even rant as we work to open the doors of the restaurant I've always wanted. Welcome to the Commencement of Recess.      ~ Greg

Recess Takeaway

Recess Takeaway is about taking a break at home. Stop by this corner of our playground for “restaurant prepped” dishes and small plates that you can assemble when you’re ready to eat.

We’re not playing around with hot, finished meals ready to eat out of the container. Instead, we’re letting you in on the fun by offering hearty soups, entrĂ©e salads, braised meats, roasts, veggies, tacos, and more—all ready for you to pick up, assemble, and enjoy.

Look for ever-changing offerings online but always expect some surprise sundries at Recess Takeaway.

Recess the Restaurant

Recess is the restaurant that I have always wanted: a place where all the energy and expense are spent on the food and service, one where there are no culinary boundaries.

At Recess, I’m free to offer my interpretations of all great foods. This is my culinary playground.

~ Greg Hardesty

So when we invite you to our playground for dinner, we aren’t going to ask you to come to Recess and navigate an overwhelming menu. What we will do is cook a dinner that features the best local ingredients and reflects our mood in the kitchen. Whether its a seven course tasting menu, a Mexican taco fiesta , or somewhere in between, we’ll post the dinner menu online to get you hungry and ready for a break. That way, the minute you walk in our doors, your Recess begins. No more decisions, no more anxieties, just eating well. We’ve made the commitment to dedicate all of our energies and resources to making your meal enjoyable, memorable, and satisfying. Welcome to Recess.