Page 16 - Fall/Winter Taste Magazine 2021-2022
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CHEF PROFILE • Ryan Boeve • Lila & Lucile Pizza & Wine Bar
Both of our restaurants feature mostly vegetarian and vegan menu items focusing on local, organic ingredients. Our wine list and bev- erages/wine-based cocktails also focus on being organic, biodynamic or natural. We are open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday at Lila and Wednesday through Sunday at
I grew up in Western Michigan where I start- ed in the restaurant business at the age of 13 scrubbing rice off the bottom of pots at the local Chinese restaurant. I took another job with a friend of mine doing dishes at another restaurant and quickly moved up to sandwich maker then line cook, then sous chef and eventually Chef for a while after going to culinary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
A friend of mine called and asked if I wanted
to go to Florida. I quickly agreed and we
were off. I was in Naples for a while and
then settled in Sarasota. My first job in
Sarasota was at Ophelia’s on the Bay as Sous
Chef. I eventually became chef and stayed
for 4 more years until I opened my own
place with Arthur Lopes called Zoria on
Hillview Street. Two and a half years later we
moved the restaurant downtown to a much
larger space. We prospered there for 7 years.
After Zoria, Arthur and I went back to being
a small restaurant and opened Pomona
Bistro and Wine Bar. I was back on the line and he was waiting tables and making desserts. We were right where we wanted to be again.
I had started on my own health journey because of my wife Teresa. She began eating more organic, focusing on plant based whole foods and cutting out dairy, sugar and processed foods. The more I ate “clean” the more I seemed to thrive, have more energy and just felt better. I was cooking mostly meat and dairy at Pomona and wasn’t eating that way anymore. I wanted a restaurant that focused more on organic vegetables and a healthier menu. Lila began as mostly vegetarian. I had a lot of suc- cess with the vegan items on the menu. The customers were shaping my menu. A mostly vegan menu is what we are doing now. It’s who we are. I do serve some high quality meat items for those who want it.
At Lucile Pizza and Wine Bar we also serve high quality meats. The menu at both restaurants mostly promotes a plant based style of eating.
Most Memorable Meal
There have been many. Three Star Michelin restaurants in France, Tapas bars in Spain and many wineries serving great food paired with their wines, but what sticks out most is a dinner I had at the home of Thierry and Pascale Matrot of Domaine Matrot in Burgundy France. I was there with a small group of guys tasting and touring the area. They invited us to their home for dinner. It was on a hill in Blagny overlooking the famous white Burgundy vineyards. It was so beautiful. Pasquale cooked
a great traditional Burgundian meal including jambon Persille and Thierry brought out an old Meursault from the cellar with dust and no labels on them. The meal was memorable not just for the food but because of the great hosts and people that they are. It was an experience you just can’t get every day.
Your favorite drink or wine?
I pretty much like all kinds of wine. I appreci- ate the terroir and unique characteristics of each. I enjoy hearing a winemaker or Vineyard owner tell the story of their passion of creat- ing their wine.
Your favorite local restaurant?
I love the “Greek Place” Blu Kouzina on St. Armands Circle. My wife and I spend Sundays at the beach with friends on Lido and walk up for lunch and some rosé.
How is your restaurant dealing with Covid-19 and how is your recent business?
We have been lucky at Lila and Lucile. We have a great staff and a great following of dedicated guests. I even brought in my youngest son Aaron who had been learning how to roll and prepare sushi to Lila. He helped to develop our new Vegan Sushi roll section of the menu. It has been a great suc- cess so far. We are definitely operating in a new environment though and are small enough to condense our business enough to deal with the amount of sales we were getting
through Covid. Business is improving every day.
What do you see as the future for your business and restaurants in general?
I think the future is bright for the restaurant industry. We will get past all the Covid ‘stuff’ and get back to some kind of new normal, whatever it is, we will adjust and thrive. I remember well the crisis in 2008-2010. We got through that and we will get through this.
If not a Chef what would you do?
If I wasn’t a chef, I really don’t know what else I would do. I was fortunate to have my high school guidance counselor push me to go to culinary school. I didn’t like High school. I didn’t like sitting all day at a desk. I was bored. I am not happy unless I have a creative outlet. Being a chef gives me that outlet. To be in the moment. It’s important to evolve and stay inspired. Not getting complacent in your daily routine and always moving forward. I have been working on business ideas that take me away from being a restaurant Chef, that will still allow me to be creative, provide service to the community and to help young chefs expand their craft.
Celebrating 30 Years! Taste Dining & Travel • Fall/Winter
More online at
1576 Main Street, Sarasota 941.296.1042
Lucille Pizza & Wine Bar 1660 Main Street, Sarasota 941.330.0101

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