After more than eight months of planning and work, Cellar 9 officially opened in Dublin on May 9.
The restaurant is owned by Doug Garcia and Rose Thome. Garcia said he has been in the restaurant business for 35 years, and that this is the ninth restaurant in which he has been general manager or part owner.
So it's "Cellar" because he loves wine, and "9" because it is his ninth restaurant.
Garcia said he came from the upscale steakhouse business, but wanted to bring something more contemporary to the area.
“My mission is to bring a nice, upscale environment but at an affordable price,” he said. “I don’t want it to convey that it’s an expensive place to eat.”
The dinner-only restaurant’s specialty is American food. Garcia said that he doesn’t consider Cellar 9 a place for special occasions, but more a weekly restaurant with “regional comfort food” at an affordable price. He said it is a family-friendly restaurant.
Chef Charri Feuille said he prefers cooking everything from scratch, using the freshest ingredients possible.
“I practically live at farmers markets on Tuesdays and Saturdays,” he said. “I get what I need for a couple days.”
Feuille said that he likes cooking American food because people grew up with it but may have not had in a long time. He said he hopes to make the comfort food better than people remember.
“That’s our goal here,” Feuille said. “Help create those old favorites.”
Garcia said he picked Feuille as chef for Cellar 9 because he liked Feuille’s attitude and knew that the two wanted to take the restaurant in the same direction.
“I knew that with his attitude we could get things done here,” Garcia said.
Feuille graduated from California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, now known as Le Cordon Bleu, in 2003.
He said he became a chef because he loves food, and doesn’t consider cooking work, but fun.
There are a variety of foods that Feuille has specialized in, including French, Spanish, Italian, Mediterranean and American. He also has worked as a pastry chef and creates all of the desserts on the menu.
Feuille said that he welcomes feedback, and has even adjusted the menu based on it. One example he used was a grilled orange barbecue sauce on the baby back ribs. He said people either loved it or thought it was too different, so now the ribs come with both sauces.
Cellar 9 offers appetizers that range from $6 to $12 and include prime rib turnovers, grilled artichokes, crab cakes and a three-cheese fondue.
There also are a variety of flatbreads for $5 or $6. Soups and salads range from $6 to $8.
The entrées range from $14 for a grilled three-cheese sandwich and tomato soup to $29 for bacon wrapped filet mignon. Other main courses include salmon, blackened catfish, baby back ribs, maple glazed pork chop and Southern fried chicken, which Feuille said was his favorite dish.
The restaurant also has a kids menu, which includes a kid’s entrée, drink, a choice of French fries or fruit, and a cookie.
The dessert menu ranges from $6 to $8 and include crème brulee, New York cheesecake and bourbon bread pudding.
Vegetarian and gluten-free foods also are available, and Feuille said he will prepare special dishes for people with food allergies.
Cellar 9 also has a full bar.
Feuille said he likes that there is a lot of pop culture referenced on the menu, making it more fun and less formal, with wording like “non ur moms meatloaf,” “no bones about short ribs,” “d’oh –nuts” and “drunken clams.”
Cellar 9, 4112 Grafton St. in Dublin, is open Mondays to Thursdays 4 to 9 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays 4 to 10 p.m. and Sundays 5 to 8 p.m.