The final days of Krause Dining, our home-based restaurant.

Closing a highly esteemed restaurant is a bit like a public breakup. It’s one thing to shut your doors after mediocre reviews, trickling reservations, or a food poisoning scare; it’s quite another to tell your appreciative public that it’s just not working for you anymore – “It’s not you… really it’s me that’s changed.”

But unlike the celebrities who can cover their faces with designer sunglasses and smile with a “no comment”, Robert and I are left to answer the why question face to face. Why leave the nightly gushing about the wonderful experience, the generous income it produces, and the ability to work in your pajamas?

It’s not an easy answer, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve sometimes resorted to saying with impatience “Because we want to.” Working nights is a tough lifestyle for a family with young children, and is one I’ve struggled with often in being a mother. But really, it is also about seeing what else is possible in the food world for us. Can we possibly have a food operation where we aren’t personally responsible for creating and executing every morsel of food? Can we do something else except cook and serve food?

I was listening to a radio interview with a cookbook author on NPR. I was naturally interested, as I had just finished with our cookbook draft (300 recipes and 700 pages long!) I had spent countless hours researching other cookbooks. When this woman stated that cooking had always been her passion something in my heart seized up. I stopped folding the egg whites into the soufflé batter as I considered how I felt about cooking. With the grueling schedule we were keeping up with as our restaurant was in its final days, cooking felt much more like a job that a passion. Will I ever want to cook again?


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Mark says:

    We are saddened, of course, but happy for you. I can’t imagine the toll it takes on your family life. See you at the new spot and at Dempsey’s. And, of course, thank you for one of the best dinners we have ever had.

  2. Thomas says:

    As one of the fortunate patrons of the Krause Dining Experience, I must say that you never let on the weight of the last days. It has always been with relish and joy that I have felt welcomed into your home, and you have enriched the lives of your beneficiaries greatly. Thank you for the years of service. T.

  3. Judy (R. Godwin) says:

    We were privileged to finally dine with you in December, and it was one of the best meals I’ve ever had–up there with Cyrus in Healdsburg CA. I think I understand why you are making the change, and I applaud you for putting your family first. I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

    Judy, Overland Park KS

  4. Amanda says:

    Robert & Molly,
    We are sad to see you close your doors, but extremely excited to see what you have in store for the future. We know that whatever you take on next, it will be a success.

  5. Shirley Armentrout says:

    You have provided the fondest memories with your meals and cooking experiences over the past years. In looking ahead, I anticipate new tastes to be presented with a unique atmosphere adding to my enjoyment for entertaining and continued sharing with friends and family. The challenge of new cooking techniques you will offer is being anticipated as an addition for creating fresh food ideas in caring for a healthy body. Thank you for meeting the growth of what your patrons will need while heeding to meet the needs of your own family life. In doing so you are using a gift given to you that is a blessing to all of us. Looking ahead for your new adventure…..

  6. Shannon says:

    We ate at Krause once right before you closed and had a wonderful experience. I know you were tired and ready to quit, but thank you for providing us with such a great evening.

    Sorry for the odd question, but I was wondering if you could tell me the name of the artist of the large painting in your front room? I think it was located in the middle of the north wall.

    Thank you!

    1. Molly says:

      Was it a landscape (Lisa Grossman) or a post-party food scene (Aaron Mirable)?

      1. Shannon says:

        It was the post-party food scene.

  7. Bert Soto says:

    Isn’t Robert the dessert chef’s husband? I’m confused. 🙂

    Some of the best food and wine we have ever had. Congratulations and good luck “en la Esquina”!!!

  8. Norm & Joy Manley says:

    We’ve had the priviledge of your generous hospitality and fine dining on two occassions and both were and will remain memorable events. I think the only comparable restaurant we’ve experienced was a joint called the French Laundry in Yountville, Ca., but honestly, while the Laundry had a more diversified selection…I think you have the edge on the ultimate experience…both in terms of food quality, presentation, and ambiance. We are sorry to see you go…but let us be among the first to welcome you back to the human race. Life is short and shold not be spent exclusively serving others. It is time to enjoy…especially your children. BTW….I LOVE honeynut cheerios!!!
    Norm and Joy

  9. Darcey says:

    I completely get where you are coming from. I seem to be “suffering” from the same type of nagging questions…only without the illustrious career to reflect back on:-)
    I think you are going to love this new chapter in your life and will definitely re-claim your passion for cooking and baking. It sounded a bit like you already did when you baked your pound cake for your new neighbors and family. Doing something because you want to is always so much more rewarding than doing it because you have to.
    I was lucky enough to take 2 cooking classes from you at the Bayleaf and am eagerly awaiting the release of your cookbook. Teaching definitely suits you!

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