Cuisine and congeniality sets Made Nice apart, thanks to its team of spirited restaurateurs.
“A little diversity here and there really helps people broaden their horizons,” says Jack Flores, head chef of Made Nice, when asked about dining culture in the metro. As with anything, there is no singular purist way of enjoying food. There are styles. Variations. Dare we say fusions. You have fun with it.
When one dines out, an expectation is set for a dish (and a drink) to be cooked and made well. But when it is made nice, the expectation is exceeded. It surpasses levels of pleasantry beyond the palate. Perhaps we owe it to the atmosphere, to staff politeness, to the crowds we gather with. But one thing’s for certain. At Made Nice, we owe it to the camaraderie of the crew in and out of the kitchen.
“We’re weird, but that’s why we get along,” quips Gabbi Ramos-Flores, pastry chef and front of the house. In the kitchen, her husband and head chef Jack Flores cooks up a distinctive menu of Asia-meets-Mediterranean. Alongside him, sous chef and pasta program master Raul Fores, who shares an affinity for food, being of the family behind Mamou, makes his own waves in the culinary industry.
All three chefs are internationally trained. They’ve been at this since 2017, but have only called Made Nice at Rockwell their home since May of 2019. Incidentally, the couple and Raul are neighbors, they come to unwind at each other’s apartments, both in Rockwell. “We don’t go out anymore. It’s just [Raul’s house] and Made Nice!” They do, however, mention a few Fores-name restaurants: Mamou and A Mano, for starters.
But when time does free itself, they travel. Like pilgrims to shrines, Jack and Gabbi plan their itineraries around food and restaurant reservations. Observing dining culture across continents, capturing the nuances of service and quirks in menus is their way of bringing trinkets home.
“Made Nice is actually a culmination of all our experiences,” says Jack. “It’s our experiences from abroad that we all wanted to share in a restaurant setting. And that’s actually how we became partners.” Raul reveals but a taste of what we’ll find in the coming season. He teases more hand-made pastas, dry-aged meats, comfort foods for the holidays. A second half of the menu. For sure we can expect something made nice, made merry, made bright.