Owners Debbie and Al Rocuant have spent the last six months renovating the building most recently occupied by Park Model Manufacturing Offices, and creating an opening to connect it to their stores, wicker.com and The Lunchbox, located at 126 S. Broad Street.
Restaurant patrons will enter The Garden Room through wicker.com, Tuesday through Saturday anytime after 5 p.m. Designed to resemble a courtyard in Tuscany, the eatery boasts a hand painted ivy floor, faux finish on the brick walls, and even a wall that resembles a row of Italian storefronts. “It’s designed to give you the feeling of being outside between two buildings,” explains Debbie Rocuant, who painted and decorated the restaurant.
Al Rocuant, who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1980 with a degree in culinary arts, is the chef who will prepare the appetizers, entrees, soups, and desserts. Also in the kitchen is sous chef Richard Bruce, a graduate of Lively Technical Center’s culinary program, and grill expert Jimmy Moon.
With the capacity to seat 60, the restaurant will offer American and European style cuisine, from steaks and seafood to chicken and prime rib. While deciding their selections, diners will be treated to Italian Ciabatta bread served with fresh roasted garlic and herb olive oil.
Mr. Rocuant describes the restaurant, with its cloth covered tables and soft lighting, as something unique to the community. “People in Cairo, whenever they want fine dining, they have to go to Tallahassee or Thomasville. It’s about time Cairo has one of its own,” he contends.
The Rocuants have operated their businesses in Cairo the last three years, and if all goes as planned, may extend their hours at The Lunchbox to provide patrons with a variety of dining options, from fine dining in The Garden Room, to more casual dining in The Lunchbox.
Interesting items on The Garden Room’s menu include a coconut shrimp on pineapple toast appetizer; baked stuffed shrimp with crabmeat stuffing; pork tenderloin with cranberry glaze and sweet potato volcano; and certified Angus beef steaks served Fridays and Saturdays. Entree specials may also be offered. All entrees include a salad, potatoes and vegetable of the day. On the dessert menu are chocolate truffle mousse, tiramisu, and plantation pecan pie. The restaurant has been approved for a local beer and wine license, and is now waiting for state approval. To see a complete menu, go online to thegardenroommenu.com.
Reservations are requested for large parties, and may be made by calling (229)378-9080. The restaurant’s address is 126 South Broad Street.