Keeping it simple

Edoardo’s continues to enjoy a steady stream of loyal customers who keep coming back for more of the restaurant’s unique brand of freshly cooked Italian cuisine, despite this current tough economic environment. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull finds out why.
Sitting in Edoardo’s cosy dining room, located in Coconut Plaza just off the West Bay Road on a stretch of land that is currently undergoing significant redevelopment, you can easily be fooled into thinking you are sitting in such an establishment deep in the heart of Italy, where the wait staff always wear a smile, the owners welcome guests with a natural charm, and the atmosphere is just right for a relaxed and enjoyable evening.
Although this ambiance appears to have magically been in existence forever, business partners and owners Raffaele Dell’Oglio and Denis Rowe work incredibly hard to ensure that guests enjoy a trip to Edoardo’s, no matter how many times they come.
Raffaele says the key to the restaurant’s 23 years in the business is to keep it simple. He says, “Every day we try to apply five principles which we believe are essential for at least surviving if not succeeding in this business: good food, good service, great atmosphere, reasonable price and excellent location.”
Raffaele says that considering each one of those principle keeps them constantly in line with what they try to accomplish every day, i.e. providing a positive lasting experience for their customers.Raffaele says, “Denis and I believe in creating a presence in the restaurant so our guests feel familiar with us. We imprint the restaurant with our style, whether that’s the music (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and so on), the décor (regularly updated) or of course, the food. We strive to constantly improve the cosiness of the restaurant which increases the pleasure of the experience.”
The menu is based upon Sicilian cuisine, after Raffaele’s family roots. This means the dishes are light on dairy and heavy on intense flavours created with herbs. That said, a dish which they are famous for contains a hearty slice of pungent cheese – Filet Cambozola – which is a favourite among regulars, who yearn for the heady melting mix of succulent steak and creamy blue cheese.
Diners also come from far and wide just to eat a bowl of their fragrant juicy fresh mussels, a divine dish that will have you mopping up the juices with your bread.
Amazingly, despite clamouring competition from a seemingly endless amount of up and coming restaurants, Edoardo’s is still on the list of favourite choices for restaurants in the Cayman Islands. A testament to this success is the restaurant winning the Best of Cayman award as Best Italian Restaurant for the last two years in a row.Raffaele says that Cayman offers an incredible variety of menus with a long list of restaurants for an island so small, making it difficult at times to carry on even if you have all requisite formula for success. For this reason he and Denis decided to think outside the box for ways to diversify their cash flow, not just from the main door.
He furthers, “We considered the fact that the island has lots of construction sites (some very big), so we decided it would make sound business sense to sell food and actively pursue them as an income producer. We made the right decision and now one of the biggest firms in the construction industry, Tom Jones, has given us the opportunity to sell food at their new Islands Resort site in East End, having already tried us at their site in Frank Sound (the government school project).”
Raffaele believes that this innovative approach of running their business will help the partners to cope better with an eventual slow down in the months to come.
At the end of the day, Raffaele says their success so far has been based upon recommendations from clients, who, he says, are the restaurant’s best advertisement. It’s simple, he says, satisfied customers come back for more.


Business partners: Raffaele and Denis