A fine dining experience that is setting a new bar for upscale restaurants in the heart of downtown Bakersfield by offering a variety of exquisite cuisine, live entertainment and exceptional service.

Right on “The Mark”
Trends in the restaurant industry have taken a big shift towards eateries offering upscale menu choices that are easy to take on the go or enjoyed in ultra-casual atmospheres that often require the customer to seat and serve themselves. What’s great about this fashion of dining is that many chefs now have the opportunity to independently showcase their recipes without the overhead of a full restaurant, allowing them to fully focus on the food. And isn’t it all about the food anyway? Or is it?

Russian top chef sensation, Anatoly Komm, had this to say about the need for fine dining, “Why go to the opera when you can buy a CD? If I don’t wow and regale diners with totally new sensations, I have wasted their money and failed as a chef!”

While delicious cuisine is a large part of the dining out experience, it alone cannot overshadow the importance of top-notch service, on-point wine selections and beautiful décor that magically transports patrons to another place or time. Living true to these standards is the unique upscale restaurant, The Mark.

After the renovation of one of Bakersfield’s historical buildings dating back to the early 1900’s, The Mark opened its doors in the summer of 2012, with its focus on delivering the highest quality of dining available in the area. Offering both indoor and outdoor dining, guests are treated to live entertainment while sipping delicious concoctions from the bar and feasting on fine cuisine inspired by international fare. “The food is always presented with great attention to detail,” said General Manager, Terry Maxwell. “The steaks are cooked to perfection and the seafood is always fresh. Our culinary team loves to mix different flavors with various textures to make dishes unique.”

Technological advantage
Even the best of servers need a little help from time-to-time, especially when it comes to the all-important pairing of wines (and The Mark boasts quite an impressive selection of wines to say the least). To assist in the selection process, iPads containing detailed information on the wines are available so each server can help guests make the best decision on what red to have with their ‘Steak Diane’ or the best white compliment for the ‘Shrimp Alexandria’. The incorporation of the iPads are quite the juxtaposition to the rest of the restaurant’s elegant and classic bistro décor. The clearly stated information presented on the screens is easier to absorb by the guests as opposed to a long verbal rattling of descriptions given for each recommended selection.

“The iPads solely serve as a tool for delivering information to our customers,” said Terry. “They can never replace the server-to-customer contact that truly drives sales. Our customers have come to expect a level of service that can only be delivered by a person, and our staff is always ready to provide that for them.”

The Mark & Jordano’s
A business that offers such a high level of customer service will certainly expect that same level of attention when it comes to their foodservice provider. Hence, The Mark’s partnership with Jordano’s. “Jordano’s is our main foodservice supplier because we can count on them for superior products at fair prices,” said Terry. “When Chef Manny is taking the time to design specials or tweaking a menu item, the breadth of products available at Jordano’s gives him many choices. I think that is what is special about Jordano’s, and we can’t work without that.”

Jordano’s Account Executive, Ernie Veloz, works tirelessly with Chef Manny and the rest of the kitchen personnel to ensure they have all the products required for their upscale menu options. A team effort, Ernie isn’t alone when it comes to the excellent care Jordano’s delivers to The Mark. “One of Jordano’s greatest assets are the drivers,” said Terry. “Chef Manny and I were talking about our driver, Jorge, today. He is unbelievable when it comes to customer service and is always attentive to our needs. He does it all with a caring heart and a smile. He truly takes the time to get to know everyone at the restaurant.”

Operations such as The Mark and Jordano’s know that an excellent customer service experience is a multi-layered collaboration between the customer and business. The goal of having a customer or guest leave with a positive feeling is just as important as fulfilling an order, whether it be for a meal order or for an order of items to create that meal.

That’s entertainment
What is a night out without a little entertainment? The Mark offers live entertainment every Friday and Saturday evening from local Jazz bands, as well as other out-of-town artists who travel in to showcase their talents at The Mark’s Jazz bar stage. Be sure to bring your dancing shoes! It’s not uncommon for guests to join in and dance the evening away. “One performance you will not want to miss is the Kelly Brothers Dueling Pianos,” said Terry. “When they are here, the atmosphere is ‘lively’ to put it mildly. The whole place is on their feet and singing. These twins have established The Mark as the place to be on the last Friday and Saturday of every month.”

Live entertainment is also available at The Mark’s outdoor venue cleverly called “The Park” and, when weather permits, the Kelly Brothers will often perform there to allow maximum space for the good times and dancing. The Park offers an elegant space that is ideal for events expecting to cater to larger crowds and has been the choice spot for election parties, upscale birthday bashes, cocktail soirees, fundraisers and, of course, weddings. “The outdoor venue is an ‘anything goes’ kind of setting that is done beautifully for our patrons to host their events in,” says Terry.

For more information about The Mark, visit www.atthemark.com or find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Yelp.

Article by Lynn Ammerman, Marketing Administrator, Jordano’s Foodservice