“We came up with the concept of a sit-down restaurant with the finishes being stone and wood, where it doesn’t have that institutional feel. You really feel like you’ve gone to another destination,” said Melanie Rogers, executive director of Nutrition and Food Services at WellStar Kennestone Hospital.
Rogers said the idea originated with Candice Saunders, president and chief operating officer for WellStar Health System. Saunders thought the hospital needed a place where visitors and staff could feel like they had left the campus without getting into their car.
“It’s a very much an unexpected experience,” said Adam De Martini, manager of Bistro Operations and Catering. “Our vision was to create an oasis that transcends you way from what you normally think of a hospital. Our vision was to take you away from the feeling of having to be in the setting and to allow you to feel like you’re in Buckhead.”
The full-service bistro, located between the Purple Tower (Women’s Center) and The Kennestone Outpatient Pavilion, delivers the unexpected through details such as servers, hostesses, restaurant-style menu and daily chef’s specials.
“We change our menu seasonally as well,” Rogers said.
De Martini said “We have the whole nine yards like a regular restaurant. You just don’t expect to have that in a restaurant in a normal hospital setting.”
De Martini described the restaurant as a Mediterranean French bistro with an American flare.
“We have a unique way of cooking. We use Mediterranean style cooking techniques, which is flavor infused through use of stocks versus using a lot of butter and oil,” he said.
The menu includes favorites such as Caesar salad, spinach and crab dip, New York strip steak topped with mushrooms and artichoke hearts, daily-made pastries, homemade pizzas and their signature French Onion soup. “It’s a very eclectic menu. Everything is made from scratch on site,” De Martini said.
Not only is the fare special, the bistro provides a stress-free environment for families and staff that may desire a meeting place.
“This has been one of the most fulfilling projects I’ve ever been part of because we were able to create exactly what we set out to create,” Rogers said.
“Our world-class care and service that we take with every guest that walks in — we really make them feel like they’re at home,” De Martini said.
The hospital is at 677 Church St., Marietta.
The bistro is open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner.