Back in July of 2001, Janel and I met a Mr and Mrs Morse. They had transformed a building that for over 75 years had been used for automotive repairs, into a restaurant named Il Capriccio. (Not your usual venue for a restaurant, right?) However, they were now ready to sell the restaurant to a nice young couple who wanted to turn it into a nightclub.

The Morse’s and the young couple were to meet at a title company in Salem the following week. Well, Monday morning came and Mr Morse received a phone call informing him that the couple had experienced buyer’s remorse, and were not going through with the deal.

Upon hearing this sad news, (via the restaurant grapevine), I jumped into my car and drove immediately to Albany, where upon I peeked through the windows of the closed restaurant and immediately fell in love with the place.

Janel and I were no strangers to restaurant life. We had been living and working in Salem. Janel was a server at DaVinci Restaurant and I was a sous chef at Morton’s Bistro. We knew the extreme effort it takes to make a restaurant successful. The long hours, the constant pressure of knowing that every dish has your reputation stamped upon it.

Even with this daunting knowledge, Janel was excited to buy the place, and so was I. Later that week we sat at the table across from the fireplace and consumed some old Italian wine from a “happy year”.

The accountants and lawyers did their thing and Sybaris was born. We opened 15 years ago last month, and yet, it seems like 15 seconds. We’ve come a long way, but are excited about the future and our plans for the restaurant.

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Chef Matt