The Flats Bistro has rapidly become a popular local dining destination since they opened the doors of their beautiful new restaurant on K-Beach Rd less than two months ago. Built by local contactor Doug Baxter of Batir Construction the building features a panoramic view of the Kenai River Flats from every table in the house. “It’s been a dream of ours for many years but it gelled on a trip to Napa, California two years ago where we met some friends there who are now the chefs here. Then we got Doug Baxter on board and he gave us the encouragement to go ahead with it,” said co-owner Luke Thibodeau who joined forces with his wife and partner Naomi. Luke formerly worked at Mykel’s in Soldotna for many years, where he says he learned a lot about the restaurant business in the local community, “It was a huge undertaking and Naomi and I were nervous of course, but I learned a lot from Alice at Mykel’s over the years and she was really good to me and taught me what I needed to help this venture be successful,” added Luke.
A bistro according to Naomi is a French term which has come to mean a small, but quaint restaurant for casual fine dining, “We wanted to create a place where people can come that is a little nicer atmosphere with specialty offerings like our pork tenderloin steak, but be just as comfortable sitting at the bar and having a burger and their favorite beer and not feel uncomfortable wearing Carhart’s or jeans inside,” explained Naomi. The Flats Bistro menu indeed includes gourmet items like Naomi’s bacon wrap dates, “They have become very popular, but the menu is a collaboration Naomi, myself and our two chefs we have all had input and we feature comfort food items like gourmet mac & cheese which is the next level of everyone’s family favorite and kids love it. We like to see empty plates so we go for high quality, grinding our burger from fresh meat not frozen patties, there is not a microwave in the place, the food is cooked with the best ingredients, freshest produce and brought hot off the stove to the table. We prepare each dish by itself being paired with a vegetable and starch that brings out the flavor of what it’s accompanying. We have gone back in time to when people actually cooked in the kitchen and didn’t microwave something that had been previously prepared, we bring your meal fresh, fragrant and steaming to your table with the most friendly servers in the business,” added Luke.
The Flats Bistro opened first just for dinner to be sure that everything in the new facility worked perfectly and that they were meeting their service goals to the community and soon found they needed to take reservations to meet those goals, “We started taking reservations but only reserve half the restaurant, that way walk-ins have a real good chance of also being seated in a timely fashion, but we do offer reservations for special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries when folks want to be sure they’ll have a table when they come in.
So starting July 6th we are open for lunch and dinner. We wanted to be sure everyone was trained and on point and our crew’s their now and doing a fantastic job so we’re here for lunch and dinner,” he said. The lunch menu will feature special sandwiches like The Flats Reuben, chicken salad sandwich and an adult grilled cheese sandwich. At the Flats you’ll find other offerings of wild Alaskan seafood, house-smoked meats and ales hand crafted all throughout Alaska.
For more information or reservations go to www.theflatsbistro.com. The Flats Bistro is located just past the Bridge access turnoff on K-Beach Rd. where you just might see the Caribou herd roaming or eagles soaring.