Interview: Karen and Quinn Hatfield Discuss Reopening Thrills and Blogger Jitters

February will see the return of Hatfield’s, the celebrated restaurant run by chef Quinn Hatfield and pastry chef Karen Hatfield that was closed in its original location last year. As the married duo have been missed and the restaurant’s return eagerly awaited, we thought it was about time to ask them what they’ve missed themselves about the restaurant game and what is both exciting and scaring them as a reopening approaches. Enjoy our Q&A; with the Hatfield clan for the answers.

Would you please take us back to the decision to move from your former location? Why did you close the original space?
Karen Hatfield: We had always anticipated growing into a larger restaurant. We felt at some point we would need a space that had more long-term potential and that the Beverly space, while charming, didn’t really communicate the restaurant we were trying to be.

In addition to a reopening, is this in anyway a reinvention?
It is definitely a reinvention. Our palates and sensibilities are still our own, but things are constantly evolving. Having this break has given us a lot more time to reevaluate many of our methods and philosophies.

So will there be any new dishes?
Too many to mention. We will be adding many more vegetarian options and will have a really fun bar menu. In addition, most of our expanded a la carte menu will be new. We are excited about doing lunch. We will be featuring a couple three-course pre fixe menus- for $19 and $28- in addition to our a la carte options.

What has you personally most excited about re-entering the restaurant playing field?
The possibilities are endless. We get to woo people all over again and hopefully win a lot of hearts.

What has you most terrified?
The blogging world has changed immensely in the three and a half years since we opened on Beverly. I hope they will give us a couple days to get things going before they pounce. But at the same time it’s exciting. We think we’re up for the challenge.

What have you missed the most in working day-to-day in a restaurant?
Everything. We love the day-to-day, that’s what it’s all about. We miss interacting with our regulars and the creative release from constantly cooking.

Which headache have you not missed?
Karen: Accommodating servers’ schedules. Quinn: Finding a broad assortment of vegetables in the dead of winter.

How have you continued to learn while in this transition without having your own restaurant?
Quinn and I love to eat out. We learn more from eating in other people’s restaurants than anything else; it keeps us focused on the experience as a whole. Our time away has reinforced the importance of staying true to ourselves and our cooking style.

What triggered the decision to bring designer Alexis Readinger on-board and what was the look you wanted for the new space?
With a space of this size, we really needed a designer. We had felt a connection to Alexis’ past work and she has exceeded our expectations. Our cooking is fine dining but we don’t like the room to feel “fine dining.” We’ve added a lot of contrasting textures and warming, neutral shades. I think the space has been transformed.

What do you think guests will love the most about the design?
There is an expansive light fixture of iron and canvas which resembles honeycomb. It has really tied the room together and made the space feel more intimate.

Anything you want to say to L.A. before reopening?
We are thrilled to be in our new home on Melrose and we are excited to be taking Hatfield’s to the next level.

Earlier: Hatfields Opening Pushed Back

Interview: Karen and Quinn Hatfield Discuss Reopening Thrills and Blogger