At this restaurant, the customers won’t be needing a doggie bag.
At Dogue (rhymes with “vogue”), posh preparations of filet mignon with quail egg, venison, antelope, duck and fancy pastries are made for the furry clientele by classically trained chef Rahmi Massarweh, who owns the business with his wife Alejandra.
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The lux puppy chow definitely doesn’t come cheap — as a multi-course “bone appetit” tasting menu will rack up a bill of at least $75.
“When we make our food, it is a process. It is very time-consuming. There is a lot of technique. There’s a lot of method and detail to what we do,” Massarweh said. “Our pastries, for example, take about two days on average to make. I know they’re going to be eaten in two seconds.”
Massarweh spends as much time cooking and prepping for his doggie service as a real three-star restaurant. Everything at Dogue is human-grade — and a similar tasting menu could cost of up to $500 if it was made for people, he said.
Massarweh doesn’t recommend his food to humans, though, as there is no salt or sugar in anything, he told Insider.
The chef said he was inspired to keep the eatery starch free after seeing how well his Mastiff, Grizzly, responded to a no-carb diet.
“We chose to not feed a carbohydrate-rich diet, and the benefits have been tremendous,” he told the outlet. “Being able to have a Mastiff that’s 12 years old and still acts like a really young dog is the biggest benefit I’ve ever seen out of all of it.”
Trained in traditional French cuisine, Massarweh was inspired to open Dogue when he started a dog day care after leaving the restaurant business in 2015.
“While operating the day care, we started to get more inquiries about our dog food,” Massarweh said. “I’ll never forget the very first client who asked us to make food for their dog.”
Their dream of offering high-quality grub for a wider audience of four-legged friends became a reality in September when Dogue opened its doors at 988 Valencia St.
“There’s a lot of European inspiration,” Massarweh told Insider of the space, which is mostly cream-colored with teal accents.
While some critics might scoff at the idea of dogs slurping canine mimosas and chowing down on jerky while the city battles a homeless crisis and the cost of living soars, Massarweh insists that the neighborhood has been extremely welcoming.
On one recent Sunday, the cafe hosted three separate doggie birthday parties.
“I wanted to celebrate him. He is so special to me. He’s my four-legged child and this is the perfect place to do a really nice celebration,” Gledy Espinoza told Associated Press of bringing her miniature dachshund Mason to Dogue. The 11-year-old pup enjoyed the mushroom soup with slices of chicken breast.
Regular customers can expect plenty of variety on the menu. “We’re going to be offering a Thanksgiving-inspired menu,” Massarweh confirmed to Insider.
Aside from being something of a culinary sensation, Dogue also represents a personal pinnacle for Massarweh.
“I’ve worked in restaurants for many years, and it’s rare when as a chef, I walk into the dining room to touch tables and every single guest has a smile on their face,” he told Associated Press.
“There’s something very unique and satisfying about that.”