Meet Kaylen Como: restaurant owner, expert glass polisher and total natural at, well, just about every unnatural thing we asked of him for this assignment. Pose for portraits? Nailed it. Sit down for an interview? We chatted like friends. Water glasses we didn’t ask for filled themselves. Staff appeared exactly when we needed them. The perfect music played at the perfect volume in the perfectly perfect background. If it hadn’t all been so lovely and genuine, it might have been annoying. And that right there is the difference between a good host and a great one. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, we were guests of the house.
Treat yourself to a visit and you will be, too. Welcome to Privada Wine + Tapas. Take a look.
at a Glance
100-21 Perron Street, St. Albert
Kaylen & Kaylan Como (yeah, they think it’s confusing, too)
Pairing local, seasonal food with great wine and great people
Seasonal, local ingredients with Spanish and French influences
Tapas, Small & Large plates, Fresh pasta, Daily entrées
Specialty of the House
House-Made Charcuterie: All the charcuterie is made, cured, smoked and aged in house
“When we first opened, our focus was on tapas-inspired food. What we’re really focused on now is local. It wasn’t until about a-year-and-a-half ago that it really opened our eyes when someone asked, ‘Where do you get your food from?’ I couldn’t answer the question. We got it through a large distributor, but I couldn’t trace it back to where it really came from. We just decided right then that that wasn’t right. When we have all these farmers around here who work really hard to produce food, why aren’t we using them? Now we really focus on local food and on making everything in house. It’s changed the whole experience.”
“My wife and I were here for dinner one night, and we just loved this place—everything about it. We came back a few weeks later in January, and it was locked up. As we walked away, we jokingly said, ‘Ha!—We should buy this place.’ And, yeah (laughing), in March we owned it.”
“We have great suppliers. People like Eric and Michelle from Untamed Feast. They’re in a lot, and we try to support them whenever we can. Community’s a big deal. Relationships are a big deal. I watch Sunday football games with my D’Arcy’s Meat sales rep. They’re more than just business relationships now. They’re friendships.”
“We used to keep our charcuterie in the back, but now we brought it out front to show people that it’s made here. Sliced-to-order is one thing, but in a lot of restaurants that still means store-bought. We do it all right here. We just did a Guinness salami—stuff that maybe you haven’t seen before. I want our chefs to be creative and try new things. Otherwise they’re gonna lose their inspiration. You know, if it fails it fails. It’s part of the process. If we’re not taking risks and having fun back there, our customers won’t be having the best experience they can out here.”
“The best advice I was given? Hire great staff. And we did.”
“I’ve never had a bad day. I’ve had stressful days, but they’ve always been good. The first two years were a lot of hard work. But it wasn’t just my hard work and vision. It was Kaylan’s too. And it kinda worked out great because we saw the same path and went down it together.” t8n