Friends with Benefits: Ken Carter at The D
What started as a waiter job right out of high school turned into a career that spanned more than three decades. Ken Carter, General Manager of Andiamo Steakhouse at The D, entered the industry when he was just 18 years old.
“My first job was at Ruth’s Chris Steak House; I was a bus,” says Carter, born in New York and raised in Las Vegas. “There were very few high-end steakhouses back then, so it was an exciting time to work there. A lot of famous people were coming, we were making a lot of money and having a lot of fun.
Carter stayed with Ruth’s Chris for 23 years; he went from busboy to kitchen, where he worked as a chef for a few years, then taught himself wine and front of house work and moved into management. After two decades with the company, it was time for a change, says Carter. He found himself at The D and Andiamo when it first opened its doors 10 years ago.
“I’m basically responsible for everything here,” he says. “The chef takes care of the back of the house and the food; the responsibilities in front of the house lie with me, the staff, the wine program, the beverage program. I just keep in mind that I’m not in charge of everyone; I am more responsible for everyone. Employees, guests, make sure they have everything they need. And keep the hull – luckily that comes naturally to me. I stay calm and cool. I learned over time how to be a manager. I like to tell people I’ve seen enough to know, but you’ll never see it all.
Carter notes that being in management takes hard work and a strong work ethic — something he inherits from his parents, who worked hard every day to care for their six children. “At this point, I can’t imagine doing anything else in this city,” he says. ” I am 50 years old. I’m 35, 20 years in management. This is what I’m gonna do.
Libation: the old-fashioned infused
If you’re lucky enough to sit at the small bar inside Andiamo Steakhouse, it’s a great place to sample one of the restaurant’s specialties, classic cocktails with a twist. A popular and strong sip is The Infused Old-Fashioned. A twist on the classic Old-Fashioned, Andiamo’s version is blended with Old Forester bourbon and brown sugar, orange zest, vanilla beans, dried cherries and cinnamon sticks, all infused with a hint of Angostura bitters then smoked for that extra pungent aroma. .
Advantage: Ask for the zip sauce, a Detroit classic that really goes with any Andiamo dish, but especially the steak.
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