Today we’d like to introduce you to Didier and Cesidia Baugniet.
Didier and Cesidia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My husband and I have been in this business for over 30 years.
At the time we decided to move forward with our own place, my husband was in between jobs.
He was tired of the corporate world telling him what he could cook. I also worked in the hotel restaurant industry. It was hard to spend time together and with our kids. We felt with our own place we could set our own hours and still be together as a family.
We chose Arlington because it was a great little spot. Arlington was coming up.
We knew between the both of us we could run the restaurant and still manage our growing young family. The restaurant began with 30 seats in 2002. In 2007, we had to enlarge Scutra. We built on and doubled in size. We had one challenge. We only had a beer and wine license. Full liquor licenses were only allowed to restaurants that had 100 seats or more. We put in a petition to the town to reduce the amount of seating. The town voted in our favor- lucky for all other establishments they were able to apply for full liquor license. In 2008, we built a bar in Scutra.
We have been in business 15 years. Today we are working on building a 45-seat patio on the back of our restaurant. It abuts the minuteman bike trail. We are hoping to be open for business by the first week in August.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth – not so much- it’s never a dull moment in this business. To start we had no beer and wine license for first 3-month due to former owner and Arlington did not allow BYOB.
2nd hurdle-we expanded the restaurant in 2007-2008. Well the economy tanked.
We have had the restaurant 15 years which is a blessing and an omen at the same time. It is really hard to have a life when you are married to your work.
With large establishments, you can hire a large crew- well with a 60-seat restaurant you really need to take on most of the work.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I believe we are most proud of the fact that we have made it to this point. Our long time customers who still come in have seen our kids grow. The customers have become our family.
If we had to say what is our specialty- It would have to be Didier’s sauces and forever creative ideas. I always tell guest -if you are looking for a simple meat and potato dish you won’t find it here.
One staple menu item is our Mussel plate. The plates were brought in from Belgium. The mussels are open face with parmesan and garlic butter. That is one item which has never left the menu in 15 years.
Didier makes about 90% of his food from scratch. The menu changes seasonally. He has weekly specials as well which are a hit with the locals weekdays.
As most of customers say they would have never anticipated the inside of our restaurant from the outside.
I think what sets us aside is because we are a small family run business. Our guests will call ahead and have Didier prepare and dietary restrictions. He can accommodate most requests – sometimes it is a little hard when the kitchen is busy.
Didier is always experimenting and blending foods which keeps things fresh.
What were you like growing up?
I came to this country from Italy when I was 5 years old. My mom stayed home and took care of the kids and my dad worked.
My mom always cooked and made everything from scratch. My favorite thing was- She made homemade crunchy bread which we would toast and put in hot milk with sugar. It was one of the best things next to Nutella which was a staple in our house.
I grew up being outdoors whether we liked it or not. We stayed out until you heard the bell and that only meant one thing a meal or bed… There were a lot of boys in the neighborhood so I was kinda like a tomboy. In our neighborhood, we were kinda all in the same situation. We lived in a part of Newton called the Lake.
We went to the deli to get fresh cold cuts and then the bakery to get fresh bread when my mom needed more. Those days were hard for my parents but they seemed so simple for us.
There was always a gathering – a party- a reason to eat. I guess I’m not surprised I am in the restaurant business. My mother would feed everyone- always giving goody bags to the neighbors.
I am a strong person that works best under pressure. I love the ocean, and family gatherings.
- Appetizers range from $6-14
- Entrees range from $18-28
- Tuesday-Wednesday Two Course special 27.25
- Address: 92 Summer St
Arlington Ma 02474
- Website: Scutra.com
- Phone: 7813161816
- Email: Scutra@aol.com
- Facebook: Scutra