New York City. Paris. Las Vegas. Miami.
Sure, Michael Seznec's 25-year career in the hospitality industry has brought him to many of the gastronomic capitals of the world.
While it would seemingly have no place in the aforementioned group of foodie havens, Seznec is ready to take his vast and varied experience as a restaurateur to his newest endeavor as general manager of The CBS Scene Restaurant and Bar at Patriot Place.
"Yeah, it's a huge undertaking," Seznec said with a smile. "But this is going to be something quite different in that it's brand new and it's a vision of the Kraft family and our partners at CBS. It's something that hasn't been done."
And that's saying something because there isn't much Seznec hasn't done in his career. He's run the signature restaurants of a who's who list of modern culinary luminaries, including "Top Chef" Tom Colicchio's CraftSteak and Bon Appétit Chef of the Year Daniel Boulud's Brasserie Boulud at the Wynn Las Vegas. New York Times magnate R.W. Apple wrote of CraftSteak, in a review penned during Seznec's time there, that it ran "as finely tuned as a Lamborghini."
Seznec's resume also includes stints at New York landmarks The Russian Tea Room and Danny Meyer's Union Square Café. He was also part of the opening team at Disneyland Paris.
Seznec maintains that The CBS Scene, the first of its kind, will be a unique experience for both himself and the diner at large.
At CBS Scene, it begins with theatrics.
The restaurant is equipped to host special CBS-themed functions. The Tribal Council from "Survivor" could be recreated for a birthday party. There are also broadcast studios from which CBS's various radio and television affiliates can broadcast live. A retail outlet selling CBS merchandise will be on the ground floor.
There will be more than 130 high-definition, flat-screen monitors throughout the 15,000-square-foot floor plan. All of them will stream live CBS programming as well as classic moments of some of television's most beloved shows. Booths will be fixed with TV monitors on its second-floor dining level with a grand bar on the top floor.
The three-story venue will stand adjacent to The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. Outdoor terraces will provide views of into the bowl of Gillette Stadium and, inside, The CBS Scene will bustle with visitors in its private function space.
Plenty of space doesn't mean much without food to serve and Seznec set out to find his executive chef through a vigorous process.
"We had a lot of great candidates, on paper and in personality," he said
Seznec invited a few of the final candidates to cook for him. He provided a little information on what the establishment was going to be like and what the vision for the menu would look like, but left the rest up to their imagination.
"We gave them an idea and then said, 'Go do it.'"
When the soup had come to simmer, Brian Corbley, formerly the executive chef at the Sherborn Inn, had risen to the top.
However, the larger process of staffing the 150-plus positions at The CBS Scene is still ongoing. Seznec was at Gillette Stadium recently to conduct and oversee a week's worth of interviews at The CBS Scene job fair. That might seem like it would take a lot of time. But when you're in the restaurant business, it's all part of the territory.
"Even the process of ordering China," Seznec exclaimed. "The ordering takes two minutes, but it takes a whole lot longer than that."
"It's all a daunting task," he continued. "When you think about the number of details of things that you think, 'If that goes wrong, this could be really bad,' there are a lot of those."
Rest assured, Seznec will carefully craft his staff. He knows that's the true secret to a restaurant's success, whether established or new.
"I hope that one of my signatures, in everything I've done leading up to this point, is hospitality. We just want to provide an overwhelming sense of hospitality to our staff and to our guests that I don't think many, if any, chain restaurants particularly focus on. We want you to feel engrossed in the experience from the moment you step foot into the restaurant until you're walking out the door."