July 2012

Inti Celebrates Seven Years in Talent!

IntiFor Elise Passante and Brian Bayliss, co-owners of Inti Latin Soul, Restaurant & Cantina, the key to running a successful restaurant is more than just offering amazing food—it’s about creating a space in which their customers can feel welcomed and comfortable. “We like to think of Inti as an extension of our home,” Elise said. “Everything that we put into this restaurant – from our food (everything is hand-made), to the atmosphere that we strive to create – is our souls. From myself, to Brian, to our family in the kitchen, it’s all part of us, and we want everyone to get that feeling when they come here.”
The two opened the restaurant in July 2006. Today, seven years later, Inti employs ten people and is famous in the area for its innovative Latin- inspired cuisine.
“We like to say we have ten family members here at Inti,” Elise said. “Ricardo has been the ‘amin man’ since we opened (he’s the one that makes the food tasty); Lupe, Letty, Olivia and Lucero are the lovely ladies behind the scenes making tortillas by hand, roasting chiles, etc.; Annette, Chelsea, Cara and Meghan are the wonderful front of house staff that meets, greets and serves all with a smile on their faces.”
Elise has worked in the restaurant business since she was 16 years old, but received her true training while working in the Hamptons under the tutelage of Ina Garten, better known to Food Network junkies, as the Barefoot Contessa. According to Elise, it was during those years that she learned the ethics of how to treat employees and customers, as well as how to work with the food itself.
“I was an intern for Ina Garten the summer of 1983 right after high school. What was supposed to be just a summer fling, luckily for me, turned into a four-year gig. Working for her really brought full circle for me how I wanted to be in the restaurant business,” she says. “I really liked the extension of entertaining and eating good food as an integral part of life. Eat, drink and be merry, you know?”
Elise thrives on being challenged in the kitchen. “I like to read cookbooks and find unique recipes, and then use fresh and in-season ingredients,” Elise said. “Our chile rellenos and the Brazilian seafood chowder are hands down our customers’ favorites.”
Inti also offers free live music.
“The music on Friday nights started two years ago solely for our own entertainment,” Elise said. “We have so many talented folks here in the valley, and we wanted to create a venue to showcase all this talent, and not to charge a cover. It really took off, so starting in mid-July, we decided we will offer free music on Saturday nights from 7 to 8:30pm as well.”
Inti’s Seven Year Anniversary Celebration will take place on Saturday, July 21 starting at 5:30pm. There will be live music and great drink and food specials all night. Call 541- 535-7336 for more information.
Inti is located at 109 Talent Avenue in downtown Talent, and is open for lunch Monday – Saturday 11am – 2pm and for dinner 5 – 9pm.