After retiring from the corporate world, some people might take a load off. Not Jerry Sarmiento. "I needed a second life," he says of his decision to become a restaurateur. "The more I got involved in the food business, the more I loved it, so I decided to do it right -- I'd better get my CIA (Culinary Institute of America) certification, which I did. Now I'm working 25 hours a day and loving every minute of it."
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His favorite cuisines are Italian and Spanish. He opened Italian restaurant Mezzanotte in 2006, and this year he's doing Spanish cuisine at Capriccio Tapas (10865 Jones Road, 281-807-9442). How's the tapas concept going down in the 'burbs? "Well, we have had some people ask us where our main dishes were -- that all we served were appetizers," says Jerry. "It's gonna take a little explaining, so we've added some pizzas and pasta dishes to please everyone." Not that customers aren't gobbling up the Spanish dishes too. "Our gazpacho is outstanding -- at least that's what our customers are saying -- and they also really like our paella.Since we cook it from scratch, it takes 30-40 minutes, but it's worth it."