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."
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."