To the naked eye, this Strib piece from Rick Nelson reads like bad news, but trust me this is the best thing in the world for all involved. When the average reader learns of dissolved partnerships, it’s natural to reason that this is a disastrous nightmare come to roost. But in fact, this is the middle of a long process for Tim McKee as he reestablishes himself as the Alpha Male in our food world. When I spoke to Tim on Tuesday he said that keeping his employees in jobs was his number one priority and this plan allows a company that can sell events into more space (the Graves Pere et Fils) to gain an outlet. And running a restaurant keeps people busy, since, like every hotel restaurant in the northern hemisphere, there are some slow days at restaurants/bars such as Cosmos and Bradstreet. Also, this plan keeps Solera afloat and gives it the best chance to survive. And that is a top priority for all involved. JP Samuelson is a great chef and anyone who hasn’t been lately to see what he’s up to there should go and see for themselves. I was on the opening team at Bravo, which Lee Lynch owned, and the building that he and his wife, Terri, built from scratch is a massive structure with a huge monthly nut to cover. If Lee and his partnership charge a dollar for the rent and the lease structure for Graves is simple and friendly then this plan might work really well. With Solera off his plate and Smalleys just waiting in the wings for triage, McKee can focus on LBV and his future prospects, which run very, very deep.
Check out the fifth photo. Am I mistaken or isn’t that outfit the same one worn by the girls who work the Lemonade/Cheese on a Stick booth in Carousel Park at the Minnesota State Fair?
A few months back Anthony Bourdain sponsored an essay contest exploring the idea of “what it means to cook well.” The limit was 500 words. This is the essay from Michael P, that won the 10K prize, and I gotta tell you, I got a little misty reading this one. The tone is beautifully genuine . . . what an evocative few paragraphs. Nicely done.
Parma in Bloomington, as I mentioned long ago here in this blog, is a great value, super easy to take the kids to on an early evening, and believe me when I tell you that the food is very buttoned up. Everything makes sense from the service to the consistent kitchen fare to the wine list. The Fratelli D’Amico are saints in my book, especially since this restaurant is five minutes from my house.