All the Porter + Frye news you ever wanted to read tomorrow . . . but for today, I want to tell you that in a previous post, Steven Brown had led me to a fun food photo site, and I mistakenly credited it as being a site developed by Steven and his P + F staff. I was only sorta right, sorry fellas! Josh Habiger and Erik Andersen had created the site on their own, and they should get full credit for the amazing food that is residing on it. They were using it as a test site for cataloging their work and attracting potential interest in them as chefs.
In the same post, I also mentioned that Josh was going to be working at Bradstreet, the new eatery in the Graves 601, but I was wrong about that as well. Stephen Trojhan’s chef de cuisine is Jesse Spitzack, who has an impressive resume including restaurants in the British Virgin Islands; Montpellier, France; and some cool internships in Japan.
The menu looks really fun, loaded with small plates all for less than $10, and the drinks look even funkier, a rye list including some rare offerings. Word is that Alchemy Consulting out of NYC, which also did Violet Hour in Chicago and is among the smartest in the bev biz, has been helping with the bar. The menu offers sates, sliders, cured meat plates, spring rolls, and even duck wings, a veritable who’s who of modern day, small plate, gastro-pub fare. It will be interesting to see if all this stuff is executed well, and if it is, will people be able to find the restaurant deep in the first floor of the hotel? I was sort of hoping they would move the space out to get some curb appeal going . . . . Anyone cruised by to see it yet? It's open.
When the Guthrie Theater asked for RFPs from national restaurant companies to run their food service in what is now its current location, Mintáhoe partnered with local uberchef Tim McKee on a bid. Bon Apétit and Lenny Russo got the job, Russo was soon gone and now so is Bon Apétit. The BA contract takes them through April, and then Culinaire (based out of Texas) and the dynamic duo of McKee and his partner, Josh Thoma, will take over. Hopefully, the Guthrie with let them repair the design nightmare of that big blue cold room; at the very least, we know the food will be better.
That restaurant slid downhill faster than Fred Thompson's presidential bid. McKee will only run the restaurant that is now Cue, and Culinaire will handle the rest of the building—but look for them to lean on McKee a lot as they make changes. So, if I am Josh and Tim, whom do I hire to run the restaurant as the chef de cuisine? Tim told me it will be a modern seafood concept, not a steak house-style fish house, such as Oceanaire, so they will need someone who has an experienced hand running a big room, someone with the temperament to command a large brigade, and someone with enough personality to handle working for another famous chef. J. P. Samuelson has just been hired by McKee and Thoma to run Solera, so he is out of the mix. Flicker is available, but my spies tell me that McKee and Thoma have already tapped a powerhouse chef who is currently employed elsewhere, but I am not telling . . . yet.
Restaurateurs with smaller ambitions (today) than Josh and Tim’s should look at the space at the corner of Selby and Dale. It's cheap, a corner space, and it gets more traffic flowing by its doors than almost any other corner in a residential neighborhood that I know of.