Ringo has parted company with chef Ryan Aberle. It is extremely rare for this to happen in the first 90 days of a restaurant's operation. It’s particularly puzzling since owner Jim Ringo so heavily touted his confidence in his chefs by also making them his general managers (an experiment now ended). I had one of the worst trio of meals in my life at NorthCoast in Wayzata while Aberle was chef there, and what I saw at Ringo I wrote about last month. Terrible. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, but every food pundit in town saw this one coming. Aberle has been replaced by David Bonilla. Who? No offense to the new chef, but a virtual unknown helming a concept of this complexity and ambition is hard to figure. I hope the food gets better fast. No one wants to see something fail. That’s cruel. But Ringo is so unappealing to me on every level that I don’t think David Chang and ex-Met Bobby Bonilla could make it work.
Shefzilla , the book, is coming out this fall. The Minnesota Historical peeps are publishing Stewart Woodman’s first cookbook. Part homage to the life of a chef, part recipe collection, and part memory walk through the many kitchens he has trained in. Woodman has created a real gem. I have seen the galley and cooked from the book last weekend and it is SUPERB. Pre-order is available at Amazon and more on the tome at shefzilla.com.
Parma 8200 is open and for those of us who live in that part of town it’s a godsend. Sitting in a ground floor space of an office building is somewhat of a drag, but not every restaurant can have Lurcat’s view, right? The cavatappi with pork ragu (an actual recipe from chef Mike Dalton’s childhood) was stellar, as was the buratta bruschetta and the amazing deserts— butterscotch panna cotta and dark chocolate panino may be the best finish to a meal that I have had locally in a long time. I am hard pressed to think of another eatery as close to as many potential customers as this one ‘cause there ain’t many groovy spots at or near 82nd Street and Normandale/American Boulevard. That includes Kincaid’s, one of the most over rated restaurants in the Twin Cities. Finding this place the first time is a bitch, unless you work in one of those towers, but parking is plentiful and now that I have my route pegged this will be a go-to spot for pasta and easy Italiana. Sad that the local health code police won't let them keep more of their antipasti at room temp, but I am getting used to that insane thinking around these parts.