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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

JP is Back!

After J.P.’s American Bistro closed I (along every other food-interested party in town) was concerned that the next step would be the announcement that chef J.P. Samuelson would be leaving town. After all, with his Bouley background, he could cook anywhere in the world.

Well, here’s some happy news: Doug Anderson from Nick and Eddie called me today to let me know that J.P. has accepted a position as sous chef (second chef) at the Loring Park restaurant.

“He started working Saturday night,” Anderson told me. “He’s such a nice guy, it’s amazing to see two nice guys in the kitchen. There’s really not much more to say to it than that. Steve [Vranian, the chef at Nick and Eddie] is so happy, he’s been run ragged lately and to have someone in there he trusts completely—he already looks more rested. It looks like he’s going to be here for a fairly long period of time.”

Anderson tells me the first thing J.P. is going to be taking over are the $8 dinner platters in the bar. I wrote about them in the December issue of Minnesota Monthly— issues that showed up in our offices today—but suffice to say here that those platters are the best bargains in town.

Except for this one: There’s a private mezzanine space up above the bar at Nick and Eddie, and you can book it for private events for groups of 10 to 26 people. If you do, you can pay a mere $19.77 per person and receive an appetizer, a salad, an entrée, and an unlimited supply of red and/or white wine. (No, that is not a typo: Drinks included. Tax and tip aren’t.) “It’s just family style stuff,” Anderson told me, family style stuff from the team of Steve Vranian and J.P. Samuelson? Sign me up!

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
Nov 19, 2008 10:44 am
 Posted by  snugglies

Can we hope the level of service rises to match the skill in the kitchen? Doug, are you listening? I know many people who will not come back due to poor service.

Nov 19, 2008 11:09 am
 Posted by  Dara

When were you last there, and what was the service issue? If possible, I'd like to turn this into a forum for constructive criticism...

Nov 19, 2008 01:29 pm
 Posted by  snugglies

Within the past month, and I'm not a regular but at least monthly as I live nearby. Repeated issues: inaccurate orders, orders put before the wrong person (EVERY visit. This seems like it should be basic, and happens rarely at my favorite places like 112 and Heartland.), having to remind servers about drink orders. This could all be summed up as a lack of attention to detail, but again a lot of this is basic. Also, and I don't think this is "paranoid", but I observe that friends of the bartenders get more attention and face time. And I'm a good tipper.
I like the food and the room, but I just don't feel valued as a customer. This is something that is a top-down solution I think.
Hope this is constructive, hate hurting anyone's feelings so not naming names. Absolutely want to support J.P..

Nov 19, 2008 01:36 pm
 Posted by  Dara

Okay, I appreciate that, Snugglies, if that is your real name, it's very helpful and specific.

So, Nick and Eddie, you have a regular who is not feeling the love. What now?

Nov 20, 2008 07:49 am
 Posted by  90210

That's great news. JP is a phenomenal chef and N&E is lucky to have him. But what about Andrew?!?! Does anybody know where he is?

Nov 20, 2008 09:03 am
 Posted by  Dara

Wait -- who's Andrew? Did he cook at J.P.'s?

Nov 20, 2008 09:23 am
 Posted by  M

Last I saw, Andrew is working behind the counter at Clancy's and is as sweet as ever!!

Nov 20, 2008 11:12 am
 Posted by  90210

You know...Andrew - the world's best bartender!

Nov 20, 2008 01:53 pm
 Posted by  bill420

Hey Dara,
Just wanted to point out how much everyone thinks your old papers food reviews have declined since you left!

Nov 28, 2008 10:19 pm
 Posted by  murp0172

Took my parents from out of town there tonight, JP was in the kitchen, I was surprised at how easy it was to get a table at 7:30 on a Friday (it was after TG though) worried that we are not supporting this place with tons of potential. The menu seems to have even come down in price. Only two entrees above $20. Little worried that almost everything comes with Fries, would like to see JP show off some of his mad skills. Of course, ended with the butterscotch pudding, I thought my mother was goind to lick the dish clean

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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