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!