Chef JP Samuelson is heading back into the city after a short stint at Wayzata's 6Smith.
He says he always thought of Wayzata's 6Smith and his tour of duty with Kaskaid Hospitality (he was chef of the ill-fated Figlio 2.0) as a "stepping stone" in his career, with Red Stag being more his speed -- in size and in style.
"I'll actually be able to do what I love, which is touch food and cook. With a smaller restaurant you can get more involved with seasonality and change the menu more often because you don't have to teach 20 cooks how to do something," says Samuelson. "I'm also looking forward to getting back to working with local farmers and having things taste the way they're supposed to taste, you know? The arugula actually tastes like arugula."
Samuelson says there are no "sacred cows" in terms of what he'll do with the menu, but he isn't tipping his hand just yet when it comes to specifics.
"Kim [Bartmann] and I are just now playing around with the interpretation of what a supper club is," he says. "It may be fun to get a little tongue-in-cheek with it."
Samuelson has spent some time traveling and researching "traditional steakhouse-y things," he says, but wants about a month to push out a full menu change.
"I feel like I'm coming full circle. I opened Bobino in this neighborhood 18 years ago when my daughter was just born. Now she's 17 and going to DeLaSalle. It just feels right and I'm very excited."
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