Counter Intelligence: Chef roster changes

  • Article by: RICK NELSON
  • Updated: August 10, 2011 - 5:16 PM

Also: Smaller prices at Luci, Pizza Nea and new twist on fish fries and more.

Changing chef rosters

George Snyder III (formerly of McCormick & Schmick's in Minneapolis) is now at the helm of Pazzaluna (360 St. Peter St., St. Paul, www.pazzaluna.com). At Colette Bar & Bistro (5601 W. 78th St., Bloomington, www.sofitel mplsdining.com), Mark Crane has been promoted from sous chef to executive chef. And Andrew Ernst is now running the show at the Bryant-Lake Bowl (810 W. Lake St., Mpls., www.bryantlake bowl.com). Ernst had been sous chef at the BLB's sister northeast Minneapolis operation, the Red Stag Supperclub.

Luci shrinks menu, lowers prices

At age 23, Ristorante Luci (470 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, www. ristoranteluci.com) is changing things up. The Smith family's cozy Italian restaurant has a revamped menu that's now featuring small plates, seasonal ingredients and low prices (nothing is over $9). Current dishes include short ribs braised in red wine, grilled asparagus topped with a poached egg, penne with grilled pork sausage and tomatoes and saffron-scented risotto with crawfish and peas.

Wayzata newcomer

What had been Volnay Bistro Bar -- and, before that, Patrick's Bistro -- is now McCormick's Pub & Restaurant (331 Broadway Av. S., Wayzata, www.mccormickswayzata. com), a casual Irish pub and restaurant serving lunch and dinner -- and Guinness, naturally -- daily.

Pizza to go

Mike Sherwood, owner of Pizza Nea (306 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., www.pizzanea.com), just might be on to something: His looks to be the area's first Neapolitan-style pizza -- an ever-growing pizza category -- that's available for home delivery, in a circle that stretches roughly 10 miles from his nine-year-old E. Hennepin pizzeria. "Why not make the restaurant more productive?" he said. Why not, indeed.

Fish fry switch-up

Thank you, Tanya Siebenaler, for putting your own inimitable spin on the Friday night fish fry tradition. This Friday, the Sapor Cafe and Bar (428 Washington Av. N., Mpls., www.saporcafe.com) chef is offering tempura-fried catfish in a house-made tortilla, dressed with slaw and a guajillo chile sauce. Price: $9 for one, $16 for a double. Co-owner Julie Steenerson suggest pairing it with an India Pale Ale ($5.25) from California-based Lagunitas Brewing Co. Works for me.

Sad news

My sincere condolences to the friends, family, colleagues and customers of David Webb, who died last week. Webb was the owner of the popular Good Day Cafe (5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley), and in the 1970s and 1980s, he and his brother Rick Webb launched some of the area's most influential dining establishments, including Rupert's, CocoLezzone, American Café, Winfield Potter's, Original Pancake House and My Pie.

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