Chef Scott Pampuch — who cut his teeth on the pot roast at the Modern Cafe, made an indelible mark on Minneapolis dining when he gave us Corner Table back in 2004, and most recently took over and departed East Town’s McKinney Roe in less than a year — has a new gig.
Pampuch is now the executive chef at 4 Bells in Loring Park. And he has some ideas for the menu, which gradually pivoted more toward seafood and away from its juicy, crispy broasted-style fried chicken since it opened in 2015 (1610 Harmon Place, Mpls., 612-904-1163, 4bells.com).
First and foremost, the fried chicken is coming back. For Restaurant Week, anyway (Feb. 17-22). “It’s a nod to what’s coming up and where this summer’s going to take us,” said Pampuch.
That’s just one taste of southern cuisine Pampuch hopes to highlight once the menu changes kick in. While the restaurant will still focus on seafood, his vision is to highlight the north-to-south cuisine of the Mississippi River.
“I grew up on the Mississippi River,” said the Winona, Minn., native. “In my family we always had freshwater fish but also catfish is something we had a lot of. If you go down the river, the cuisine is super interesting.” He plans a nod to the barbecue of the Delta down to the French and Creole tastes of New Orleans.
“We’ll have a ton of fun with the food and we’ll definitely do some more elevated things,” Pampuch said. “And we’ll get back to being a little more casual, if that’s even a possibility.”
But it’s not a rebranding for 4 Bells. “We’re just taking all the things everybody has loved about 4 Bells over the years and emphasizing those, and adding and bringing in some new fun.”