When the iconic Foshay Tower becomes a 230-room hotel called the W Minneapolis-the Foshay, the property will include two eat-and-drink operations: Prohibition, a street-level restaurant and bar, and Wilbur's, a lounge on the building's 27th floor, part of the original mahogany-lined suite built for the tower's namesake, Wilbur Foshay.
One major detail missing is the name of the chef. Speculation is that the cook in charge will be Jean-Georges Vongerichten, whose management company, Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, runs the Chambers Kitchen in the nearby Chambers Hotel. That's kind of a no-brainer, since both hotels are owned by real estate mogul Ralph Burnet, and Culinary Concepts already operates restaurants in several other W locations. A help-wanted ad posted this week on Craigslist.com seemed to be a confirmation, but the news that Culinary Concepts was looking for a general manager for the soon-to-open hotel came as a surprise to the Foshay people; the ad has since been removed.
"No contracts have been signed," said Burnet spokeswoman Jacqueline Hanson. "It's no secret that Jean-Georges is in the mix, but nothing has been finalized."Around town
When Food Network hotshot Bobby Flay was in town last weekend, where did he have breakfast? Hell's Kitchen (89 S. 10th St., Minneapolis, www.hellskitcheninc.com), of course, where chef/co-owner Mitch Omer reports that the "Boy Meets Grill" guy ordered Omer's "Nearly Classic" eggs Benedict, so named because it's made with a slow-roasted pit ham rather than Canadian bacon. "He was a nice guy," said Omer, and a change from the usual celebrities the restaurant draws, namely rock musicians. Members of the Church were just in, and "we get Jack White from the White Stripes, Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers," said Omer. "I don't know, maybe they have our name up somewhere at First Avenue."
Vincent Francoual's great idea of hosting outstate chefs in his downtown Minneapolis restaurant continues Wednesday, when he opens his kitchen at Vincent (1100 Nicollet Mall, www.vincentarestaurant.com) to Greg Jaworski of Nosh (310 1/2 S. Washington St., Lake City, Minn., www.noshrestaurant.com). The multicourse meal includes morels and asparagus over toasted brioche, scallops with braised pork belly and duck breast with a rhubarb purée, as well as wine pairings. Reservations are $80; call 612-630-1189.
Asher Miller is the new chef at 20.21 (1750 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis, www.wolfgangpuck.com). Miller, a veteran of Cafe Barbette (1600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, www.cafebarbette.com) and Fermentations (236 Railway St. N., Dundas, Minn., www.fermentations-bistro.com), has been at the Walker Art Center's restaurant since its 2005 opening and is replacing his former boss, Scott Irestone.