Just yesterday I have commented in my yearly recap that Hemmingway’s had closed in 2010. Here we are on Day 2 of 2011 and a replacement has been announced.
Jack’s used to be one of our favorites and I personally like Bleu quite a bit….so this could be a very good marriage of styles.
I really liked the personal atmosphere of Hemmingway’s, so I am glad to here they are not remodeling much. I hope they keep the “private” booths. I’m intrigued by the British theme…I wonder what they will have on tap. Time to start googling names to run these guys down for an interview.
Columbia is way short of fine dining….so this is really good news (although at the cost of a cigar shop). 2011 is looking up already.
Two local chefs have teamed up to open 44 Stone Public House, Columbia’s first “gastropub,” in the former Hemingway’s Wine and Bistro location.
David Faron, 31, is the executive chef at Jack’s Restaurant & Catering; Mark Sulltrop, 39, holds the same position at The Upper Crust. They met at Bleu Restaurant and Wine Bar in July 2008. “He hired me to be his sous chef,” Faron said.
The name is a self-deprecating poke at the two men’s girth. In Britain, a “stone” is 14 pounds; together they weigh 44 stone. “Do the math,” Faron said.
They hope to leave their current positions and have the new restaurant open by Feb. 15. They purchased the assets of the business Monday from former owner Van Allen, who closed Hemingway’s in October.
The place will be modeled after the convivial public houses popular throughout the British Isles. Faron — whose heritage is English — said that means the fare will be reasonably priced and the surroundings will be comfortable. Patrons are invited to play darts, watch a game and quaff some ale.
Faron and Sulltrop want to introduce common British dishes with a contemporary American aesthetic. The goal is to present a limited, changing menu of dishes. The two speak the vocabulary of fine dining but want to avoid the pretension of haute cuisine. “We want to avoid the Curse of the Special Occasion,” Sulltrop joked.
Commonly served dishes might include plowman’s lunch, an English-style antipasti of cheeses, bread, chutney and charcuterie, or bangers and mash — sausages and mashed potatoes in American parlance.
They are not planning extensive renovations to Hemingway’s plush interior. It took 18 months to find the right location, Faron said.
“It definitely exceeds our expectations,” he said.