Change is afoot at M Bar on Las Olas Boulevard -- already.
M bar, which opened just over a month ago as a sibling to longtime Las Olas staple Mancini's, began serving lunch yesterday.
But that's not the big news.
More notably, the brother/sister team of chefs --
who opened the place -- Kevin and Lauren Anderson -- have left.
Clean Plate Charlie learned the pair is in pursuit of financial backing
for a small Miami-based temple to molecular gastronomy. (If you're not
familiar with the deconstruction-heavy genre that features foods
have been run through centrifuges or injected with syringes, you may
want to do some Googling of French chemist Herve This, who pioneered the
movement, or Spanish chef Ferran Adria, who served
the last meal at his famed restaurant el Bulli
this past Saturday night. Molecular gastronomy has been a lightning rod among chefs, who have asserted that "it's not food
" and that the term "doesn't exist
source familiar with the split says the Andersons' departure is
amicable. "What inspired the chefs and what Mancini wanted didn't
correlate," the source said.
Jack Mancini himself told Clean
Plate Charlie, "It was time to change." He said Claudio Sandri, his chef
from Mancini's, will be running the kitchen in the short term and that
he will interview permanent replacements over the next couple of weeks.
Mancini hires will update the menu, adhering to the restaurant's
farm-to-table concept. "The Florida produce season is wiped out during
the summer's heat," said Mancini. "Come fall, we'll be able to use
produce from local farms again." Purveyors include Palmetto Creek Farm
(for pork), Gary's Seafood,
and Paradise Farms
confirmed that lunch debuted yesterday. The lunch menu -- featuring
burgers, flatbreads, pulled pork, and salads -- is more casual than the
ambitious small-plates dinner menu the Andersons had introduced that
featured crispy pig ears, fresh creamed
hearts of palm with grilled octopus, and a sweetbreads riff on chicken
and waffles. (These items will remain on the dinner menu until a new
chef revamps it.)
The lunch menu features creativity in ingredient sourcing, combinations,
and condiments among a selection of flatbreads ($10 to $12) as well as
several new burger combos on brioche. (I'm into one topped with tomato,
sharp cheddar, and fried egg [$14].) Mancini recommends the grouper tacos
with lime and crème fraiche ($9). "It's a big piece of fish," he said.
And if you were wondering about the status of Mancini's: It's slated to reopen next door in time for the October boat show
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