As suspected, Michael Mina has announced Tuesday October 19th as the official opening date for the second iteration of his namesake Michael Mina Restaurant in the former Aqua digs. For this emotional homecoming to the very restaurant where he launched his career 20 years ago, Mina is bringing his chef de cuisine Jeremy Ravetz and wine curator Rajat Parr along from the first Michael Mina run on Union Square. Ryan Cole, who has been with The Mina Group since 2008, will be General Manager and Matthew Turner, who came on with Mina in 2007 at Bourbon Steak Miami, will be sommelier. Notable concept changes from the Westin St. Francis operation include a lunch service that will be offered exclusively at the 20-seat bar with the option of a chef's tasting table for parties of eight or more. Lunch menu items include small plates, salads, soups and classics like the Ahi tartare. The dinner menu will center on market-fresh, seasonal a la carte ordering with the option to have the chef cook for your table. It sounds as if the triplet plate format that made the first Michael Mina has been eschewed, although no one at The Mina Group could confirm that entirely with us before going to print. [Update: Mina personnel confirm Mina's famous "trios" will not be featured on the new menu.]
Aqua's original interior stylists, Frost Tsuji Architects (Hotel Healdsburg, Boulette's Larder, Bar Jules) were enlisted to refresh the interior while keeping the original game-changing format intact. Artisans have refreshed the fabrications whilst a new steel fretwork entry screen, fabricated by Wyatt Ellison, has been installed. Several local artists were commissioned for the handmade porcelain dishware that will be a focal point of the interior, set against dark walnut tables and bar. Standing out on the press release, the music choice is outlined in as "sexy, flirty, passionate and seductive" with "organic, warm, lovely and sweet overtones." Hmm.
Now here's a promo video that's been offered solely to Eater for your afternoon enjoyment. You can find several near carbon copies of it here on Michael Mina's site, but it does let us hear Michael Mina's voice and see what General Manager Ryan Cole and VP of Operations Patric Yumul look like. Here goes:
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