The dining room at Monte Vista Fire Station has closed and will reopen in a few weeks as Gruet Steakhouse and Wine Bar. This is a little confusing, so pay attention, OK? See, the building (at Central and Monte Vista) is owned by Kerry Raynor and his partners, who include Ski Martin, the owner of the Owl Café on Eubank NE. (A few weeks ago, I interviewed Ski because he had partnered with Frank Marcello, of Copeland's and Zea Grill, on another Owl Café location in The Shops at I-25!) Raynor had been approached a number of times by people who wanted to put their own restaurants in his building, and always refused. It was a combination of events that finally made him change his mind.
I have a friend who drives me crazy because she makes her shopping list before she goes to the grocery store. Sure, I make a list. It's usually got about five items on it: Fresca, baked Cheetos, oatmeal, toilet paper and toothpaste. Everything else gets decided at the store. But my friend (I won't name her; she'd be furious. Shit, she'll be furious anyway), my friend Liz goes to all the trouble of sifting through her small collection of cookbooks to come up with meals she wants to make for the next couple of weeks. Then she writes down all of the ingredients for all of the dishes and makes her shopping list. My problem with her strategy is simple: What if you get to the store and there's no eggplant, or they're all bruised and gross? How will your eggplant parmigiana taste then? It seems like a bad idea to commit to a menu before you've seen the ingredients.