Earlier this year, chef Shaun McCrain left Book Bindery to pursue his own project. His former restaurant used the occasion to give itself a francophile makeover, but I've been wondering when we might hear more from the chef whose resume includes Masa, Michael Mina, and being on the opening team at Per Se.
Today he and business/life partner Jill Kinney shared a few more details on their forthcoming restaurant, which will be called Copine. I took Spanish in high school, so I'll take McCrain and Kinney's word that this French term loosely translates to "girlfriend, comrade, or pal." The food will be every bit as elegant as his plates at Book Bindery, contemporary and American but full of French techniques. Today's email dispatch promises "a higher-end daytime takeaway concept" alongside the dinner service restaurant.
The pair have yet to sign on a location; Kinney says they are being rather specific about their needs, which include seating for 60 and a chef's table. However they have secured a first round of investment, a primo architect (Olson Kundig), and an equally primo landscape architect firm (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) to infuse some significant green elements.
Former Book Bindery bar manager Ruven Munoz will head up the bar program. He's an old friend from the couple's New York days; Kinney calls him "the third leg of our stool."
Obviously there are more details to come once McCrain and Kinney find a space. Meanwhile the chef has a website a Facebook page, a series of dinner events planned and a mailing list for future updates.
There you go. We officially have one of our most anticipated restaurant projects of 2015.