Yet another chef has left Pinot Brasserie in SW Portland
In the continuing saga that has surrounded Pinot Brasserie at SW 12th and Washington, the replacement chef for the opening executive chef Bill King has been fired. According to Extra MSG, “I confirmed with the management that Paul Arnold is out and has been replaced by Ryan Smith, previous chef at Rivershore Bar & Grill in Oregon City at the Best Western“.
Oh My. I’d love to see them succeed, but this is the most poorly conceived and executed restaurant to come along in some time. I wish the new chef best of luck, but, um… I’m not hopeful. (Of course, it’s all my fault, see this post)
Someone on portlandfood said it sounded like a slow and painful death. I’d have to agree.
Scrambling… a la Balvo/23 Hoyt style
This guy (Food Prep Arnold) needs a trophy for being unlikable. Don’t get me wrong… The guy can cook, but according to my friends who work there, he couldn’t manage a weenie roast.
Pearl District says
This concept never should have happened. Who opens a 200 seat restaurant around the corner from another 200 seat restaurant?
I’ve heard their other restaurant, the Agave Mexican Grill at Bridgeport village, is equally disastrous I don’t think they even a have a Chef
it sounds like bubye works at pinot. no need to post your hate on this board! only jerks post this kind of crap! Paul is great guy!
Ryan Smith is another alumni of the McCormick’s chain. His last job was Execcutive Chef at the Fish House in Beaveerton. Weird that they are making the switch now ( maybe after the holidays??? )
Bill King, Manny Hillario, Ryan Smith all McCormick’s guys. Why switch to a McCormick’s guy? Especially a McCormick’s guy who left McCormick’s to work a a Best Western food outlet???
The owners are ( at least on the OLCC permit are Bill King and Manny Hillario ) but I think the owners of the building they are in have some control.
We dont know the numbers, but this may be a last ditch effort? They hired a good front/wine guy who has to be bummed that he letft Hawaii for this venture ( I think he is a M.S ) its a pretty restaurant. I think another McCormick’s guy is the death blow.
Lost of great cooks in the area who could really do a good job in that space ( think of all the great Sous chef’s that want to take the next step? )
Why before the hoidays???? Really weird timing. Some thing must be “up” to make a move now……..there is more to this story.
I walked by the other night and was peering in those big glass windows. Staff was outnumbering customers 2 -1. It’s sort of like the Lucier story, some one bit off more then they could chew. On the same walkabout, Gruner was packed and seemed to be doing great. Sad really to see such an investment go wrong.
Lur Kerr says
@amoureuese, there are no Portland Master Sommeliers (M.S.’s) as of yet. He might be studying for the Court, but wanted to clarify that there are no M.S.’s here, and imho, the wine list was pretty pedestrian and reflects his lack of education. Heard from someone who went through the management hiring process that he was the only one that was handpicked by Bill, and all Portland candidates had to sit through a round-table “interview” and meet their fellow competitors while this guy was the Mole, pretending to be a candidate as well when he was already hired. The interview ended with each person having to write on a piece of paper which two people they felt would be the best fit, and those chits were handed to Bill. Sadistic? Illegal? You decide.
Bill King set the tone when he declared himself King of the World and insisted on being both GM and Chef for a spot that needed more management. Bill was not willing to have anybody make decisions and it bit him in the ass. His second in command simply benefited from the crap rolling downhill effect. I predict an eventual apocalypse once the banks figure out that they have a restaurant full of employees who are simply hired puppets.
Actually…Lur Kerr, there is a Master Sommelier in the Portland area. A gentleman by the name of Nate Ready. Nate’s a really nice guy who is employed by Antica Terra Winery. He passed the exam a few years ago while working at Frasca restaurant in Boulder.
Food Dude says
The problem with this restaurant, is they had a disastrous opening, and quickly built a bad reputation. It’s going to be really difficult to overcome that without re-branding.