Rocco Milano on the Changes at Private|Social
Private|Social, or P|S, or whatever it's called now has been a shifty restaurant as of late. After Tiffany Derry left the kitchen at the start of the year, Najat Kaanache was announced as the follow-on chef. Kaanache brought global flavors and a whimsical approach to the menu that didn't impress Leslie Brenner at The Dallas Morning News. Her first review of the restaurant awarded four stars. A subsequent take downgraded the restaurant to one.
Kaanache's cooking was odd. A foggy pot filled with dry ice and herbs was set on the table to "open up the senses," and guests were given pastry canvases, which they could paint with sauce-laden brushes. Now, according to their Facebook page, the restaurant is simplifying things a touch. According to the post they'll be serving "Awesome Texas Food."
Throughout all this change, Rocco Milano has been the bar manager at the Uptown restaurant. I've met him a few times and know he's a solid bartender. So I asked him what he thought of all this change.
"It's definitely been interesting," Milano said after confirming Kaanache would remain in the kitchen. Milano says they're still working on the menu, but it will feature sandwiches, steaks, soups, salads and the like. Still, he says he's excited for the shift.
As for the bar, they're scrapping draft beer completely and running cocktails on all the taps. Milano says in addition to the Texas Mule made with Tito's vodka he's been known for, he'll also be featuring a gimlet with Hendrix vodka and a daiquiri featuring Sailor Jerry Rum. "This is about rapid execution and balance," Milano told me, sounding as much like a spirit rep as he does a barman.
Maybe this is the approach the crowd in Uptown is looking for, but I can't help but long for the hand-crafted Sazerac I sipped in the Mansion almost two year's ago.