Michael Herschman is on the move. After a brief stint as GM at Melange, he’s back in the kitchen. And after a few conversations with him, it sounds like he’s ready to plant some roots.
The former owner/chef of Mojo, a personal favorite of mine, is right around the corner from where he first started cooking in 1993. Herschman is the head chef at Menu6, the food-forward restaurant (as he describes it) which sits in the former Boulevard Blue space.
“We’re not a theme,” explains Herschman as he talks about his new digs, which also include the owners of Bodega on Coventry. “We’ll have a down-to-earth, killer feel that’s part of a great neighborhood. My neighborhood.”
Fans of Boulevard Blue won’t recognize the space. He shares the room is warm and deep with silver, black, chocolate and wood. Extremely contemporary and modern. There will even be a VIP area and a large communal chef’s table.
As for the name, the chef says they looked at the fundamentals of design and creativity and came up with Menu6. “Six is sexy and cool and is our foundation,” he said. “And then we broke up the menu into six elements, and thought – wow, this works.”
What are those six elements? For the menu, it’s: raw / hot, cold, small / green / water and feathers / land / sides, etc.
The dessert six: Chocolate, vanilla, fruit, coffee, sweet tooth, cheese. For wine, it’s bubbles / lighter, dryer, crisper whites / rounder exciting whites / lighter bodied reds / bigger structured, vivacious reds / medium bodied, juicier reds.
He adds that he’s focusing on market-driven dishes dictated by skill, seasonal ingredients, local whenever possible and lots of big, bold flavors. Finally he jokes, “There ain’t no comfort food here – or chicken. People don’t go out to eat for chicken.” Though he did add Kentucky “foied” chicken as a small plate.
Other dishes include:
- iced raw platter (assorted sashimi, crudo, oysters, clams, caviar) cocktail, old bayoli, pink mignonette, wasabi, caviar-crostini
- thai beef, potato noodle, red curry vin
- rare tuna & foie, uni butter, tangy radish, sticky rice fritters
- crispy skin whitefish, red chili miso broth, udon, choy, lobster dumplings
- duck, seared & roasted, scallion flatbread, soy glaze, winter salsa
- meyer family ranch 14 ounce ribeye, salt roast, root vegetable, foie bordelaise
- new zealand lamb rack, roasted, sweet potato chutney, mint salsa verde
If you’re like me, you’ll also be happy to know that his famous calamari, those sweet and sour bits of goodness, will be on the menu, too. He adds that there will be a nice mix of some old faves, but that they’ll really be pushing the envelope and just trying to have fun.
When does all this fun begin? Herschman said they are planning for a very soft opening first for the neighborhood hopefully around Valentine’s Day, and then open big. He explains that they want to grow into this and not rush it.
He may not want to rush it, but I can’t wait to check it out. Personally, I’m thrilled this talent is back in the kitchen. Mojo’s was my restaurant. I spent many nights at the bar and on that patio. Here’s hoping 6 has that same welcoming environment. And based on my chats with him, it sounds like it will.