Site of upcoming Bistro Menil [Photo: Courtesy/Bistro Menil]
Here's proof that Bistro Menil is definitely happening. The upcoming café is still on track to open in early September, and here's how it's looking today at 1512 Sul Ross (map at right). For several months, all we had to visualize the space were renderings of Stern and Bucek Architects' intended remodeling work, but that was before they demolished the entire building to make way for a new structure.
Pre-breaking ground was the ceremonious name announcement that followed a name game. Last fall, about 450 locals submitted ideas for what they thought the upcoming eatery should be called and the result, for many, was underwhelming. (Did it take a big contest to come up Bistro Menil?) The winning name was chosen by Americo Nonini, whose prize will be a VIP preview luncheon before the place opens. He said it was his "way of nodding to the French origins of the founders" John and Dominique de Menil. At Bistro Menil's helm will be executive chef Greg Martin of Café Express, Café Annie and Taco Milagro fame, who says that the place will be a "craft beer and tap wine bar featuring European-inspired American fare." His view of food prep can be found on the bistro's official site: "Although preparing food is more of a craft than an art, the appreciation is the same." A fitting description from a chef at a museum-neighboring eatery.