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Dec 3, 2012 08:06 PM

MKE- Sanford sold

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  1. The new owner can obviously cook, let's just hope he can also manage a restaurant well. I will be really interested to see if he plans to continue things pretty much as is or if there will be many changes in store.

    1. I am not surprised but disappointed. Sandy gave creative control to Justin years ago and ever since then the restaurant has just not been the same. Foams, emulsions and other moderniste bull crap.

      They have mostly done away with wine dinners in favor of beer dinners. I love beer as much as the next person, but I do not go to Sanford to drink beer. If I want a beer with dinner I will go to Hooligan's.

      There were classics such as the cumin tuna appetizer that Sandy perfected and when Justin came in that became terrible. If I recall correctly, that was one of Sandy's signature menu items.

      I certainly hope Justin learns a lesson from what happened to Grenadier's.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Fowler

        Mostly off-topic, but:

        [ If I want a beer with dinner I will go to Hooligan's. ]

        That's a shame. How is beer pairing any less compatible with quality dining than wine pairing?

        That said, I understand if the vibe of a place favors a certain drink over another, just as it might favor a veal piccata over char-siu pork. But that shouldn't be to the diminishment of one or the other.

        1. re: TheBookPolice


          I do not think your commentary is "mostly off-topic" (as you say) and I appreciate your comments.

          To mention it once again, I love beer just as much as the next person. But is there not a time and place for beer? Just as there is a time and place for a bottle of wine? Neither is categorically better than the other, but most people would probably expect one as opposed to the other depending upon where they are dining.

          The people here will certainly add comments if they think you are correct.

          1. re: Fowler

            I definitely tend to drink wine when fine dining, but would appreciate the option of selecting from some great beers too. Especially, if they are going to offer some rare and cellar selections. When you say there is a time and place for beer, well I do agree that I don't want to see bottles of High Life on the table at Sanford. However, if served in appropriate glassware, I don't see why a craft or Belgian beer can't be just as classy.

            If you are trying to cater your own beverages to your courses, it is usually easier and more affordable to do this with beer. For example, I would typically prefer to have beer over dessert wine with my dessert course as sweet wine just doesn't do it for me.

            We treated ourselves to lunch at Eleven Madison Park in New York this summer and they take their beer very seriously. (At least they did then...I saw something about how the restaurant has made some big changes since we were there.) We ordered an oversized beer to share and it was served and treated with the same respect as a fine bottle of wine. If a three star Michelin restaurant acknowledges beer as a great option for fine food pairing, then I think we should be excited that our local restaurant wants to also do the same.

            Back to wine though, I have always appreciated Sanford for having affordable selections on their wine list for the caliber of restaurant and I hope they don't change that!!

            1. re: bte576


              Those are all excellent points and I concur! I especially appreciate your last comment. Sanford has a "20 for 20" wine program. 20 bottles of wine (ten red and ten white) that are each priced at only $20. And they are not Gallo Hearty Burgundy or Boone's Farm. They are actually decent bottles of wine. That program is something my friends and I certainly appreciate.

              Like you, I think we should be excited that a local restaurant gives credit to great beer and goes through the effort to find the better ones and to pair those with their food. The comment in my initial reply to Kool was that I was disappointed that they have all but done away with wine dinners in favor of beer dinners. It would be great if they could alternate for those that appreciate both rather than going to one extreme versus another.

            2. re: Fowler

              Absolutely. Maybe I misinterpreted your "I go to Hooligan's" comment given my limited understanding of the kind of business that place does.

              (I've never been; I saw the giant boot on the front page of the website, and made an admittedly snap judgment that the place doesn't exactly take beer as seriously as Sanford did wine.)

              1. re: TheBookPolice

                I think people should be able to drink whatever they want, and not have to worry about convention. :)

                As for the marriage of craft beer with fine dining, I don't think there's a better example than Milwaukee's own Hinterland.

                1. re: TheBookPolice


                  I do not think you misinterpreted my comment as much as I failed to clearly detail my view.

                  Parenthetically, I also once made the same snap judgment about Hooligan's. These days if i want a good beer and some comfort food Hooligan's is usually on the list of places to consider. And how often does one have the opportunity to sit side by side with the CEO of a fortune 500 company on one side and a crack addict on the other side? Believe it or not, it makes for interesting conversation.

          2. So much for the Christmas treat for the family. Maybe another box from the local citrus grove. BORING!!

            2 Replies
            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

              Huh? What are you talking about, and what does it have to do with Sanford being sold?

              (Perhaps you meant to post that comment in a different topic...?)

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Sorry about the delay. Out on the boat.

                Christmas gift card. Try to do something new each year.

                Done Lagniappe, Three Brothers, and Crazy Water to death. My Brother-in-law does work for Bartalottas, so that is not a treat.

                Maybe a cheese box from Swiss Colony?

            2. Going to A Mass. Farm?
              Sorry, been there, done that, my father was the black sheep of the family for not going to Harvard as the first person in the family since "haavaard" was founded in the 1600's. (his mother was Conant's secretary). I would never go back to Mass. NH, possibly, but not MA. BTW, MIT used to be the "haavard engineering school"

              2 Replies
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                1. re: nsxtasy

                  Thanks nsxtasy! Also, thanks for not jumping on me. After my post, I realized I had posted my question in the wrong thread (duh) but could not move it or delete it.