FoodWire: Owner Steve McIntyre on the New Balaban's

foodwire1.JPGAs I reported last week, Central West End institution Balaban's is making a comeback of sorts as Balaban's Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar at 1772 Clarkson Road in Chesterfield. Steve McIntyre, who owned Balaban's for much of the twenty-year period between 1986 and 2006, is behind the new location, which is slated to open in November. (The original Balaban's location at 405 North Euclid Avenue is now Herbie's Vintage 72.) Last Friday, I had the chance to speak with McIntyre about the new Balaban's.

"It is going to be like a tapas bar, a lot of Spanish and Southern Mediterranean dishes," McIntyre says. Among these, he includes pallela, octopus salad, Spanish ham and Spanish and French cheeses.

In addition, McIntyre says, "We're going to have a lot of the classic [Balaban's] dishes, but reinterpreted in a small-plate format: the barbecue, spiced salmon, the cucumber bisque, the Ligurian pasta, what they won't let me take off the menu. We are going to have those, but not in the giant portions that you have to charge $25-$30. That doesn't seem like what people want anymore."

"This is also a retail wine shop," McIntyre adds. "The retail wine aspect is just as big as the food is. We're going to have almost 500 different wines in retail end." There will also be a deli with an extensive carry-out menu of paninis, soups, salads, flatbreads and pizzas.

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