You probably saw my post about Lisa G closing over the weekend -- where I mentioned new owner Matt Diamond -- but now that I've had a chance to chat with Diamond, I have more details for you.
So he's got a serious wine background. He's traveled to various wine regions, worked for such local restaurateur/wine luminaries as Tom Kaufman (Humble Pie) and Peter Kasperski (Spaghetti Western Productions), and was involved in the opening of Phoenix's uber-wine bar, Postino. "Those guys gave me a lot of leeway to do things when I worked with them," he says.
But don't call The Main Ingredient a wine bar. Although Diamond and his wife Courtney plan on having a great, "recession-friendly" list of 10 or 12 wine by the glass, he's really "going after the craft beer/microbrew crowd."
He plans on putting as many beers on tap as the tiny space will allow (perhaps as many as a dozen). What has he been drinking lately? Diamond's a huge fan of local Four Peaks brews, and digs hoppy beers like their Raj IPA.
The menu's up in the air, as he hasn't officially signed on his chef (although he's got one tentatively on board). But he promises the selection of salads, sandwiches, and "snacky items" will focus on fresh, local ingredients.
"You know, we might have a simple turkey sandwich, but it'll be the best bread, the best turkey, the best local tomatoes," Diamond explains.
But there's one thing you won't find on the menu at The Main Ingredient: bruschetta.
After years of working at Postino -- whose bruschetta is legendary -- Diamond's not going there.
His goal is to open December 1.
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