Exclusive first look: The Slotted Spoon Meatball Eatery opens February 4
The menu, which trumpets pork, lamb, beef, chicken and bison balls -- all sourced locally -- emphasizes "flavor profiles that are fluid and poignant but customizable," explains Cummings. "Between all the different meatballs, eleven sauces, different vessels -- breads, pastas, bowls, salads -- and toppings, there are millions of combinations. I started counting and finally gave up," he jokes.
Over the next week, Cummings and his staff will spend time prepping, training, hosting friends and family dinners and a Heroes against Hunger charity event to benefit Share Our Strength, with whom the Slotted Spoon has partnered. They'll stay out of the restaurant on Sunday to "decompress and regroup and watch the Super Bowl," says Cummings and then open for lunch at 11 a.m. on Monday.
"I've been around this business a long time, I've opened a lot of restaurants, and I'm successful and driven, but these last few months have really felt like Christmas morning to me," Cummings tells me. "Sure, we all think we're badasses," he quips, "but we've been softened by this experience -- it's so empowering and humbling and inspiring and frightening at the same time -- and we're all giving each other the opportunity to be successful. I've asked my staff to dedicate themselves to me and I've promised to dedicate myself to them. I get to be a teacher and a student -- that's who I am at heart."
I spent some time with Cummings and his staff over the weekend as they prepped for this week's events, and I also had the opportunity to check out the space; you can take a look at all the photos on the next few pages. And for more updates on the opening, wander over to the Slotted Spoon Facebook page.