What is the state of fine dining in MSP?
First, we must ask, did it ever even exist? McKee notes, “I think if you were to ask people in town which restaurants are fine dining, you’d get some answers, but I don’t really agree with that, and I would bet that the people at those restaurants wouldn’t really agree with that either,” continues McKee, “For example, I would imagine that people would say that Spoon & Stable is fine dining, but I don’t think that Gavin [Kaysen] would agree with that. I think that what we tend to hear a lot, is that people often equate an excellent dining experience with fine dining and that’s just not necessarily what it is.”
In the mind of McKee, fine dining is a whole package, formality and all. It tends to draw a specific demographic: those who covet the minutia of an experience. “Fine dining is performing at the highest level, and I think that what Spoon & Stable is doing is performing at the highest level for what they’re doing. They’re not trying to be ultra-refined in what they’re doing, which is what Per Se, Le Bernardin, and Daniel are doing. They’re aiming at a different target,” McKee explains.