Chef David Molina’s La Tasca Pintxos y Tapas: The Trial Before The Dream

A Blog Post From Timothy O’Neal Highlighting the May 21st Wine Dinner:

Chef David

Meet the Man, Chef David

After a decade perched at the top of the culinary world in Saint Louis, Dave Molina recently resigned from his position as Corporate Head Chef for both the renowned BARcelona tapas restaurant and their sister Italian restaurant two doors down called Bocci.  These are two of the busiest and finest in the affluent Clayton area.

On the phone with him two weeks ago and in total shock I ask, “You resigned?  Man, are you frikkin’ kidding me!?!”

“Nope, I’m going to strike out on my own.  You know, do my own thing.”

Still shaking my head, “What exactly are you going to do?”

With an assured tone he says, “Pintxos.”

What the heck is that?

Dave explains that it’s a style of super small tapas specific to the northernmost part of Spain – the Basque region in particular.

Ok, opening a new restaurant in these times is more than risky.  But for many, it sounds romantic, lovely, and a dreamy thing to do when there’s plenty of money to burn.  Numerous celebrities looking for friend-envy drop tons of dough in about the same amount of time it takes bread to rise.  Unless you’ve got abundant years of experience buried deep in the trenches, it’s a failed mess for almost all who attempt it.  So many burn out on the quick because they weren’t prepared for the insane hours the industry requires.  An interview with Chef David Molina for the Riverfront Times while at the helm of BARcelona in 2010 indicates he totally inhales and exhales the requirement

“I don’t have a lot of time to do much of anything,” he says. “This place keeps me really busy. If I do have some free time, I just spend time at home. I pay rent there. My stuff hangs out there. I live here.”

Now, I’ve known Chef Dave for fifteen years. Living with him when he was but a line cook and me just a busser saw us both in a developmental time zone.  We were both young and inexperienced know-nothings back then.  But that didn’t prevent either of us from fantasizing about being super-star restaurateurs and putting on lavish multi course dinners just to practice.  During my long stint of couch surfing at Dave’s small apartment, we did just that.  On these experimental evenings, after all the cuisine and wine was just about ready, we would break down to our local pubs to seek out friends (and unsuspecting ladies inclined to be brave) that would entertain the notion of coming over to indulge in Dave’s creations.  Both of us, like a garage band putting out big noise, dreamed of hitting it huge one day.

Recently Dave contacted me to assist him with the wine list for his new joint.  Then, the idea bulb got white hot.  With excitement building as each word came out of my mouth I suggested, “How about you come to Kansas City and put out your top dishes for Avenues fans to taste, judge, and comment on?  You know, a spread of cuisine you plan to open your restaurant with.  Our clientele and the public would love a one-night foodie stand with you!”

Dave instantly agreed, and to my pleasant surprise, our Chefs also signed on to assist Dave execute this unique proposition.  I mean, when you have ever heard of an outside chef taking the helm of an existing successful restaurant for one special evening?  This isn’t one of those ‘Pop-up’ restaurants, but rather a ‘Pop-in.’ Those in attendance will indeed taste the best this man has to offer.  With his reputation on the line, Dave is sure to “throw down,” as he puts it.

Wines for the event are already being recommended by our Sommeliers.  On the Sunday before the dinner, no fewer than nine Sommeliers, including Jim Coley from Gomer’s Midtown, will engage in a roundtable discussion and frenzied tasting to put forth the ultimate matches for the Pintxos fare.  Following Monday’s dinner, these unique wines will all be available at Gomer’s for purchase.

Having Dave Molina in town and getting to work with him in a restaurant setting rather than a cramped apartment will be quite the emotional experience.  Eight courses (Pintxos small of course) and accompanying wines are packaged together in a ticket price of $99 per person.  It’s always free to make a reservation and we will hold it right up until the dinner.  However, those paying in advance for physical tickets may bump those without.  Currently, and with little promotion, we are holding reservations in excess of capacity.  Best bet is to secure by purchasing tickets if you want to go.

Don’t miss out on a unique one-time taste of the soon to emerge restaurant:

See the May 21 Pintxos Menu

Get on the Waiting List For The May 21 Dinner


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Ashley said,

    Congratulations Dave, I’m so excited for you. I’m sure you’ll do great.

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