The Finest – Flour serves reminder that fine dining isn’t dead by Douglas Trattner15 Apr 2013, Posted by Articles and Reviews in
I had no intention of revisiting Flour on a professional level – we were just regular folks having dinner. But that all changed by the second or third course – it was the porchetta, I’m pretty sure – when it was clear that pleasure had morphed into business. And by the time we stumbled out of there three hours and five courses later, I was convinced that Flour had progressed from being a very good restaurant to one of the best in Cleveland.
The importance of chemistry in the kitchen cannot be overstated. We’re not referring to the foams and powders of molecular gastronomy, but rather the harmony that exists between the key culinary players. For proof just look at the evolution of this Moreland Hills restaurant, which opened two years ago this month. Despite working together for five years at Baricelli Inn, chef-owner Paul Minnillo and opening chef Chris DiLisi just didn’t click after transitioning to Flour.
The opposite can be said of Minnillo and Matt Mytro, who signed on as chef last year. Ironically, before accepting the position at Flour, the two had never even met. But now just try prying them apart. In addition to genuinely enjoying each other’s company, the two have remarkably complementary skill sets. For his part, Minnillo brings decades of fine dining experience to the mix, while Mytro – a tireless tinkerer – brings a modernist’s point of view to the food. Together they rework Italian classics into dishes that look familiar but taste entirely fresh.