Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The internationale.

The I Bistro/State Theater complex has been for too long been the sleeping giant of Starkvegas eating and entertaining options. It finally looks like a crew knows what they're doing and might get it right. Financial backing from the Bryan family of West Point can't hurt either!

I went with my dad about an hour and a half after their 11:15 am ribbon-cutting ceremony. 1st impressions of the dining area were all positive. Where Doe's had the unadorned feel of an unloved institutional cafeteria; they've replaced some tables with booths, added mood lighting and a whole lot of music-related art on the walls and in some cases (metal rooster sculptures) floor, and thus generally made the place feel like a downtown Tribeca glass and brick warehouse-type place. Oh yes, and the menu has real variety, good for vegetarians and more generally people who don't like only steak and potatoes. Alas, Cisco failed them on the oyster delivery, so instead of my desired Poboy I settled for Catfish & fries with a side of slaw a more than ample portion and at $7 a real price point beater. Ty Thames having set the local blue plate special value at $8. They beat Chef Tyler a bit (Oyster PoBoy 7 versus 9) but then he local sources all his food and wouldn't have run out of oysters so early. so we'll charitably call it a draw all around. Both fine lunch places, just somewhat different clientele and different purposes to the two establishments. Dinner will be an interesting later investigation as they also feature pizza and pasta then.

Hard to be believe but the 2 blocks of downtown Starkville now have 4 quality lunch options!

Their new executive chef is JJ or Double J seen here in more relaxed climes sans his black uniform.

Not only is he the executive chef but he drums in their House band, The Crooked Letters. You know Mississippi: M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-humpback-humpback-I. Apparently to be in the band you have to hail from MS and work at the venue. They would back Blind MS Morris on opening night about which more later.

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