On March 14, The Dish will serve its last dinner service, although that isn't the end of the space.
For the last six years, chef Michael Muthart took charge of the kitchen's operations, serving up options like Moroccan spiced grilled rack of lamb and steamed mussels with a saffron broth. However, Muthart has also been running a poultry and fowl ranch called Top Knot Farms in Benson. Now that his ranch is taking off, he's stepping out of the kitchen and into a role as a rancher.
Although Smith and his partner Jennifer Elchuck interviewed other chefs, they ultimately decided to stop dinner service at The Dish.
"I wish I had a better answer than 'It's time,' but something told me it was time to start settling up," he says.
However, that's not the end of the story for the space. After a break for "retooling," The Dish will be transformed into a bar and tasting room area with small dishes like charcuterie boards. About once every three months, Smith plans on bringing Muthart back into the kitchen for special theme or wine dinners. The first one, he says, is slotted for May 17 and will likely feature Top Knot's chicken and eggs.
Smith says The Dish had one of its best months for sales to date in the current location and is happy to end on a high note.
"It's good to go out while you're still meaningful and vital," Smith says.
If you want to stay up to date on the changes coming to Rum Runner, you can sign up for the bottle shop and bar's newsletter.
Owner Tom Smith is the first to say that he's not the same 37-year-old he was when The Dish started dishing out plates of upscale fare in 1997. Now nearly 20 years later, Smith says its time to say goodbye to The Dish as we know it.