Mitchelli Says "Ciao"

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Dany%20Mitchell.jpg Mitchelli%20corner.jpg Once fondly known as the Trat, now simply Mitchelli's, it's been around for more than three decades. Over the years it grew from a single, 12-seat espresso counter to a 200-seat restaurant occupying the entire ground floor of the building, then shrank again. In recent times, promotions that take on the air of desperation: $2.50 martinis, $1 pizzas, $0 kids meals. A dinner, this weekend, featuring magnificent Barolos from the 1982 vintage, "pay what you will."

Dany Mitchell, a genial bon vivant who adopted an Italian name as his restaurant persona, has made no secret of wanting to sell the place. At one point, Restaurants Unlimited (Palomino) expressed interest. Or was it FX McRory's? More recently, an all-but-done-deal with Via Tribunali. Mitchell had found a village in France where he was going to set up shop as a real estate consultant; his wife was already there, waiting for him, when the deal fell through.

Now it's all-but-over; Mitchell will simply close, leaving behind the memories of happy customers and the legion of successful industry figures who passed through the Trat's doors: Peter Lewis, Campagne; Patrice Demombymes, Virginia Inn; Rudy Viggiano, Verrazano's; Ted Furst, Restaurant Group; Greg Higgins, Higgins, Portland; Raffaele Calise, Salute; Nick Wiltz, Il Bistro; Carla Leonardi, Café Lago; Robert Bonina and Will McNamara, WAC. Countless others, not to mention family: Mitchell's ex, Jackie, Pink Door; Daniel Mitchell IV, ECC Culinary program; Seth & Tara Howard, Collins Pub; Dana Mitchell, Angelina's. Better yet, stories by Mitchelli customers of meetings, deals, trysts and breakups. After a generation, the slogan's no longer "Ciao down!" Just "Ciao." Arrivederci, Dany. It wasn't the food so much as the welcome. The Trat was Pioneer Square's living room; we'll miss you.

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on March 5, 2009 12:00 PM.

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