UPDATE from RUDY…
I heard from a very upset Rudy Mihal this morning who wanted to set the record straight on what was recently printed in the Chronicle. Here’s what he told me:
“The Chronicle switched my words around and tried to make this story juicier than it was. I’m definitely not trying to burn any bridges here. We have had good, strong local support of clientele over the years. I was frustrated with a lot of the negative comments (in BiteClub). And I’m sorry if I offended anyone.
Mihal told me that it was a real challenge trying to run a restaurant by himself, but that it was a learning opportunity he really wanted — from running the kitchen to doing the books. He wanted locals to know that he’s still figuring out what he’s going to be doing in the coming months, after a few weeks in New York and a trip to Europe. But Sonoma County is still his home. “I really enjoy living in Sonoma County and hope I can have another opportunity to better embrace the locals.”
EARLIER: Rudy Mihal isn’t leaving Windsor without a few last words in Wednesday’s San Francisco Chronicle…
Change of scene: Between the wrecked economy and the weak reception he’s received in his Windsor location, Odyssey (426 Emily Rose Circle) chef-owner Rudy Mihal says he’s “taking the hint” and closing up shop the second weekend of July, with plans to relocate to the “big city.”
“They didn’t like me much here,” he says of his 2-year-old tiny, but ambitious, French-Italian restaurant. “To these people, fine dining is Applebee’s.”
Now, I’ve long been a supporter of Rudy, because he’s a talented guy (if not always the most tactful). A lot of us were really excited about having him in Wine Country, though obviously not all of us. There were some very heartfelt comments in a previous post about his closure, as well as some downright nasty ones.
But regardless of the vitriol, the bottom line is that the whole thing just doesn’t look good for any of us in Wine Country — and that’s too bad. This region desperately needs young, talented innovators who aren’t afraid of taking risks, and they often don’t get a warm reception. At the same time, diners do want a little love from the kitchen, consistency and food they can identify with. Goodwill to the locals goes a long way.
Maybe Windsor wasn’t ready for Odyssey. Maybe Odyssey wasn’t ready for Windsor. But in the end we’re all losing something. And that sucks.