A great pairing elevates any experience. Wine and cheese, a cigar and whiskey, entrée and side, coffee and dessert. The success of Carlson’s Landing, the upscale riverfront restaurant that opened in October at Essex Boat Works, will depend on the pairing of restaurateur Robert Rabine and chef Kyle Bledsoe.
Rabine has four decades of experience in the industry and knows the shoreline clientele and their culinary desires. Bledsoe brings talent, creativity and drive to the kitchen. Speaking with the two separately, I notice a working relationship akin to a jockey and horse. Bledsoe, the young thoroughbred, wants to burst out of the gate and run. Rabine, sans silks, wants to set the proper pace, pick his spots and run a smart race. In food parlance, Bledsoe wants to send out an exquisite venison carpaccio, while Rabine knows that a simple fishwich ($16) is going to sell just fine. “Here on the shoreline,” Bledsoe says, “you almost have to have the usual suspects.”
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