Just three days into service last month, founding chef Edwin French quit Mt. Pleasant’s new Cuban restaurant The Americano. In the wake of French’s abrupt departure (due to what he said on Facebook were health reasons), we’re told The Americano is now on its way to getting back on track. Chef and consultant Nathan Thurston has stepped in. 

“This project was very challenging because the chef walked out on day three,” says Thurston. As it stands, he’s got a big project on his hands. “I’m immersing myself in the kitchen and slowly changing the menu,” he says. So far, that’s included quietly adding brunch on Saturday and Sunday and searching for a new head chef.

Thurston, who runs consulting business Thurston Southern and was the former executive chef of Stars, last worked with Mixson to get a new chef in place at Básico. He says, “We stabilized the kitchen, put processes in place with recipes, and looked for the staff.” 
With The Americano, Thurston is adjusting the core menu to live up to the chic space co-owner John Adamson and partners have built. “Some of the dishes were theoretically strong, just need some tweaking,” Thurston says. “We’ve changed the tacos to a la carte as opposed to a plate. We’re doing things that make more sense from a taste perspective and price perspective.” 

Thurston says he needs at least two or three weeks to get the restaurant back to where he’d like it to be, but encourages diners to not hesitate to come in. “We want people to come try it again if there was any reluctancy,” he says.