It came across the Foodnews wire a couple days ago that SLIMS (and Vout) restaurant on Hamilton Avenue in Northside has closed. Checking their website (www.slimsrestaurant.com) and the outgoing message on their phone confirms the closing (“…please do not leave a reservation”) .
It’s sad when any restaurant closes, and SLIMS/Vout will be missed. SLIMS and Vout shared the same physical space – part of the week the restaurant was called SLIMS and part of the week it was called Vout – the two restaurants were conceptually different but concentric. I’m not sure diners clearly understood the concept or the differences between the two places – nor that the concept was clearly understood by anyone other than those at the top levels of the restaurant. The most concise description I saw was “SLIMS is prix fixe; Vout is a la cart”. I don’t know if it’s an accurate description, though.
I had the pleasure of dining at SLIMS many times, and working there for a good many months with Chef Joanne Drilling. On its best nights, SLIMS thrummed with an urban energy that was addictive. There were long community tables that actually seated the community (perhaps the only community tables in the area that worked), and the food was hearty, a little elegant, and well-prepared. We put out “real comfortable food” and served the guests well. People liked the food and the vibe.
I’ll miss SLIMS. I don’t know what will happen to the space, but I’d love to see another restaurant concept in there. Maybe just one concept the next time.