THE METROPOLITAN GROUP
MET BAR & GRILL
MET BACK BAY
MET ON MAIN
Kathy Sidell, President and Founder of The Metropolitan Restaurant Group, with restaurant locations from Boston to Bethesda, grew up in family passionate about food. Meal times in her home were about discussing, evaluating, even obsessing about food and drink. Her Father, Jack Sidell, a notable Boston businessman, financed and launched the careers of many successful chefs among whom include, Todd English and Jasper White. Jack instilled in both Kathy and her sister, Stephanie Sokolove, owner of Stephanie's on Newbury, a love for food around the world. With such a profound legacy, it was no surprise Kathy says, " “For as long as I can remember, I‘ve always wanted to open a restaurant.”
Prior to making the transition into the hospitality industry, Kathy attended Columbia film school in the late 1970’s; and first tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit in the early 1970's, when she became a founding partner at Chelsea Pictures, a renowned commercial production company. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, Kathy's company produced thousands of award winning commercials and the acclaimed documentary Fast, Cheap and Out of Control.
The time eventually came for Kathy to put her editing and creative skills to work in the kitchen. Finally, she took the leap when she first opened the Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts in 2004 which was an intimate modern steakhouse that featured traditional classics presented with a modern twist. “There are great parallels between launching a restaurant and making a film,” said Kathy. “As a producer, you have to assemble a gifted team, a cast and crew consisting of polished professionals who are brilliant at what they do. I take the same approach in building my restaurants, bringing together a talented cast of people who are passionate enough to put on a first-class show.”
Kathy has been recognized for her foresightedness in identifying new concepts and culinary trends and introducing them to Boston. She followed up her success of the Metropolitan Club by opening two suburban locations of the more casual MET Bar & Grill concept. The MET Bar & Grill locations offer an inviting atmosphere featuring fresh, high quality sandwiches, salads, entrees and are complete with a Burger Bar. The MET Burger Bars were the first Burger Bars in the area and include more than 30 varieties of burgers, with international and continental toppings.
In October 2010, Kathy opened MET Back Bay, on Boston’s most notable street, the corner of Newbury and Dartmouth Streets. MET Back Bay is housed in a stunning historic brownstone. Her 40 seat bar has Boston’s first all American Artisanal Ham and Cheese Bar.
Kathy opened MET on MAIN on Nantucket’s Main Street in June 2012. The location was also once home to the Sweet Shop where Kathy held her very first job. MET on MAIN is an American café with island flair that focuses on simply grilled and creatively prepared dishes using only the highest quality ingredients available.
Further expanding her business, Kathy opened Met Bethesda, a Metropolitan Kitchen and Bar in November 2014 on the second floor of the Westfield –Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Maryland. The concept is earthy yet sophisticated, with American fare cooked over an open wood fired grill.
Kathy debuted her first book, WHEN I MET FOOD, Living the American Restaurant Dream, on November 20th, 2012. WHEN I MET FOOD chronicles Kathy’s life and restaurant adventures, from how she selected her first location to the careful branding decisions required to building a highly successful restaurant enterprise in metropolitan Boston. Kathy is also a regular contributor to The Boston Herald writing on the subject of FOOD.
Kathy is opening her sixth restaurant this summer called Saltie Girl in Back Bay. A boutique seafood bar. Whether she’s producing a movie, planning a menu, or adding to her family’s legacy, Kathy Sidell has a flair for the dramatic. Combine that with her innate love for great food, and it’s always show-time at her restaurants.
Learn More About Kathy Sidell
What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
Eating juicy rare burgers on Saturday afternoons, house-made by my dad who would sear them over a hot charcoal grill!
If this is your first year participating in SOBEWFF, what are you most looking forward to?
Competing!! Bring it on!
If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Cooking a Thanksgiving meal with my sister at Francis Coppola's house!
I never leave home without my:
My wooden spoons, and wooden bowls and my truffle shaver.