Harriet Brasserie, The Left Handed Cook, and more

Readers: Win Heavy Table pint glasses

The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a Heavy Table pint glass to the best tipster each month. The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor Jason Walker at jason@heavytable.com.

May’s winner: Jane Pennington of Minneapolis

Harriet Brasserie (now open)

2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis | 612.354.2197

Harriet Brasserie, which opened a few weeks ago for brunch and lunch service, is now serving dinner, expanding its menu of South American- and Italian-influenced plates.

Manager Brie Roland said the early menu had been popular, especially the crawfish and grits, with homemade andouille sausage and eggs; and the crab benedict, with a lump crabcake and poached egg atop a savory white corn blini, with poblano hollandaise, piquillo pepper sauce, and an avocado-bacon emulsion.

“It’s an amazing combination,” Roland said. “The first time I ate it I was like, ‘Man, these guys really know what they’re doing. That blini just absorbs all the sauces on the plate.”

The dinner menu expands things, but chef Dustin Thompson has taken a cue from owner Fernando Silva, himself a chef, to create simple, seasonal dishes using a few complementary ingredients, like a fresh sardine filet, oven-baked on a bed of shallots, salt-packed capers, rosemary infused oil, and roasted tomato sauce, all plated atop fried polenta.

“You get all these lovely flavors and it tastes like Tuscany,” Roland said. “That just shows a real understanding of the individual ingredients that we’re putting together. When working with just a few ingredients, you have to know how to treat each of those things perfectly.”

Harriet’s dinner service consists of largely seasonal small plates that each fall under a certain category: vegetables, grain, fish, poultry, and meat. Now, for example, Thompson and Silva are working heavily with English shell peas, asparagus, mushrooms, and fiddlehead ferns, hoping to create food that’s both approachable and impressive.

“Everyone who works here is extremely excited to learn about how we make it, and that rubs off on the customers,” Roland said. “When a server comes to your table and says, ‘You have to get this,’ that’s what we’re going for.”

Harriet Brasserie also began beer and wine service last week, with six taps and a few bottles on the beer list and 50 bottles on the wine list.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Left Handed Cook (now open)

920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.208.0428

Already earning praise for its spin on Asian-inspired comfort food, The Left Handed Cook has opened in the Midtown Global Market. And, alongside Sonora Grill, Thomas Kim’s restaurant continues the upward shift at MGM away from simple food stalls to a more chef-driven, fine-dining approach.

An upbeat guy happily sharing the flavors of his youth, Kim and manager Kat Melgaard preside over a menu filled with shareable plates, rice bowls, sandwiches, and entrees. The goal, Kim said, was to use nuances of refined cooking incorporated into familiar dishes.

“Everyone’s been pretty responsive and kind of accepting of what we’re trying to do,” Kim said. “The breakout stars are the fried chicken, softshell crab, pork belly, and brussels sprouts. These are the ones that we’re consistently selling a lot of.”

Kim is also inspired by the Japanese concept of omakase, a phrase that means “I’ll leave it to you” and lets diners defer to the chef, who then presents a series of plates that start light and gradually get richer and more substantial. He has installed a chef’s counter with room for four, and each night will host one seating of diners for a tasting menu.

“They have to trust me to cook what I want to cook, and I’m going to do some interesting takes on dishes,” he said. “Like a crispy pig ear salad, pig skin carbonara or some traditional Japanese dishes like braised mackerel. We’re going to pull out all the stops and do some really cool things.”

NOW OPEN

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Mill City Cafe, 2205 California St NE, Minneapolis. Closed, but planning to open in new location.
  • Coffee Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis. Closing this spring. | 612.215.2626
  • Viva Brazil, 913 W Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Tschida Bakery, 1116 Rice St, St. Paul
  • Chai’s Thai, 414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Minnehaha Coffee, 4554 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis

COMING UP:
Minneapolis

  • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens June 7.
  • Glaciers Cafe, 3019 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis. Re-opening with new menu / concept June 12.
  • Somos Peru, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. | 612.244.3400
  • El Burrito Mercado, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens in June.
  • Azia Market Bar & Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.813.1200
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in June. | 612.408.7063
  • Cowboy Jack’s, 126 5th St N, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar, 1800 W Lake St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • Little Tijuana, 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis. Reopening this summer. | 612.872.0578
  • Cafe Maude at Loring, 1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis. Opens in July.
  • Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.377.2213
  • Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, 2724 E 38th St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.328.1450
  • Wings N Things, 324 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.735.0637
  • People’s Organic, 80 S 8th St (IDS Center Crystal Court), Minneapolis. Opens July 2.
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens in July.
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in August.
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market) | 612.886.2489
  • New Bohemia, 233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Primebar, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.643.1226
  • Tangiers Eatery and Lounge, 1st St N, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • New Don Saunders restaurant, 2115 W 21st St (old Kenwood Cafe), Minneapolis
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.377.4164
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Rusty Taco, 522 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Sorrento Cucina Italiana, 623 Marquette Ave (Northstar Center Skyway), Minneapolis. Moving from previous skyway location; opens this month.
  • Alley Sports Tavern, 100 6th St N, Minneapolis
  • Yogurt Lab, 80 8th St S, Minneapolis (IDS Center skyway); 5007 France Ave S, Minneapolis.
  • World Street Kitchen, 2743 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012. | eatwsk.com
  • Moonlight Cafe, 1907 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis
  • Dilla’s Ethiopian Restaurant, 1813 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis
  • Unnamed rooftop restaurant in old Shinders, 733 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Unnamed Kim Bartmann restaurant, 1014 E 38th St, Minneapolis
  • Burch, 1942 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Isaac Becker’s planned steakhouse in old Burch Pharmacy; opens in late 2012 / early 2013.
  • :D-Spot, Dinkytown, Minneapolis
  • Burger Night, Minneapolis. Still looking for location. | 612.217.0102
  • Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St., Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. | 612.825.0818
  • Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 56th St and Chicago Ave, Minneapolis. Opens late 2012 / early 2013.

St. Paul

  • Cupcake, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • TruBerry Frozen Yogurt, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • La Loma, Town Square skyway (6th St and Cedar St), St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • Bon Vie Cafe / A Piece of Cake, combining later this spring at 485 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.846.0016
  • Cossetta’s, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Existing market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens this summer. | 651.222.3476
  • Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul. Opens in 2012. | 651.492.4799
  • Damera Ethiopian Bar & Restaurant, 823 University Ave, St. Paul
  • Chopstiks Cafe, 501 University Ave, St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

The Tap is the Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled and published biweekly by Heavy Table writer Jason Walker. If you have tips for The Tap, please email Jason at jason@heavytable.com.

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About the Author

Jason Walker

Jason Walker was born and raised in Kansas, where he grew up loving his grandmother’s homemade noodles and weekly fried fish. A summer internship in Milwaukee turned Jason and his wife, Leita, into die-hard fans of the Northwoods culture, and they moved to Minneapolis in 2006. Immediately the quality of food and drink in the Twin Cities was impressive – that even the most unassuming bar usually had a decent menu – and Jason knew he was home. Now living in the Fulton neighborhood with two kids, Jason grows tomatoes, cans voraciously, and badgers his neighbors with conversations about restaurants.

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