Mona, Lake Nokomis Park Restaurant, Moe’s Southwest Grill 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.

April’s winner: Dana Murdoch of St. Paul

Mona (now open)

333 S 7th St, Minneapolis | 612.259.8636 | monarestaurant.com

Affordable small plates from a local food devotee, a full bar as well as a nicely selected beer and wine list, and free downtown parking — yep, chef / owner Lisa Hanson of Mona has an attractive combination. Hanson, whose most recent restaurant gig was at Corner Table, buys from a bevy of local purveyors to create a varied seasonal menu of three-ounce plates.

“From salads to entrees to desserts, they’re all the same size,” Hanson said. “So the concept is that you’re designing your own tasting menu and being a little more adventurous — like the elk, that might be expensive and prohibit people from trying it otherwise.”

That’s a grilled elk ribeye with rosemary hollandaise and fries, which at $13 stands out on a menu mostly in the $5-$8 range. Hanson said she was excited about several items on her first Mona menu, including lunch items like grilled-ramp hummus and pancetta-wrapped halibut with diced potatoes and ramp parsley broth.

For dinner, there are eye-catchers like roasted beef marrow with apple butter and raisin toast; braised rabbit with foie gras and rhubarb bread pudding; and chicken and waffles, which is a fried buttermilk chicken and a cornmeal sour cream waffle with brown butter honey jus.

Then there’s a specialty: house-cured bacon, which can be added to any menu item for $1. That’s any item, even dessert.

“It’s the new super-size,” Hanson said. “People are getting really creative with that and putting it on their dessert. We have a hazelnut donut with caramel sauce, and people have been adding bacon to that.

“I always have a supply of bacon curing and smoking. I will only use Hidden Stream pork for my entire menu. I fell in love with those pigs when I worked at Corner Table. I’m so excited to be able to use that again.”

Beers include locals like Fulton, Furthermore, and Rush River, and general manager Christine Whitt has put together a wine list of around 25 whites and 25 reds, and there’s a full bar. A sizable patio is now open, too.

And about that parking: after 4 p.m., it’s free in the Accenture Tower ramp. Nothing wrong with that.

Lake Nokomis park restaurant (in development stage)

Lake Nokomis concession building, Minneapolis

The Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board is now accepting proposals for a restaurant concessionaire at Lake Nokomis, putting the wheels in motion for the popular South Minneapolis lake to have a food presence like other park eateries Tin Fish, Bread & Pickle, and Sea Salt.

The process will take a while — Friends of Lake Nokomis president Steffanie Musich said she was hoping for something to open in 2013. Regardless, it’s exciting for park-goers, especially when you consider that unlike Bread & Pickle, the Lake Nokomis joint will immediately be able to serve beer and wine thanks to a lack of negative feedback on the issue from the neighborhood.

“I envision a vendor coming in and providing healthy and diverse options at a variety of prices to serve both beach and park users and destination diners,” Musich said. “The user base of this park covers the demographics of the entire city with all ages, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses. I’d love to have a vendor that utilizes … a menu that plays homage to those that work so well at the other park concessions but that also has its own unique ‘Nokomis’ feel.”

Count me in next year for a bike culinary travelogue: Tin Fish to Bread & Pickle to Nokomis, then ending at Sea Salt.

Moe’s Southwest Grill (opens in August)

Penn Ave S and American Blvd, Bloomington | moes.com

Take Penn Ave out to the 494 and you’ll probably notice a big apartment development across from Southtown, the Genesee Apartments. Opening there this summer is Moe’s Southwest Grill, a chain with over 400 locations nationwide that advertises a “pop-culture inspired menu” of burritos, tacos, and Mexican-like fare. It will be the only Moe’s in the Twin Cities, but the chain plans to open several more in the next few years.

Who cares, right? Well, according to a Moe’s press release, CNN gadfly Dr. Sanjay Gupta, that’s who. He says Moe’s burritos are “the best.” So, there you have it.

A Which Wich franchise will also open in August at the building.

NOW OPEN

Lynden's Soda Fountain in Highland Park

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

  • Lynden’s Soda Fountain, 490 Hamline Ave S, St. Paul | 651.235.5646 | Our take
  • Burnsville Ale House, 3809 Hwy 13, Burnsville (formerly The Edge Bar)
  • Super Moon Buffet, 6445 Wayzata Blvd, St. Louis Park
  • Wellman’s Pub, 26 5th St N, Minneapolis | 612.659.9000 | Find it on Facebook
  • Sea Salt, 4801 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.721.8990 | seasalteatery.wordpress.com
  • Hajime Japanese, 10950 Club W. Parkway NE, Blaine | 763.780.7944 | Find it on Facebook
  • Sparks, 230 Cedar Lake Rd S, Minneapolis | 612.259.8943 | sparksmpls.com
  • Harriet Brewing Taproom, 3036 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis | 612.225.2184 | harrietbrewing.com
  • Bullwinkle Saloon, 1429 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Original Pancake House, 1415 County Rd 101, Plymouth | 952.475.9151 | Find it on Facebook
  • Ze’s Diner, 3448 Denmark Ave, Eagan | 612.207.6793 | Find it on Facebook
  • Ipotli Indian Grill, 601 Marquette Ave S (Northstar Center skyway), Minneapolis

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

  • Butcher and the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.222.7171 | Our take
  • :D-Spot, 1993 Burns Ave, St. Paul | 651.738.8300 | Our take on the original
  • Aida, 2208 W 66th St, Richfield | 612.866.5601 | Our take

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Minnehaha Coffee, 4554 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis
  • Jack’s, 818 W 46th St, Minneapolis
  • Risotto, 610 W Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Royal Orchid, 625 Marquette Ave (skyway), Minneapolis
  • Acropol Inn, 748 Grand Ave, St. Paul

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

  • Caribe, 791 Raymond Ave, St. Paul
  • Nick and Eddie, 1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis

COMING UP:
Minneapolis

  • Devil’s Advocate, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis. Opens in May. | 612.843.2260 | devilsadvocatebar.com
  • The Left Handed Cook, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens May 21. | Find it on Facebook
  • Somos Peru, 6009 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in May. | 612.244.3400 | somosperurestaurant.com
  • Azia Market Bar & Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.813.1200 | Find it on Facebook
  • Rincon 38, 3801 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in May.
  • New Nick and Eddie Warehouse / Speakeasy, 1621 1/2 Harmon Alley, Minneapolis. Opens in May.
  • Well Seasoned, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens this spring. | 612.886.2489 | wellseasonedmpls.com
  • Maruso Street Food and Cocktails, 715 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this spring.
  • Cowboy Jack’s, 126 5th St N, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | theaftermidnightgroup.com
  • Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in May. | Find it on Facebook
  • J.J.’s Coffee Company & Wine Bar, 1800 W Lake St, Minneapolis. Opens in May. | Our take on the original
  • Little Tijuana, 17 E 26th St, Minneapolis. Reopening this spring. | Find it on Facebook
  • Cafe Maude at Loring, 1612 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis | cafemaude.com
  • Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | barlouieamerica.com
  • Birdhouse, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens this spring. | Find it on Facebook
  • Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, 2724 E 38th St, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.328.1450 | northboundbrewpub.com
  • Wings N Things, 324 West Broadway, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.735.0637 | Find it on Facebook
  • Pupuseria las Palmeras, 4159 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis.
  • Smack Shack, Washington Ave N and 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | smack-shack.com
  • El Burrito Mercado, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis (Midtown Global Market). Opens in June. | elburritomercado.com
  • People’s Organic, IDS Center Crystal Court, Minneapolis. Opens July 2. | peoplesorganic.com
  • Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens in August. | thebdp.com
  • The Pourhouse, 10 5th St S, Minneapolis. Opens this summer.
  • New Bohemia, 233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis
  • Primebar, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | restaurants-america.com
  • Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Opens this summer. | 612.643.1226 | indeedbrewing.com
  • Tangiers Eatery and Lounge, 1st St N, Minneapolis. Opens in September.
  • New Don Saunders restaurant, 2115 W 21st St (old Kenwood Cafe), Minneapolis | Our take on Saunders’ In Season
  • Dangerous Man Brewing, 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis | 612.377.4164 | dangerousmanbrewing.wordpress.com
  • The Original Just Turkey Restaurant, 3758 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | originaljustturkey.com
  • Rusty Taco, 522 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | rustytacomn.com
  • Alley Sports Tavern, 100 6th St N, Minneapolis
  • 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 | Our take on the original
  • Burger Night, Minneapolis. Still looking for location. | 612.217.0102 | burgernight.me
  • 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. | cup-cake.com
  • TruBerry Frozen Yogurt, 949 Grand Ave, St. Paul. Opens this summer.
  • La Loma, Town Square skyway (E 6th St and Cedar St), St. Paul. Opens this summer. | lalomatamales.com
  • Bon Vie Cafe / A Piece of Cake, combining later this spring at 485 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.846.0016 | bonviecafe.net, apieceofcakebakery.net
  • Cossetta’s, 211 7th St W, St. Paul. Existing market opening new rooftop restaurant; opens this summer. | 651.222.3476 | cossettaeventi.com
  • Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul. Opens in 2012. | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook
  • Damera Ethiopian Bar & Restaurant, 823 University Ave, St. Paul
  • Chopstiks Cafe, 501 University Ave, St. Paul

Greater Twin Cities Area

  • Casper’s Cherokee Sirloin Room, 4625 Nicols Rd, Eagan. Reopens May 7 after fire. | casperscherokee.com
  • Nadia Cakes, 11650 Fountains Dr, Suite 207, Maple Grove. Opens May 15. | nadiacakes.com
  • Ike’s, 17805 Hwy 7, Minnetonka. Opens this spring. | ilikeikes.com
  • Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater. Opens this spring. | 651.472.1150 | Find it on Facebook
  • Masu Sushi & Robata, Mall of America. Opens this spring. | Our take on the original
  • Giuseppe’s, 15090 Chippendale Ave, Rosemount (moving from former location nearby) | giuseppespastaalforno.com
  • Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 3rd St, Excelsior. Beers available on tap this summer. | 952.474.7837 | excelsiorbrew.com
  • Pizza Luce, 800 W 66th St, Richfield. Opens in June. | pizzaluce.com
  • Tavern Grill, 772 Bielenberg Dr, Woodbury. Opens in June.
  • Spice Thai Cafe, 7704 160th St, Lakeville. Opens in June. | spicemn.com
  • Candyland, 212 N Main St, Stillwater. Opens this summer. | candylandstore.com
  • Sole Mio, 1750 Weir Dr, Woodbury. Opens in July.
  • Moe’s Southwest Grill, Penn Ave S and American Blvd, Bloomington. Opens in August. | moes.com
  • Raku Modern Japanese Cuisine, Shops at West End, St. Louis Park. Opens this summer. | rakumn.com
  • Ruze Bakery and Lounge, 4669 Lakeland Ave N, Robbinsdale | ruzebakery.com

The Tap is The Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled by Heavy Table writer Jason Walker, and will be published biweekly. If you already subscribe to our newsletter, look for an emailed version of The Tap every other week — otherwise, you can find it on the website on alternating Tuesdays.

If you’ve got tips for The Tap, please email Jason Walker at jason@heavytable.com. The Tap’s Twitter feed has moved to @heavytable.

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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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2 Comments

  1. Nadia Cakes is opening in July, per their Facebook page.

  2. The pupuseria at 42nd & Cedar is open now.

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