The Tap: Restaurant Openings and Closings for Mid-March

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This week in The Tap: A look ahead at upcoming restaurants in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

NOW OPEN:

  • Geek Love at Moon Palace Books, 3032 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis | The bookstore has moved two blocks north from its original location and its Geek Love restaurant is now open.
  • Prime Six609 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | A mishmash of everything upscale from around the world, plus a dance floor. In the old Rosa Mexicano space.
  • Holman’s Table, 644 Bayfield St, St. Paul | A restaurant at the St. Paul Airport.
  • Sweet Chow, 116 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Counter-service pho and veggie-friendly fare.
  • just/us, 465 Wabasha St N, St. Paul | An ambitious looking new spot in the suddenly closed Red Lantern space.
  • Biergarten Germania, 275 E Fourth Street, St. Paul | Schnitzel, pretzels, brats, and other German standards, plus beer. Here’s our first look.
  • Fig + Farro, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Vegetarian food in the semi-cursed former Figlio’s space.
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Sound, 132 E Superior St, Duluth | An ambitious new spot by Chef Patrick Moore (above), formerly of Silos at Pier B.

The Tap: New Purveyors at the North Coast Nosh

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This week in The Tap: The North Coast Nosh is on the way, and a look ahead at upcoming restaurants in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table

New Purveyors at the North Coast Nosh

We’ve been hosting North Coast Nosh sip-and-samples for the past seven years, and while the purveyors change constantly, the values of the event stay the same: locally made artisan food and drink, sampled generously, and the time (and elbow room) needed for real conversations between guests and vendors.

Our upcoming North Coast Nosh (March 29 at the Food Building) features many old friends, but there will be some new faces in the mix as well, including:

Utepils Brewing, one of the biggest and most exciting breweries to open in recent years

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

St. Croix Chocolate Company, long one of our favorite local makers of artisan chocolates

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Isabel Street Heat, makers of some of the best hot sauces in the region (or the country, for that matter)

Check out the full list at our announcemnt post, and get your tickets while they’re still available.

NOW OPEN:

  • Holman’s Table, 644 Bayfield St, St. Paul | A restaurant at the St. Paul Airport.
  • Sweet Chow, 116 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Counter-service pho and veggie-friendly fare.
  • just/us, 465 Wabasha St N, St. Paul | An ambitious looking new spot in the suddenly closed Red Lantern space.
  • Biergarten Germania, 275 E Fourth Street, St. Paul | Schnitzel, pretzels, brats, and other German standards, plus beer.
  • Fig + Farro, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Vegetarian food in the semi-cursed former Figlio’s space.
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Sound, 132 E Superior St, Duluth | An ambitious new spot by Chef Patrick Moore (above), formerly of Silos at Pier B.
  • Hodges Bend, 2700 University Ave W, St. Paul  | Coffee, wine, and cocktails with a side of food.
  • Nye’s Bar112 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | A reboot of the legendary Nye’s Polonaise, in a new space at the Nye’s location, renovated and sans food. Our review here.
  • Sonder Shaker, 130 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | A new restaurant and cocktail bar sharing the site of the old Nye’s Polonaise.
  • Red Sauce Rebellion, 205 Water St, Excelsior | “Approachable yet unexpected” Italian. Our first tastes.
  • Venn Brewing, 3550 E 46th St Suite 140, Minneapolis | A changing selection of brews in this taproom near Minnehaha Park.
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Tap: Restaurant Openings and Closings in Early December

Banner for the Tap: Food and Drink News

This week in The Tap: A look ahead at upcoming restaurants in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

NOW OPEN:

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Bull’s Horn, 4563 34th Ave S, Minneapolis | Doug Flicker’s meaty, burger-forward revamp and reinvention of the former Sunrise Inn space. Review here.
  • The Hasty Tasty, 701 W Lake St, Minneapolis | New American with an emphasis on wood-fired food.
  • La Familia Tapatia, 1237 Larpenteur Ave W, St. Paul
  • Book Club, 5411 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | A Kim Bartmann California fusion eatery, helmed by Asher Miller, in the former Cafe Maude space.
  • Sift Gluten-Free Bakery, 4557 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Hai Hai, 2121 University Ave NE, Minneapolis | New Southeast Asian restaurant at the former Double Deuce location. By the team behind Hola Arepa.
  • Lucky Oven Bakery, 5401 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | Scratch-made baked goods from a former Red Wagon pizza employee.
  • Loulou Sweet & Savory, 2839 Emerson Ave S, Minneapolis | Yet another rolled ice cream spot; we’ve gone from 0 to 3 in a few months.
  • Martina, 4312 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis | The former Upton 43 space has become an Argentine- and Italian-inspired spot by Daniel del Prado, formerly of Burch.
Courtesy of Urban Forage
Courtesy of Urban Forage

The Tap: Early September Restaurant Openings and Closings

Banner for the Tap: Food and Drink News

This week in the Tap: A look ahead at upcoming restaurants in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

NOW OPEN:

James Norton / Heavy Table
  • Seventh Street Truck Park, 214 W 7th St, St. Paul | A food hall with a rotating collection of trucks and three separate bars. Our review here.
  • Bardo, 222 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | A new “modern American bistro” in the old Rachel’s spot in Northeast, with chef/owner Remy Pettus.
  • Tillie’s Farmhouse, 232 Cleveland Ave N, St. Paul | Seasonal cuisine, some of it with a Scandinavian influence, with ingredients from local farms. In the former Trotter’s Cafe.
  • Wonders Ice Cream, 298 University Ave W, St. Paul | A shop selling the latest craze (?): rolled ice cream. See also: Sota Hot and Cold at 394 University Ave W.
  • Delicata1341 Pascal St, St. Paul | A pizzeria and gelateria by Matty O’Reilly, J.D. Fratzke, and Noah Barton.
  • Kaiseki Furukawa, 33 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Classic kaiseki (progressive small courses) dining at Kaiseki Furukawa, sister restaurant to Kado no Mise. $168 per plate (including gratuity and tax).
  • Barrel Theory Beer Company, 248 E 7th St, St. Paul | As per the Growler: “A partnership between Surly Brewing Company’s former director of technology Brett Splinter, former Surly brewer Timmy Johnson, and CPA Todd Tibesar.” Our preview is here.
Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors
  • Hoops Brewing, 325 S Lake Ave, Duluth | Expectations have been high for this new brewery, a project of Dave Hoops, formerly of Fitger’s. And our first tastes indicate those expectations were warranted.
  • 12welve Eyes Brewing, 141 E 4th St, St. Paul | Brewery and taproom in the Pioneer Endicott Building in Lowertown. Our overview is here.

The Tap: Rise of the Food Hall

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This week in the Tap: Thoughts on the food hall boom, a look ahead at upcoming restaurants, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

All Hail the Food Hall

With the upcoming openings of Keg and Case, The Market House Collaborative, and Malcolm Yards, the Twin Cities is poised to see a monster boom in food hall spaces — indoor spaces containing some combination of fish, meat, and produce markets, restaurants, quick-service counters and stalls, and drinking establishments. The somewhat chaotic Midtown Global Market has been slinging a wide variety of sometimes excellent food for more than a decade, making the upcoming boom feel a bit delayed. It’s welcome nonetheless. Anyone who has ever been to a top-flight food hall like Chelsea Market in New York or the Ferry Building in San Francisco knows that they have the power to transform and help define a scene. And anyone who has been to any of the ethnic food halls like Mercado Central or the Hmong Village knows that they can contain a wealth of culinary wonders that are almost entirely off the mainstream map.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Whenever we get a lot of something (think: crudo) there’s an immediate and understandable tendency for diners to worry that the hot new thing is a mere fad. Sometimes (think: crudo) it certainly is, but sometimes (think: taprooms and cocktail rooms) it’s not — it’s a meaningful change in the way people eat and drink. The food hall seems like an idea whose time has very much come for a few major reasons:

Scalability — The boom in food and drink businesses in recent years means that there are a lot of new players, and a lot of smaller players trying to grow. Having halfway steps between the home kitchen and a stand-alone, bricks-and-mortar restaurant is a great way to help the scene grow organically. Food trucks have been that halfway step for many of the best new restaurants in the region. Food halls may well serve that role for the next decade or two.

Co-location and Community — Food halls can help their members co-market and collaborate. Chefs and food artisans are naturally prone to share and work together, and being cheek-by-jowl in a market setting boosts those opportunities to cross-pollinate. And for visitors, the close proximity of multiple vendors can make a food hall a one-stop destination for dining, drinking, and shopping.

The Sense of Discovery — Because tenants in food halls often hold short-term leases and smaller shops are often expanding or graduating to new digs, food halls tend to host a shifting roster of vendors, which means that if you visit every month or two, you’re likely to stumble upon new discoveries that reward your patronage. And when you’re showing out-of-town visitors around the area, few things can top a well-curated food hall for making a good impression. — James Norton

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

NOW OPEN

Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors
  • Hoops Brewing, 325 S Lake Ave, Duluth | Expectations have been high for this new brewery, a project by Dave Hoops, formerly of Fitger’s.
  • Portillo’s, 8450 Hudson Rd, Woodbury | First Minnesota outpost of the famous Chicago hot dog empire.
  • 510 Lounge & Private Dining, 510 Groveland Ave, Minneapolis | Private event space and open-to-the-public lounge run by Chef Don Saunders (The Kenwood).
  • Gray Duck Tavern, 345 Wabasha St, St. Paul | “Comfort food from all over the world.”
  • 1.2.3. Pasta, 6508 Cahill Ave, Inver Grove Heights | Fresh pastas, pizza, and more from the owners of La Grolla.
  • The Lynhall, 2640 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis | “A market-inspired cafe, event space, kitchen studio, and incubator kitchen.”
  • Town Hall Station, 4500 Valley View Rd, Edina | The latest in the growing Town Hall mini-empire.
Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table
  • Rise Bagel Company, 530 N 3rd St, Minneapolis | Quality bagels in a town hungry for them.
James Norton / Heavy Table
  • The Original on 42nd, 1839 E 42nd St, Minneapolis  | A sandwich shop in the former Colossal Cafe location.
  • StormKing Barbecue, 16½ W 26th St, Minneapolis | A new Texas-style barbecue window from the team behind the adjacent Black Sheep Pizza.

Cafe Maude to Close After 10 Years, Reboot with Asher Miller and Bartmann Group

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

After 10 years of going strong in the Armatage neighborhood of Minneapolis, Cafe Maude will close its doors at the end of July and reopen as a Bartmann Group restaurant helmed by Chef Asher Miller (pictured above with Wolfgang Puck.) Miller will blend Maude’s existing French flavors with California influences. Press release follows.

Bartmann Group and Asher Miller to take over Café Maude space in South Minneapolis.

WHAT: Kim Bartmann and Chef Asher Miller will partner on a new project in the Café Maude space at 54th and Penn Avenue South. Look for a new concept and a refreshed space in the fall. Plans include an enhanced dining room, patio updates, a broader beverage selection, and a menu that will respect the space’s French heritage while adding California influences and taking advantage of the existing wood-fire grill. In Bartmann style, the restaurant will feature local purveyors and produce, including crops from the group’s own farm plot at Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN. Other sustainable practices include energy efficient choices, composting, recycling, and zero-waste initiatives.

WHO: 

Kim Bartmann, founder, Bartmann Group.

An innovator in the Twin Cities restaurant scene since she opened Café Wyrd in 1991, and currently an owner and/or partner in 9 restaurants, Kim also has been recognized as a leader in sustainability. Currently, Bartmann is the Vice President on the board of the Land Stewardship Project, and the President on the board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, working to advance the careers of women across the culinary industry through education, promotion, connection and inspiration. 

More info: http://www.bartmanngroup.rocks

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Asher Miller: Chef/Owner.

Asher Miller has been working and living in the growing restaurant and hospitality business in the Minneapolis area for 16 years. One of his first cooking jobs was at Barbette for Kim Bartmann. He then spent six years at the Walker Art Center, working his way up to Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck and more recently ran celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern’s food truck business.  Miller brings experience in many different styles of cooking, execution and management to this new venture.

WHEN: Café Maude will remain open, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, through July 31st; Bartmann encourages regulars to get their last Maude visits in before then. The newly imagined place, surely to remain a neighborhood favorite, will open Fall 2017.

 WHERE: Café Maude, 5411 Penn Avenue S, MPLS. Armitage Neigborhood  612-822-5411

 

Strip Club Meat and Fish to Close in July

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

St. Paul’s iconic Strip Club Meat and Fish will be shutting its doors later this year, with a planned closure date of July 1. Chef J.D. Fratzke (above right) attributes the upcoming closure to an amicable parting of ways with owner Tim Niver (above left), and promises news on new projects soon. This post will be updated with additional details later today as the Strip Club makes them available. The Strip Club opened in 2008.

Update: Here’s the restaurant’s official press release about its upcoming closure.

February 1, 2017
Dayton’s Bluff
Saint Paul, MN

To our friends and patrons:

The Strip Club Meat and Fish has enjoyed nearly ten years of operation in Dayton’s Bluff and Saint Paul. It has been a fabulous run, however, we have decided not to renew our lease ending in July, 2017. We’re Not Done! We are announcing our closure now so that our friends and those who still haven’t joined us might be able to do so over the next 5 months. Get your unused gift cards out and join us at one of our tables until July 1, 2017.

We retain possession of The Strip Club space until the end of July. Our restaurant will still beavailable to large groups for either business or personal dinners and celebrations until the end of the month. Also, we invite our aspiring restaurateur peers an opportunity to host pop ups in this unique and special location.

Other changes are occurring along with our announcement. Our final brunch service will be held on Sunday February 12, 2017. We will be serving Mother’s Day and Easter brunches by reservation. Our new hours of operation as of February 14, 2017 will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. We will be closed on Sundays and Mondays.

We are commonly associated with what we lovingly call our “sister restaurants” Saint Dinette and Mucci’s Italian. We are a family of restaurants by nature and ethos but are independently owned and operated and both continue to be healthy and happy businesses. We appreciate your ongoing support and patronage.

THANK YOU!!! We have been truly blessed to own and operate such a wonderful place in the amazing city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Your trust and support of us will be an enduring force behind our progression as professionals and humans. We look forward to providing excellent food and service to you until our final night of service on July 1 st . Come see us.

Love,

The Strip Club Meat and Fish

From our archives:

Upfront with Tim Niver
Brunch at the Strip Club
(Louie the Loon)
Feasting on Frozen Waters and J.D. Fratzke’s Chef’s Notebook

 

Prairie Dogs to Close (For Now)

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Prairie Dogs, a place we’ve found to serve some of the best hot dog spots in the state, will be shutting its doors at the end of the month. It may reopen at a new location.

Details in the press release from Tobie Nidetz:

In November 2014 Prairie Dogs found a home on Lake Street. In the two years since, the restaurant has seen a lot of ups and downs…but a little too many downs. Even after the accolades of the patrons, food writers and a national television network, we found the curse of location to be too strong. There was something keeping people away from our door and we were never able to figure out why. As customer counts dropped our bills piled up. Now we see no way to stay in business at this location. Our last day of operation will be a whale of a party on New Year’s Eve.

From the beginning we knew we had something special and unique. We knew it would take a bit of a learning curve to get the marketplace to see hot dogs and sausages in a new light. That light however was either not strong enough or the place we had chosen to introduce this concept to the Twin Cities and shine that light was not a location our guests enjoyed to come.

So, on to better things. We are in the process of looking for a spot that will give us the opportunity to continue serving our great food and give Prairie Dogs the life it deserves. In the meantime, our products will still be available at U.S. Bank Stadium and we may even return to a pop up or two along the way.

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

Piccolo to Close, Tenant to Open in its Space

piccolo-sign-exteriorPiccolo, a tiny, high-flying restaurant known for its impeccable small plates, will be closing Mar. 11, 2017. Chef Doug Flicker will continue to operate Sandcastle and the soon-to-open Esker Grove at the Walker Art Center; Piccolo’s space will become Tenant, a new restaurant that will be opened by two of Flicker’s current crew.

We visited Piccolo to look at their family meal vis-a-vis the book Come In, We’re Closed a few years back.

The press release in full:

We are announcing that Piccolo will close on Saturday, March 11th, 2017. 

Opening in January of 2010 Chef Doug Flicker opened Piccolo with James Andrus, who later moved on to other ventures. Our first year, the restaurant was on the “Heartland” episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Bourdain called his meal at Piccolo the “…most inspired and inspiring meal” across the U.S. Chef Doug Flicker also received multiple James Beard award nominations and much support and recognition from his beloved city where he began working over thirty years ago.

Two of Chef Doug Flicker’s current staff, Chef de Cuisine Cameron Cecchini and Cook Grisha Hammes, will be revamping the space to open Tenant Restaurant in spring 2017. They are amazingly skilled and will be a great boon to the food community.

A special note from Doug Flicker, Chef/Owner:

It is with a full heart that I would like to announce the closing of my restaurant. Piccolo has been the realization of a dream that allowed me to cook with my heart for the last 7 years. Simply put, times change and so have we. Amy and I are working on new projects and we look forward to sharing them with you as they finalize. In the mean time, I do hope to see you at Sandcastle on Lake Nokomis in the summers and Esker Grove at the Walker Art Center.

Piccolo would never have been the success it was without the endless work of an amazing group of talented individuals, the love and partnership of my wife Amy as well as my original business partner Jim Andrus and you the dining public. I truly appreciate the time we had together at Piccolo.  

Thank you,

Doug Flicker

Heartland to Close on Dec. 31, 2016

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Editor’s note, 11am Oct. 4: Updated to include press release. Chef Lenny Russo’s Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar, for years a local standard bearer for the ideals of farm-to-table dining, is closing this December. Rick Nelson’s write-up has the details, but much of the story seems to be a combination of rising real estate prices and falling diner interest in white tablecloth spots with all the whistles and bells. We’ve covered Heartland on many occasions, including the release of the restaurant’s cookbook, an exploration of the restaurant’s ambitious meat program, and a cartoon visit from Louie the Loon.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Press release from Heartland:

On October 24, 2016, Heartland will be celebrating fourteen years since we first opened our doors in a little, nondescript storefront on St. Clair Avenue in Saint Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood.  Over the years, Heartland grew from a tiny fifty seat restaurant occupying no more than 2,700 square feet to what it is today, a multi-faceted facility spread out across 26,000 square feet in the über hip Lowertown neighborhood of downtown Saint Paul, a neighborhood that we are proud to say we helped revitalize when we relocated there in 2010.

On December 31, 2016, Heartland will be serving its guests for the last time.  The real estate that is home to the restaurant has been sold to a private investor, and so we must say goodbye after many wonderful and rewarding years.

When we began our journey in 2002, we were at the forefront of the burgeoning local and sustainable food movement.  At that time, we were hopeful that our restaurant would help establish a standard for principles related to wholesome and healthful eating as well as encouraging support for small local family farms who practice humane and sustainable agriculture.  We were extremely successful in that endeavor, and we are pleased to say that today many, if not most people in our industry, have adopted those principles.  In that way, we feel that we have achieved our goal of bringing these issues into the light of day, and we are very proud of what we were able to accomplish over the last fourteen years.  After six James Beard Award nominations, the publication of a cookbook trumpeting our local and regional foods and travels that have allowed us to bring our message across the country as well as across the ocean to our friends in Europe, we are ready to take on new challenges and forge a fresh path toward a more healthy food system and planet.

We are making this announcement now in order to give our many long time patrons and friends a chance to visit us, as well as to allow those who are currently holding Heartland gift certificates ample opportunity to redeem them, before we turn out the lights on New Year’s Eve.

As we head into our busiest season of the year, Heartland has numerous private events already booked and reservations are becoming more and more difficult to obtain.  We encourage those who are interested in joining us to book their reservations as soon as possible, especially those who would like to join us on New Year’s Eve for our last dinner service, and we will do our best to accommodate all those seeking a place at the Heartland table.

Those who will be joining us should not expect to see any immediate changes to our menu format, but we will be gradually moving toward a fixed menu as opposed to our daily changing menu as we get closer to our last evening of operation.

We would be remiss if we did not take a moment to express how very thankful we are for all of the love and support we have received from the community, our farmers and suppliers, our peers and the media as well as the hard work and diligence of our staff over the last fourteen years.  We would not have been able to do any of this without the benefit of that kindness and generosity.

While it is not without some sadness that we must turn the page on Heartland, we are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives and to what new challenges and opportunities await us.

Warmest regards:
Lenny Russo, Heartland

The Tap: Minnesota State Fair Food Predictions: Trainwreck or Epic?

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This week in the Tap: A bit of Minnesota State Fair food prognostication — will some of the hottest new foods connect or implode?

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 James Norton at editor@heavytable.com.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

State Fair Food Predictions

As these words are being published, the Heavy Table Wrecking Crew is gearing up for its eighth annual stomach-punishing tour of the new foods of the Minnesota State Fair, an epic endeavor being underwritten this year by the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. Looking ahead, we’re sizing up our targets and making some guesses as to how they’re going to taste. We’ll revisit these predictions when our food tour comes out (Friday, Aug. 26) and see how perceptions square with reality.

Screenshot from MNstatefair.org
Screenshot from MNstatefair.org

FOOD: SPAM Sushi

VENDOR: Sushi Rolls

CONCEPT: Strips of SPAM and fried egg wrapped in nori (seaweed) and served with wasabi.

PREDICTION: Trainwreck. There’s nothing (whatsoever) wrong with mixing SPAM and sushi, as anyone who has had a good SPAM musubi roll can attest. But trying to turn out properly cooked, properly served rice and nongummy seaweed under fair conditions sounds nightmarish.

FOOD: Carpe Diem

VENDOR: Rabbit Hole

CONCEPT: As per the site, a “buttermilk miso waffle cone filled with balsamic-roasted strawberry compote and topped with vanilla ice cream, graham cracker crumble and a fresh strawberry.”

PREDICTION: Epic. Rabbit Hole has a history of executing well, and a sexily presented but otherwise sensible fancy ice cream cone sounds like a great match for the fair.

FOOD: Bang Bang Fresh Chicken Tenders

VENDOR: LuLu’s Public House

CONCEPT: Never-frozen chicken tenderloins fried up and served with a sweet chili sauce.

PREDICTION: Epic. It’s a clean, simple idea that should be pretty easy to execute on the fly. And the “never-frozen” tagline is encouraging.

FOOD: Barbecued Shrimp Taco

VENDOR: Tejas Express

CONCEPT: Barbecued shrimp and jicama slaw in a flour tortilla.

PREDICTION: Trainwreck. Shrimp is easy to overcook and hard to serve well en masse; the chances are that this will be a doughy, carby mass of meh. But it could surprise us.

Screenshot from MNstatefair.org
Screenshot from MNstatefair.org

FOOD: Iron Range Meat and Potatoes

VENDOR: Giggles’ Campfire Grill

CONCEPT:  Seasoned beef with cheddar cheese, topped with mashed potatoes and a wild rice gravy.

PREDICTION: Epic. Why? We’re in the tank for Giggles, which seems to bat around .800 when it comes to new fair foods. If anyone can pull this off, they can. — James Norton

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Photos of the Green Line Checklist

The photography of Becca Dilley has been a mainstay of the Heavy Table ever since our founding in 2009. But it has been a particularly integral part of our ambitious Green Line Checklist, our effort to write about, draw, and photograph about 75 independent restaurants along the course of the Green Line light rail in St. Paul and Minneapolis. You can check out a lovely collection of Becca’s favorite images from the epic restaurant crawl over on her site. — James Norton

NOW OPEN

 

  • La La Homemade Ice Cream, 3146 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Homemade ice cream shop in the former Shoe Zoo location in Uptown.

 

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
  • Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, The Food Building, 1401 Marshall Ave NE | The bakery sells its naturally fermented breads and stone-ground, heirloom-varietal flours at the Mill City and Northeast farmers markets on Saturdays. The Food Building bakery is not open to the public. Listen to Steve Horton (the bakery’s owner and former owner of Rustica) talk about the project on The Weekend Starts Now podcast. Our visit and tasting notes are here.
  • Wild Mind Artisan Ales Taproom, 6031 Pillsbury Ave S, Minneapolis | As per the website: “Wild Mind Artisan Ales specializes in wild, sour, farmhouse, saison, and rustic ales through barrel aging and blending.”
  • Twin Spirits Distillery, 2931 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table
  • World of Beer, 356 N Sibley St, St. Paul | Part of a chain including locations in Wauwatosa and Appleton, Wis., and Naperville, Ill. Our Bite is here.
  • Lu’s Sandwiches, 10 6th St NE, Minneapolis | The second location of this “small menu” banh mi spot.
  • Blackeye Roasting Company, 3740 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis | An 18-seat cafe located in the Minneapolis skyway — with 10 tap lines of nonalcoholic beverages that include nitro cold brew coffee, nitro iced tea, kombucha, and draft cocktails — is coming later this summer.
  • Costa Blanca Bistro, 2416 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | The latest spot from the opening-restaurants-like-crazy Hector Ruiz.
  • Lawless Distilling, 2619 28th Ave S, Minneapolis | Our visit detailed here.
  • The Howe Daily Kitchen & Bar, 3675 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis | A complete overhaul and relaunch of the former Rail Station. We’ve got a review in the works.
  • Silhouette Bakery and Bistro, 383 University Ave W, St. Paul | Rice bowls and tacos, plus some cute-looking cakes.
  • Bonicelli Kitchen, 1839 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis | Patio space open Friday and Saturday for dinner and Sunday for lunch in the former Razaaq space on Central Avenue.
  • DiNoko’s Pizzeria, 4457 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | The briefly open Nicollet Avenue location of DiNoko’s is closed, but the long-delayed 42nd Avenue location is now open.
  • Up-Down Arcade, 3012 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis | Pizza and video games, hard to top that. We’ve got a review in the works.

Vincent, A Restaurant is Closing

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

As per a press release, the classic French cooking standard-bearer Vincent, A Restaurant, will be closing on Dec. 31 of this year after 14 years of operation. Coming immediately on the heels of the announced closing of La Belle Vie, this doubles the volume of the bell tolling for old-school, French-inspired white tablecloth fine dining in the state.

From the release:

…. [Vincent] Francoual is aware of the outside factors that may be considered as influencing his decision; the Nicollet Mall construction and the Working Families proposal being considered by the City of Minneapolis, his decision was personal.

In his own words he explains:

“Running Vincent A Restaurant has been an incredible experience, professionally and personally, full of rewards and challenges.  After 14 years and careful consideration, I have decided it is time for me to move forward into another stage of my life, and close the restaurant.  

This wasn’t a decision that came easily. 

I love and respect my staff and the many guests who have supported me over the years.  I want to close the restaurant with dignity and allow my staff and guests the opportunity to say goodbye.  I want to honor those who were with me when I opened and make sure they are with me to celebrate when I close.

Our last dinner service will be Thursday, December 31, 2015.”

Vincent is known for a variety of well-regarded classic dishes, but the pulled beef short ribs-stuffed Vincent burger was a Minneapolis icon.

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table