This week in the Tap: Our columnist mulls a wave of suburban closings, Nighthawks, and brewery openings … and a foraged food dinner at Heyday.
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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 email@example.com.
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The Suburbs in Flames, a Brewery Blitz, and Nighthawks
There has been a bit of a SUBURBAN MASSACRE taking place, and it has gotten largely lost in the shuffle of flashy urban opening after urban opening. We’ve lost Curry ’n’ Noodles in Hopkins (above), Pairings in Minnetonka, Umbria Pizza in Eden Prairie, and School II Bistro in Chanhassen, all of which (to some degree) brought independent pride and ambition to their respective corners of the metro. I wouldn’t have connected the dots were it not for Heavy Table writer Amy Rea, who tirelessly patrols the outer metro (and the countryside) in search of stories and hidden gems.
Getting back to that list of high-profile urban openings: sitting at the top is NIGHTHAWKS (along with the entry for Revival). There’s no denying the talent of Chef Landon Schoenefeld (above) — really, there isn’t — so there’s no reason not to eagerly flock to this newest attraction in the booming Nicollet and 38th Street gastro-district.
That said, there are a couple of reasons I’ll be cautious about what he’s serving up. Our last visit to Haute Dish featured some great bites and some overpriced ones, and service that varied between “politely distracted” and “rude.” The stress of opening a second place can do that, but if hospitality flags, the whole ball of wax is in jeopardy. I quit dining at Cafe Maude years ago, after a series of run-ins with eye-rolling, hyper-styled hosts and hostesses; it’s probably time to get back over there and reconnect.
The second reason to be cautious is the prices, which are reasonable but aggressive — meatloaf is $16; a hot turkey sandwich combo is $14; the foie gras omelet is $18. Hot dogs are $10, but they come festooned with excellent-looking toppings. If the food’s consistent and delicious, Nighthawks will be golden at these prices and will make some real money. If not, it may struggle six months out.
Mostly unrelated, but appetizingly: BREWERIES ARE OPENING like crazy, a thing that will continue to happen for months to come. 56 Brewing, a hyper-ambitious, custom-tailored-for-Northeast brewery that touts its “garden to growler” approach, has kicked open its doors, and we’re curious to taste what they’re serving. Their Kickstarter went down in flames ($3K out of $20K raised), so they may be wading into a market that’s approaching saturation … or maybe they’re great brewers who don’t excel at crowdfunding. If the throngs at Dangerous Man, 612, and Bauhaus are any indication, there should be plenty of clientele to go around.
Sidhe Brewing is now open, and I’ve managed to mangle the name every time I’ve said it — it’s easy to overthink. (It’s actually pronounced “She,” but I’m thrown by the “d.”) It’s a personal quirk that if a name baffles me (ala Mysore or Zeke’s Unchained Animal), I need to try twice as hard to give the food and drink a fair shake — branding is a tough nut to crack. Also open: Grand Rounds in Rochester. Soon to follow: everything from the eccentric but promising Valhalla Nordic Smoke and Ale House in Willernie to Angry Inch in Lakeville to St. Croix Brewing Company in Stillwater, among others. Expect the flood to stop … never. But we may hit “one in, one out” saturation two to three years out.
— James Norton
Foraged food dinner at Heyday
2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Slow Food Minnesota and Heyday are heading into the woods, and on Tuesday, May 19, at 6 p.m., they’ll present a four-course diner built around their finds … morels included. Each of the Heyday chefs will create one course — spring greens and vegetables, lake fish, sustainable meat (or a vegetarian option), and dessert.
Between courses, Jim Christansen, Heyday’s executive chef, will talk about slow cooking at Heyday; and Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. and Tracy LeTourneau, a mushroom forager and former proprietor of Terra Waconia, will relate their experiences at Terra Madre, Slow Food’s international gathering in Italy.
Tickets are $35 for Slow Food members and $45 for non-members (tax and tip, but not beverages, included). Reservations are available on Slow Food’s website.
- Sencha Tea Bar (Tea Garden under new ownership and rebranded), 2601 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
- Nighthawks, 3753 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
- Como Dockside Lakeside Pavilion, Como Park, St. Paul
- 56 Brewing, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis
- Workhorse Coffee Bar, 2399 University Ave, St. Paul
- Tamarack Tap Room, 8418 Tamarack Village, Woodbury
- Sidhe Brewing Company, 990 Payne Ave, St. Paul
- Grand Rounds Brewing Company, 4 3rd St SW, Rochester | April 15, 2015
- Breaking Bread Cafe, 1210 W Broadway, Minneapolis
- Cafe Racer Kitchen, 2929 E 25th St, Minneapolis | Our review
- Revival, 4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | Our roundtable review
- Blackstone Bistro, 3808 Grand Way, St. Louis Park
- Emmett’s Public House, 695 Grand Ave, St. Paul (former Dixie’s on Grand party room)
- Vellee Deli, Baker Center at 109 S 7th St, Minneapolis
- Wabasha Brewing Company, 429 Wabasha St S, St. Paul
- Prairie Dogs, 610 W Lake St, Minneapolis | Our review and Our visit to the Prairie Dogs pop-up
- Shag Sushi, 730 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis
- Tinto Cocina + Cantina, 901 W Lake St, Minneapolis
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Pairings in Minnetonka
- El Burrito Mercado (Midtown Global Market location)
- Umbria Pizza in Eden Prairie
- Sapor (closing June 2015)
- School II Bistro in Chanhassen
- Bars Bakery (both locations)
- Campus Pizza
- Curry ’n’ Noodles | Our review
- Modern Cafe
- Twisted Fork | Our review
- Nye’s Polonaise Room (closing 2015)
- Able Seedhouse and Brewery, 1121 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis | Winter 2015
- Lakes and Legends Brewing Company, 1368 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
- Q Fanatic, South Metro, Minneapolis | Summer 2015 (second location)
- DiNoko’s Pizzeria, 4457 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
- Eggy’s Diner, LPM Apartments, 1369 Spruce Pl, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
- Bryn Mawr Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave N, Minneapolis | Winter 2015
- Eastside, 301 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis | August 2015
- Monello and Constantine, Hotel Ivy 201 S 11th St, Minneapolis | June 2015
- 4 Bells, 1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis | Summer 2015
- La Ceiba Bistro, 3500 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis | 2015
- Seward Co-op Creamery Neighborhood Cafe, 2601 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | July 2015
- Parella, Calhoun Square | July 2015
- Hi-Lo Diner (working name), 4020 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Summer or Autumn of 2015
- Tattersall Distilling | Summer 2015
- St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | Mid-2015
- Il Foro, City Center, Minneapolis | June 2015
- Seward Co-op Friendship Store, 317 38th St E | Summer 2015
- Upton43, 4312 Upton Ave, Minneapolis | September 2015
- Urban Forage Winery and Cider House, 3016 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Fall 2015
- Lost Falls Distillery, 1915 E 22nd St, Minneapolis | Early 2015
- Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse, 1930 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | Early 2015
- The Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis | Late Spring 2015
- Pizzeria Lola concept TBD, 165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | 2015
- The Bachelor Farmer Cafe project to be named, 200 N 1st St, Minneapolis | 2015
- Lake Monster Brewing, 550 Vandalia St, St. Paul | 2015
- Ox Cart Ale House, 255 E Sixth St, St. Paul | Summer 2015
- Bad Weather Brewing, 414 7th St W, St. Paul | 2015
- Colossal Cafe (third location) 1342 Grand Ave, St. Paul | April 2015
- Big River Pizza, Lofts at Farmers Market, St. Paul | June 2015
- Heirloom, 2186 Marshall Ave, St. Paul | June 2015
- 11 Wells Millwright Cocktail Room, Historic Hamm Building, St. Paul | Spring 2015
- Lexington (new ownership), 1096 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Spring 2015
- Saint Dinette, 280 E 5th St, St. Paul | Early 2015
Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond
- St. Croix Brewing Company, 114 Chestnut St E, Stillwater | 2015
- Valhalla Nordic Smoke and Ale House, 310 Stillwater Rd, Willernie | May 2015
- Angry Inch Brewing, 20841 Holyoke Ave, Lakeville | July 2015
- Ruscello, Nordstrom Ridgedale, Minnetonka | October 2015
- 10K Brewing, Bank Block on Second and Main, Anoka | July 2015
- Gogi Bros. House, Shady Oak Retail Center, Eden Prairie | Spring 2015
- Crêpe and Cake, Plymouth | March 2015
- Gator’s Grilled Cheese Emporium, 955 E Sheridan, Ely | Spring 2015
- The King and I Thai (reopening), 760 Highway 110, Mendota Heights | 2015
- Wicked Wort Brewing Co., 4165-4175 W Broadway, Robbinsdale | Fall 2015
- Belle Vinez Winery, River Falls, Wis. | May 2015
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 the Heavy Table. If you have tips for The Tap, please email James Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.