This week in The Tap: Assessing the status of #BoldNorth after one of the world’s biggest parties, plus 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 email@example.com.
After the Party
The Super Bowl has come and gone, and we won’t know for months — maybe years, maybe forever — whether it actually shifted the national perception of Minneapolis-St. Paul (or, if you must, the #BoldNorth). For every story optimistic about the area’s ambitious rebranding, there was something like the Onion’s recent headline: Minneapolis Shocked to Discover Thousands of Super Bowl Attendees Left Without Seeing Rest of City.
But if you wandered the hundreds of totally-, semi- or non-exclusive events this past weekend, you picked up on a warm vibe despite the classic Minnesota winter weather. There seems to be a general recognition (as passed around on Twitter and other social networks) that people around here are pretty nice, and (halftime show notwithstanding) the Super Bowl and its attendant hoopla came off with exactly the blend of Scandinavish efficiency and “ope, shucks” self-deprecation that we all hoped for. Celebrities popped up at local restaurants, a few legitimately thoughtful things were written about the local cultural scene, and Andrew Zimmern was everywhere.
Where are we left, moving forward? Well, not surprisingly, our high-end restaurants (from Spoon and Stable to Meritage to Bar La Grassa and more) held up just fine. We don’t lack for dining that can legitimately wow (or at least satisfy) well-heeled visitors from wherever.
Also — less than surprisingly — we are bad, as a metro area, at showing off some of our most interesting street and first-generation food, most prominently the Mexican fare of East Lake Street (and elsewhere) and the Southeast Asian food of University Avenue (and elsewhere). If there was much of substance beyond this excellent Deadspin piece on East Lake Street, we didn’t see it. This isn’t a knock on government or business. It’s hard enough to put a world-caliber event together in your well-traveled downtowns without trying to shine a spotlight on other parts of the cities. And wealth wants to hang out with wealth. Super Bowl tourists were overwhelmingly well-heeled (some of them private-jet rich) and negotiating between their world and a bare-bones pho shop or taqueria would take moxie and planning.
Next time, then — if we’re smart — we’ll push the best we’ve got, wherever it is. If you think of New York, or Los Angeles, or Miami, or Austin, or Chicago, you think of rich, bold, polyglot dining scenes. We’ve got one of those too, it’s just a matter of framing it. — James Norton
- Holman’s Table, 644 Bayfield St, St. Paul | A restaurant at the St. Paul Airport.
- just/us, 465 Wabasha St N | An ambitious looking new spot in the suddenly closed Red Lantern space.
- Fig + Farro, 3001 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Vegetarian food in the semi-cursed former Figlio’s space.
- 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
- Nye’s Bar, 112 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.
- Sonder Shaker, 130 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | Early 2018 | 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.
- Venn Brewing, 3550 E 46th St Suite 140, Minneapolis | A changing selection of brews in this taproom near Minnehaha Park.
- Hamburguesas el Gordo, 4157 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis (second location)
- Ramen Kazama, 1510 Como Ave SE, Minneapolis (second location)
- 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 in the former Cafe Maude space. Helmed by Asher Miller. Bite review here.
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Viking Bar (again)
- Smalley’s Caribbean Barbecue
- Bottle Rocket (our review here)
- Maverick’s (our interview here)
- Montreal-Style Deli (name TBD), 901 W Lake St, Minneapolis | Late spring | A project focusing on smoked fish and meats, plus cocktails. By Adam Eaton, Tim Niver, and Saint Dinette’s GM Laurel Elm.
- La Mesa, 230 Cedar Lake Road S, Minneapolis | Soon | Ecuadoran fare in the former Sparks space.
- Finnegans Taproom, 525 S Eighth St, Minneapolis | March | The charitably-focused brewer is poised to open its new brewery and taproom.
- New Tori Ramen Project, 2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis | March | A new ramen restaurant and noodle manufacturing facility in the former Victory 44 location from the owners of Tori Ramen.
- Prime Six, 609 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Early 2018 | A mishmash of everything upscale from around the world, plus a dance floor. In the old Rosa Mexicano space.
- Cafe Limón, 3500 Bloomington Ave S, Minneapolis | likely soon | Going into the old La Ceiba space, possibly a reboot of Hector Ruiz’s old Cafe Limón at Lyn-Lake.
- Popol Vuh and Centro | May | A two-restaurants-in-one, high-concept/street-food purveyor with a Mexican emphasis. From the team behind the successful Lyn65 in Richfield. UPDATE, 2/6/18: Via Cast Iron Communications: “Centro will open first followed by Popol Vuh and they are looking at Spring time (April / May) as of now. “
- Geek Love at Moon Palace Books, 3032 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis | March | The bookstore has moved two blocks north of its previous location; the Geek Love restaurant portion should be open early this year.
- Diamond BBQ, 5400 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | Early 2018 | Barbecue, escargot, beef tartare, and more. By Daniel del Prado of the just-opened Martina.
- The Sioux Chef Restaurant at Water Works (on the Mississippi, behind the Mill City Museum) | 2019
- Minnesota Barbecue Company, 816 Lowry Ave NE, Minneapolis | Early 2018 | A Kansas-City-style barbecue place to be led by Chef Kale Thome of the Travail team (and a Kansas native). Doing pop-ups around town until the official opening.
- Funky Grits, 805 E 38th St, Minneapolis | Spring 2018 | A soul food spot in the home of the short-lived Hell’s Chicken and Fish.
- Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave SE, Minneapolis | 2019 | A food market that will capitalize on its proximity to Surly’s massive brewery/restaurant complex.
- The Grand Catch, 1672 Grand Ave, St. Paul | Early Summer 2018 | The Wadi brothers and Thien Ly of Cajun Deli will open a seafood shack on Grand Avenue.
- Keg and Case revitalization of the Schmidt Brewery, 928 W 7th St, St. Paul | 2018 | Featuring restaurants by the teams behind Corner Table, and Five Watt, plus Sweet Science ice cream.
- Parlour Bar, 271 W 7th St, St. Paul | Early 2018 | The popular Minneapolis Warehouse District bar-restaurant is branching out into St. Paul.
Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond
- Corktown Deli and Brews | Spring 2018 | Minnesota beer and New York-inspired deli in Duluth’s booming Lincoln Park neighborhood, by the creators of the Duluth Grill.
- Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery, Midway Township | Winter | Brewer Caleb Levar expects to be brewing in a month or two, pending a final inspection.
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.