4 highly anticipated restaurants that are now open or taking reservations

J Selby's: where vegan eating just looks like eating.

J Selby's: where vegan eating just looks like eating. Photo courtesy of J Selby's Facebook Page

There is always a restaurant opening somewhere in the Twin Cities these days, but a handful of new and coming soon places stand out from the pack. These spots have concepts that we're beyond ready for, and here they finally are: 

J Selby’s, a new twist on vegan eating 
Plant-based eating is trending hard all over the country, and it's finally gaining some good traction locally. Nicollet Avenue's Reverie has gone completely plant-based, and a few restaurants like Esker Grove are putting a “vegetarian friendly” perspective at the forefront.

J Selby’s, “a plant-based eatery with familiar favorites reimagined as plant-based fare” is now open on Victoria Street in St. Paul, sharing the block with relatively recently opened Tori Ramen, which eschews pork in its soup stock and also offers some vegan selections, a rarity for a ramen restaurant.

J Selby’s menu is serving up some lively dishes that don’t often appear on the vegan’s plate: Philly “cheeze,” nachos, even buffalo wings, all of course made with plant-based cheese or meat substitutes.

Now open.
J. Selby's
169 N. Victoria St., St. Paul

Rah’mn, fast-casual ramen how you like it
Two things we’re loving a lot locally: ramen and fast-casual restaurant formats. The obvious mashup of the two has arrived in Rah’mn, where you’ll choose your personalized, build-your-own ramen bowl (they’re touting 6,500 possible combinations of meats, vegetables, noodles, and broths). They're also serving noodle bowls and salads, as well as gluten-free noodles and a vegan miso-mushroom broth. 

300 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul

Bar Brigade Facebook Page

Bar Brigade, the neighborhood bar that's a destination 
The newest project by J.D. Fratzke (of Strip Club, Saint Dinette, Red River Kitchen) and partner Matty O’Reilly (of Republic) is Cleveland Avenue’s Bar Brigade. A first look had us impressed with its France-meets-St. Paul vibe, the tiny space that makes intelligent use of every nook and cranny, and the smart menu that feels like a tapas bar without all the Spanish influence.

This is where you want to land when you’re hungry but not too, when you don’t want to be at home but you also don’t want to make a big deal about heading out, or when you’re flying solo but still want to be among other humans. In other words, the kind of place that everybody would want in their neighborhood: one that’s so nicely done, it’s become a destination.

470 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul

Tenant, where Piccolo once stood 
South Minneapolis’ beloved restaurant Piccolo was one of the most high-profile closings of the year, though now we know that chef/owner Doug Flicker is on to other things including Esker Grove at the Walker, and his upcoming bar Bull’s Horn. But a couple of Flicker’s former kitchen staff are planning to take over the space and open their own small restaurant, Tenant.

When Piccolo opened, it was revolutionary for its time: smaller portions, a tasting menu every night, casual digs.

It seems like Tenant will offer a revolutionary style for a new era, with a six-course tasting menu at a (relatively) affordable $50 price tag with an optional beverage pairing for $25. Reservations are now being accepted for early May. The cuisine is a regularly rotating “reflection of the season.”

4300 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis