Get ready for more ramen, a burger-free restaurant, Nordic BBQ, and Kaiseki. Our newest round of new eateries is taking us places we've rarely (if ever) been before!
Adding to our ever-more-robust ramen scene, Ippindo has quietly opened on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota campus, sharing the block with the also very good Bar Luchador, which slings tacos and scratch margaritas. Ippindo's simple and direct brand of ramen and other standard Japanese small plates, noodle dishes, and rice bowls makes grabbing a bite on campus a hell of a lot better than it once was. Read our full first look here. Now open.
817 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis
In the somewhat underserved Diamond Lake neighborhood, Xavi has come to rescue the vacant First Course space and bring neighbors the kind of understated, solid, elegant cooking every hood wants and needs. Currently available for dinner only, the menu lists items like marlin crudo with pickled cherries, togarashi, and mint; and kalbi marinated hanger steak, kimchi, and Chinese eggplant. Price points are mid-high for a neighborhood joint (entrees in the middle $20s), and it's refreshingly not a burger joint.
5607 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis
More ramen, this time in St. Paul, in the lost, lamented Lee's and Dee's Barbecue space. Jason Dorweiler, currently at Ippindo (above) and formerly of Unideli, will run the place with partner Asiya Persaud. And they're promising something a little different: no-pork ramen. The space is currently under construction, with no word on an exact opening date.
161 N. Victoria St., St. Paul
One of the best banh mi in Minneapolis is getting a second location in Northeast. Lu's Sandwiches is an Eat Street institution (we're extremely partial to the sour sausage), and on July 8 lucky Nordeasters will be getting their own storefront. The new Lu's will also serve noodle bowls, rice bowls, egg rolls, and spring rolls. Take the "giant banh mi" challenge, where a two-foot, 3.5-pound sandwich goes for $20 and gets you on the wall of fame if you can eat it.
10 Sixth St. NE, Minneapolis
Erik the Red
So, what's left in the Twin Cities restaurant scene that can possibly be new and different? What about "Nordic-influenced barbecue?" The people who brought you Devil's Advocate are planning on taking over the old Hubert's location near the U.S. Bank Stadium. As far as Nordic BBQ goes, think "smoke and juniper, pickles and preservation," according to Eater Minneapolis. Also think beer. Lots and lots of beer. Opens this summer.
600 First Ave. N., Minneapolis
And now for something completely different. We might think we're all blasé around here when it comes to ramen and sushi, but we really haven't scratched the surface of Japanese cooking. Enter Kaiseki Furukawa to give us a little eye-opening glimpse. Mourners of the old Origami in the North Loop can turn those frowns upside down when a Japanese kaiseki restaurant lands there.
Kaiseki refers to haute, seasonal, multi-course meals that are ceremonial in service and in fact have their origin in Buddhist temple meals. Sound fancy? It is. The multi-course, couple-hour drama will cost over a hundred bucks a head for food only. For once, we have no reference point for this sort of thing — we'd have to travel to Japan or at the very least New York or L.A. to get a clue. Our very own point of reference will arrive in the fall.
30 N. First St., Minneapolis