Their savviness can't be overstated. Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone started with taking over a long-beloved neighborhood spot in desperate need of a refresh. There they toiled and proved their prowess until they outgrew the tiny confines of the Corner Table. They moved down the street to a slightly larger spot, and with it their cooking got bigger along with their reputations, their flavors, their steaks. By now, no one would question their move to open a classic fried chicken joint, with all of its attendant meaning: community gathering space, real food for real people, throw-back-your-head-and-groan universally beloved flavors.
These guys could pull it off. And so far, they have.
Opening jitters were palpable on day five -- staff say it's been a madhouse -- but none of the nerves come out in the food. The fried chicken (Tennessee Hot is pictured here, also available as regular) is as crisp-moist as promised and comes resting on a slice of traditional white bread. Cavatappi noodle mac and cheese swims in a lush béchamel, and hard cooked collards are better than your ma's. You won't want for spice, either, as they've set three varieties of house-made sauces on the tables: Revival Sauce with a sweet potato base, Carolina Vinegar Sauce with a sweet edge, and Thai chiles in vinegar. It could take weeks to explore the entire menu; it's over 30 items deep, and judging by the crowds, some people will do just that.
The sunny room is made sunnier with subtly retro yellow wallpaper that can't help but make you smile, whether it be from anticipation or recollection.
And if that's not enough for you, check out this funky chicken above the bar.
The open kitchen window from the original Corner Table space remains, that's Chef Boemer there doing God's own work.
Revival 4257 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis 612-345-4516 revivalmpls.com
They're closed on Sundays, so you'll have to get your church on elsewhere.
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