A long-vacant spot on West Lake Street with a postcard view of Bde Maka Ska has a new tenant: Brim, a counter-service restaurant owned by Kate and Patrick Sidoti, a husband-and-wife team who met while jogging around the nearby lake.
“This is a community-based neighborhood,” says Kate. “So we’re doing something a little different: We’re a quick-service restaurant that’s connected to the community like a full-service restaurant.”
“We’re a vibrant, healthy option for people who love the lake. We live down the street, and this is how we cook at home,” Patrick adds.
How the couple cooks at home might be on a different level than the rest of us. Kate, who trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, owned a catering company in Park City, Utah, where she expanded and developed her health conscious, plant-based recipe repertoire.
The menu she's developed for Brim is structured around bowls built on a base of greens or grains, with the familiar fast-casual pick your protein and add some toppings format. You can either build your own or pick from a list of six signature options, including a sticky rice bowl with a poached egg, smoky pulled beef and chipotle, and a plant protein grain bowl.
Brim isn’t going to be your jam if you like to compartmentalize your plate. While the ingredients are well-executed (especially the sous vide poached egg, cauliflower goat cheese gratin, and spicy cucumbers), they don’t really pop alone—the magic happens when you combine them, scooping up a little bit of this and a little bit of that to craft a perfect bite. For example, a bit of cauliflower goat cheese gratin was best when paired with a few tender shreds of pulled brisket and some kernels of corn. The brussels sprouts in the sticky rice bowl are fine, but they become something glorious when you dip them into the yolk from that poached egg.
There are plenty of satisfying vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu—but unlike many restaurants, they aren’t denoted with any sort of symbol. “I hope people come in open to all dietary needs,” says Kate. “It’s just good food, a well-rounded way of eating.”
That way of eating includes plant-based proteins like sage white beans and baked tempeh, a dairy-free cashew chipotle aioli, and grass-fed beef. The grain-free “Brim Bread” muffins are made with almond and coconut flours. While you won’t mistake them for the wheat-based variety, they do have a pleasantly plump, soft texture, with a familiar flavor from flecks of rosemary.
Desserts are made in-house and are gluten-free and naturally sweetened. The almond butter chocolate cherry cookie was a nice flavor combination, but the dry, crumbly texture was a letdown. On the other hand, the date cake was a comforting slice of chocolate-glazed nostalgia—it tastes like something your mom would make for company, and we never would have guessed it was gluten-free.
The food’s homey vibe is carried through to the restaurant’s decor: Bowl ingredients are served from a row of Le Creuset Dutch ovens, and the soothing pink and teal color palette urges you to settle in and linger. Accordion doors face Bde Maka Ska, positioned so that diners can watch the sun set over the lake.
“This part of town is special to us,” says Patrick. “I hope people have a positive experience here, for years to come.”
1728 W. Lake St., Minneapolis