Based on reader response, Shakey's may be the average City Pages reader's most highly anticipated restaurant opening this year. (This April in Plymouth, everybody!)
Here are five other soon-to-open eateries that the Hot Dish is especially excited about.
After 2009's Best Restaurant--Minneapolis was taken out in a fire last February, Stewart Woodman, a.k.a. Shefzilla, and his wife, Heidi, have been busily rebuilding their legacy. The new spot, in the former Vera's at Lyn-Lake, banks on the idea that the Heidi's concept--a "four-star dining experience at two-star prices," as they describe it--will go over just as well with a younger, broker, more fickle demographic than the one surrounding their old spot at 50th and Bryant. Has Uptown grown up since the Woodmans ran Five? We can't wait to find out. The opening is scheduled for 1/11/11, and the restaurant is accepting reservations.
Steven Brown, another one of the Twin Cities' most lauded chefs, is striking out on his own and launching his new restaurant, Tilia, as an owner-operator. He's starting small, in Rice Paper's old home in Linden Hills, with a brief menu that merges both fine dining dishes and humble comfort foods. No opening date is set, but gift certificates are available.
The Donut Cooperative We started hearing about the Donut Cooperative last summer when its owners started raising funds via Kickstarter. And we've been hearing about all sorts of vegan, glazed, cream-filled wonders from every media outlet in town. But collaborative efforts take time--lots of it. There are Donut Cooperative T-shirts for sale, but...no...donuts...yet. They've appeared at various events in the past several months and, for a brief window, via delivery, but that aspect is on hold while the retail space is being designed.
Bread & Pickle
Kim Bartmann already has a crew of successful restaurants under her belt (Barbette, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag), and several others on the way. There's the Gigi's redo at 36th and Bryant, Pat's Tap at 35th and Nicollet, and, the one we're most excited about, Bread & Pickle in the Lake Harriet concessions. Forget popcorn and ice cream sandwiches, Bartmann is planning some lovely sounding picnic foods--cold sandwiches and salads or European-style collections of bread, cheese, and charcuterie. Expected opening: April 1.
Masu Sushi & Robata
We can't ever get enough sushi, and except for Obento Ya, we can't even find enough robata, so we're very much looking to the combination's arrival in the former Let's Cook space on East Hennepin--especially because Tim McKee's doing the menu and it also includes his take on soba, udon, and ramen noodles. Expected opening: mid-March.