Uptown's Parella opens Monday, and will bring the list up to four (that we know of) of the new wave of Italian/crudo restaurants sweeping the cities — Monello, Il Foro, and Lela have all opened in the last handful of weeks. Parella is in the old, beloved Figlio space at the corner of Lake and Hennepin that hasn't had a restaurant that's worked since Figlio closed in 2009. In addition to handmade pastas and crudo, look for cuisine that pays heavy homage to the Piedmontese region of Italy, a city that holds a special place in chef Todd MacDonald's heart. We saw some sneak peeks of charcuterie, pike saltimbocca, polenta crusted skate wing, wood roasted suckling pig, and lots of other dishes that make ample use of the Figlo wood-fired oven, one of the first in to be built in this town, long before that was a thing around here. MacDonald is Minnesota native who recently returned from New York City where he cooked for many years. Scena is also opening soon in Uptown, another Italian/crudo concept.
3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Suite 1200, Minneapolis
That temple of all things for all people, Crave, is planning a fifth restaurant in the Woodbury Lakes Shopping Center for a late September opening. Kaskaid Hospitality has been busy — they're also opening two new concept restaurants in the Mall of America, Burger Burger and Zia, on which we reported last month. Stewart Woodman, the company's creative director, has temporarily ceased operations of Workshop on the lower level of Union while he consults on the planning for the Mall of America properties. No word on when Workshop will be back to work.
9020 Hudson Rd., Woodbury
The somewhat controversial Total Wine is hoping to open a store in Minnetonka, the Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal reports, though the city has yet to approve the liquor license. If all goes according to plan, they will move in next to the Whole Foods grocery store across Interstate 394 from Ridgedale Center. Total Wine already has stores in Roseville, Woodbury, Burnsville, and Bloomington. Total Wine's business model is dependent on drawing people in with very low prices on popular items, then making up those lost profits with higher margins on lesser-known brands, called "proprietary items," sometimes making it difficult for smaller liquor stores to compete.
Aside from the Rabbit Hole, Korean-fusion cuisine has mostly escaped the clutches of gastropub-ism around these parts, but another stylish Korean-inspired progressive pub, Domo Gastro, is planned for Northeast in the fall. The menu is promising duck fried rice with egg, kimchi fries, ramen, karaage chicken, and those sweet little comfort sandwiches, bao. They'll also deliver to local taprooms as well as through Bitesquad.
Luchador is calling itself a "unique Mexican bar concept" and is opening in early August in Stadium Village.
Rice Paper Vietnamese in Edina has closed, and we received a tip that it will be replaced by a Thai restaurant. No word on name or opening date, yet.