Expect new projects from Azia's Thom Pham (pictured), the BLB's Kim Bartmann, and more of the Twin Cities best restaurateurs in 2009.
The Pioneer Press did a nice job reporting the status of dozens of new restaurant projects scheduled to open this year. Here are some of the highlights:
JANUARY Cheeky Monkey Deli, 525 Selby Ave., St. Paul Matt McArthur, formerly of Zander Cafe, plans to open Cheeky Monkey in a nearby Selby Ave. space, focused on comfort foods. I'm not hot on the name--what's it supposed to mean, exactly?--but looking forward to seeing what's on the menu. Bradstreet Restaurant, (Graves 601 Hotel) 601 First Ave. N., Minneapolis The former Infinity nightclub in the Graves hotel is turning into a restaurant and lounge--I'm curious to see how its more casual fare will complement Cosmos, up on the 4th floor.
Mt. Fuji, 2819 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; mtfuji-mn.com A new Japanese restaurant takes its turn testing the curse at 2819. There's been some good food served there--I was a fan of Mysore's south Indian fare (though not the name...)--but I'm really hoping the Mt. Fuji crew does something to make the space more attractive, especially if it's going to compete with Fuji Ya, Sushi Tango, Tiger Sushi, etc.
FEBRUAY Cowboy Slim's, 1320 W. Lake St., Minneapolis Get yer boots on: the former Campiello's scheduled to go Cowboy bar--ye haw! The owners also run Sally's, the Cabooze, and two Mad Jack's sports bars so expect a casual menu of steaks, burgers, chops, and stews. Whether they'll serve hush puppies remains to be seen...
MARCH Tosca, 3415 W. 44th St., Minneapolis Tosca, the long awaited Italian-focused dining room adjacent the Linden Hills Turtle Bread, already serves breakfast and lunch, courtesy chef Landon Schoenfeld (formerly of the Bulldog). I'm anticipating good things once he starts serving dinner.
MAY Anemoni, 3005 Utah Ave. S., St. Louis Park; aziarestaurant.com Thom Pham closed Temple last year, but plans to open an Anemoni sushi next to his Thanh Do restaurant in St. Louis Park, similar to the popular one adjacent his other restaurant, Azia. Pham's still holding on to the former Molly Quinn's space on E. Lake St. that he acquired a few years ago with no immediate plans to open his martini bar concept.
Burger Jones, (Calhoun Village) 3200 W. Lake St., Minneapolis It was about time for Parasole (Chino, Salut, Manny's, etc.) to reveal another concept--this one in the former Applebees near Lake Calhoun. Expect a burger blowout--there'll even be one stuffed with foie gras. They're also looking into opening another restaurant in Calhoun Square, next to their Uptown stronghold, Figlio. IN THE WORKS A few other things to be excited about: St. Paul will hopefully see branches of Brasa and Barrio, plus an Indian restaurant from the owners of Nala Pak and Dancing Ganesha. The University area should get a Punch in the former Manhattan Loft if all does well. Kim Bartmann (BLB, Barbette, Red Stag) hopes to join foces with Sam Beberg of Hot Plate to open a breakfast spot--I'd like to see what such a power couple could do to liven up the TC brunch scene.