Now Open: The Kitchen

Ben Hiza and Erick Harcey, the former GM and chef from Nicollet Island Inn, left their previous jobs planning to open a pork and whiskey bar, Gastronome, in Northeast Minneapolis. While they were planning Gastronome's build-out, they got distracted by a couple of turnkey operations left vacant by Sauced in North Minneapolis and Stone's in Stillwater. In May, they debuted Victory 44 in the former Sauced space, and tonight, they launch The Kitchen, in the former home of Stone's.

The former owners put a lot of cash into Stone's (in the Grand Garage, 324 Main St.), making it arguably Stillwater's most prime restaurant spot--certainly one of its best patios--so I'm happy to see it open for summer tourist season. Harcey and Hiza recruited Jim Kyndberg, of Bayport Cookery fame, as head chef of The Kitchen, which Harcey describes as "an American brasserie...a French bistro, but we're taking the French out of it." Expect to find steaks, pork (Harcey's signature ingredient), a raw bar, and lots of entrees priced less than $20. Expect a full review forthcoming...

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