Kings and queens eventually get knocked away by pawns, and vice versa. Here's the latest roster in the game of Twin Cities dining.
A third Blue Door Pub, serving cheese-stuffed “Blucys,” is slightly behind schedule to open on Como Avenue SE. They were due to debut in January, but a hiring fair on February 5 suggests the big day is still nigh. Students plowing Blucys on campus has got to be the biggest no-brainer since the coming together of pizza and beer.
Blue Door Pub University
1514 Como Ave. SE, Minneapolis
We have very little in the way of true Jamaican food in the Twin Cities, though Smalley’s Caribbean Barbecue in Stillwater is worth the drive for a taste of the Caribbean. Pimento Jamaican Kitchen owners Tomme Bevas and Yoni Reinharz announced yesterday to their Kickstarter funders that they are “on the precipice” of opening their second location on Nicollet Avenue. In addition to fast-casual, authentic fare like jerk chicken and braised oxtail stew, they’re transforming the back courtyard. Think big barrel barbecue, live reggae, and lots of Red Stripe.
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen
2524 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
First Course was one of those oddball neighborhood restaurants that survived for longer than anyone thought it might. It’s been quietly humping along for years and now it has just as quietly shuttered. Small plates and mid-priced comfort entrees meandered from red curry mussels to lobster macaroni. Odd though it was, the east Diamond Lake neighborhood will probably miss the amenity.
5607 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis
If you want to know what makes a fresh eclair or a Madeline or a mille feuille so special, Rose Street Patisserie will be for you. There will be“more interaction” between bakers and customers, says John Kraus, owner and baker. Though when I ask what that interaction will look like, he’s vague. “I hate the word refined, but this is going to be a little bit sexy. It’s the sophisticated older sister to [his first, world class bakery] Patisserie 46, but she won’t be wearing high heels. And there’ll be lots of chocolate.”
Rose Street Patisserie
Opens this spring
2811 W. 43rd St., Mpls.
Bonicelli Kitchen, the scratch-made wrap, muffin, soup, and sandwich cafe, will be reviving a long-shuttered Central Avenue Northeast location by summer. In the evening, they’ll focus on small plates of Italian-influenced food with a healthy bent. On weekends, head there for full service brunch.
Opens this summer
1839 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis
The iconic Riverside Viking Bar has been shuttered for eight years with the cheeky marquee message “Gone Fishin'.” We’ve been bugging proprietors for a tour or a firm re-opening date, but they’ve been evasive. We understand the place doesn’t have a full kitchen, so inventive sandwiches and the like will anchor the menu. We also got a tip that they’ll have a killer bologna sandwich that will give Saint Dinette’s now-famous iteration a run for its money.
The Viking Bar
1829 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis
Q Fanatic is a longtime, worth-the-drive, strip mall BBQ joint out in Champlin. Finally, they’re city-bound, promising a second Nicollet Avenue location in “early January 2016.” It’s February. We’re ready. We’re waiting.
6009 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls.
St. Paul is getting its own BBQ boost with Handsome Hog Bourbon and Smoke, where they’re promising heavy pork, heavy smoke, and “contemporary Southernish” cuisine. Chef Justin Sutherland, formerly of recently shuttered fine dining Brasserie Zentral, is sure to bring some kind of delicate touch to the business of BBQ. They have no firm opening date, but they’re hiring, and Sutherland has been seen brandishing pig parts on Facebook.
Handsome Hog Bourbon and Smoke
225 Sixth St. E., St. Paul
In a chef changeover tidbit, chef Remy Pettus of downtown Minneapolis’ newish Eastside has been replaced by chef Nick Dugan. In a heartfelt Facebook message, Pettus said of his dismissal: “The only thing that I can point to is that the ownership wanted to take the restaurant in an increasingly corporate direction that was focused on forced and rapid growth without the attention to detail that I believe one should expect out of a quality restaurant.”
We’ll keep an eye on Eastside and see what the change means for diners, who just barely had a chance to get to know the ambitious new urban restaurant.
305 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis