Six-pound deep dish pizzas, have-it-your-way Tibetan, and savory Japanese pastries. Six new restaurants, six ways to get craving fixes you didn't even know you had. Plus, saying goodbye to three other establishments.
At long last, Indian and Tibetan cuisine gets into the Chipotle-style fast-casual game. As we reported in our full first look, it's tough to beat an Indian buffet for a perfectly delicious, fast, and cheap lunch. Himalayan's full-service location on Lake Street consistently tops our list for just that. But still, we applaud the new location for its potential to introduce a new, younger audience to the likes of palak paneer, choyala, and momo. The format is a familiar one: Step up to the glass, choose a bowl or a wrap, and start pointing. Having it your way, but now with added curry.
The Himalayan Dinkytown
1415 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis
Silhouette Bakery and Bistro
Brother and sister duo Ericka Trinh and Eric Huynh own and operate Frogtown's brand new Silhouette "global fusion" bakery and bistro with a decidedly Asian bent. Sweets and savories run the gamut from Chinese BBQ pork to water mochi (a clear gelatinous mochi with bubble tea beads embedded within), to Korean tacos. But our favorite by far are the Japanese buns, filled with sweet and savory fillings and served warm. It's a light meal unto itself, but so devourable it's wise to order two.They also have plans to introduce old-fashioned phosphate sodas operated by another new beverage company, Size 16.
Silhouette Bakery & Bistro
383 University Ave. W., St. Paul
Bonicelli Kitchen Patio
Real estate and construction woes have kept Central Avenue's Bonicelli Kitchen a work in progress for a couple of years. But they've got a workaround. Who needs bricks and mortars when it's July in Minnesota? Dine on the patio at Bonnicelli Kitchen Wednesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. A rotating roster of menu items include the likes of nicoise salad, Vietnamese-style baby back ribs, and seasonal pasta dishes.
1839 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Costa Blanca Bistro
Costa Blanca by Hector Ruiz, is now open, he's the chef/restauranteur responsible for a diversity of Mexican and South American influenced restaurants around town including La Ceiba, Cafe Ena, and La Fresca. The new bistro has its culinary eye trained on Italy, Morocco, Spain, and France, and in an unusual move for Ruiz, the bistro is located in Northeast, whereas most of his projects tend to land in south Minneapolis.
Costa Blanca Bistro
2416 Central Ave. NE, Mpls.
DiNoko's, which you could think of as the "other" deep dish pizza spot, the one that isn't Giordano's but may actually be better (and also happens to be local and independent), has opened a new location in south Minneapolis. Dine in, or get a six-pound pizza delivered to your door.
4457 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis
Game Sports Bar
Thankfully, it wasn't too long of a run for Uptown's Salsa a la Salsa, the insipid Mexican joint by Kaskaid Hospitality (Crave empire) in the old Boneyard space, an even more insipid project also by that group, lasting even less time.
Game Sports Bar, a gay sports bar led by Mike McGuire, a Kaskaid alum, is due to land in the space sometime this summer. The concept sounds like a welcome reprieve from the homogenous drinker's bars that have essentially turned the neighborhood into fraternity row come closing time.
Game Sports Bar Minneapolis
2841 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
Opening this summer
Community Keg House
The Northeast craft beer bar and eatery located in a former storage facility for Grain Belt beer has closed. The start-up bar and kitchen is seeking a buyer.
34 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Rojo Mexican Grill
Rojo Mexican Grill, the chain restaurant that replaced Shag Sushi in the North Loop is closed. No word yet on whether another concept will take its place. Rojo has two other locations, one in the Shops at West End and another in Roseville.
730 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Though it was a stealthily lovely place tucked in a strange location in a former Panera Bread off Excelsior Boulevard, this Mediterranean head-scratcher was also extremely overpriced and unnecessarily formal. The combo worked against them and they're now closed, probably before you even had a chance to try.
3808 Grand Way, St. Louis Park