Victory 44 was a trailblazer for what I liked to call way back when (around 2009) the "progressive pub."
It was the kind of place that's casual, but serves progressive food. Now, we just call it a restaurant. But Victory 44 was before Travail, before Haute Dish, and was at the forefront of introducing that style of dining to the Twin Cities before it was en vogue.
And, they got very progressive indeed, tinkering with gels and foams and blueberry lattes and the rest.
But now they're regrouping a bit. Chef Erick Harcey has a new playground over in Linden Hills, at Upton 43, where he can get as progressive as he pleases. The new iteration of Victory 44 will edge back to being a bit more casual, in hopes of being more of a daily or weekly stop for the neighborhood, and less of a destination-style joint.
Changes to the physical space are subtle, with new furnishings and a slightly more modern look. They've shifted the front coffee shop area to flow more easily with the rest of the space.
"Delicious comfort food" will populate the new menu, with the likes of pork schnitzel with honey-glazed peaches; beet risotto with ginger and orange, and even an Elvis waffle with peanut butter mousse, bacon, and banana.
I recently stopped in and found comfort was most definitely in the house. Loaded fries got delivered in a bowl and were swimming in cheese sauce, bacon, and peppadew peppers (swoon-worthy). An unhinge-your-jaw fried chicken club came with scratch cheddar biscuits.
And as always, the perfect burger and the Devils on Horseback (bacon wrapped, cheese-stuffed dates) are a menu staple.
2203 N. 44th Ave., Minneapolis