731 Hennepin Ave
Status: Certified Open.
After a soft opening run this weekend, Union has officially opened for business starting with lunch today. The new offering from the Crave restaurant empire (which also includes Crave, Figlio, and Urban Eatery) is perhaps best known already for its retractable glass rooftop, which will allow for year-round rooftop dining. Located in the former Shinder's location downtown, the restaurant will be multi-level: the rooftop, which seats up to 175; the slightly smaller main dining room; and the basement bar/nightclub, Marquee.
Crave has tapped Jim Christiansen, formerly of Il Gatto and fresh off a stint at Noma, the world-renowned restaurant in Denmark, to run the kitchen. While the menu—which includes lunch, "snacks", and dinner—is still not available on the Union website, Christiansen shared some of the menu items with Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl at Mpls.St.Paul.Magazine. The lunch menu will be fifteen items, all $15 or under, aimed at the downtown business crowd. Snacks will include the already-famous shallot-bacon donut holes and a pickle plate with suckling pig chicharrones. Dinner will feature dishes like boneless suckling pig and a surf-and-turf take on beef tartare—beef and oysters melded together with a hay-smoked cream cheese.
Mixologist Johnny Michaels developed the cocktail list for both the restaurant and Marquee. Michaels also created the drink lists for La Belle Vie, Cafe Maude, Mashu Sushi and Robata, Barrio, and Icehouse.
Previous Coverage: Fall Tracking, 11/16/2012
[Photo: Union Facebook page]