— The cat cafe trend shows no sign of abating as Minneapolitans line up to support The Cafe Meow. The cafe would have two rooms, one for the cafe and one devoted cat lounge, with carefully selected feline companions. Guests would pay a cover fee to hang out with the frisky kitties or settle in for some wifi and fair-trade coffee. The project is still in its infancy (kitten?) stage - there is no location or menu, but will soon launch a Kickstarter.
— Would you eat butter on your sushi? As Daniela Gazara reported on Eater.com, the odd combination is wildly popular in Osaka, Japan. Want to give it a try? Billy Tserenbat of Sushi Fix in Wayzata just last night plopped a little foie on top of a couple of sushi rolls and hit them with a blow torch. In our mind that's one welcome step beyond the butter. However, if you're dairy inclined, it's possible that butter will make an appearance sometime very soon, if there's a demand.
— Move over crudo, we've got a porkier trend at hand. Southern cuisine has arrived in the North. We have Revival, 4Bells and soon Handsome Hog will arrive in the former Bin location in Lowertown. Justin Sutherland, formerly of Meritage and Brasserie Zentral is working with ownership partner Carol March (who also owns the neighboring Public Kitchen and Bar.) Sutherland tells the Pioneer Press that the menu will be contemporary Southern food. Bring on the brisket and biscuits and gravy. Sutherland is a Lowertown resident and can't wait to operate this new spot so near to where he lives. Renovations are underway (to hopefully fix that bizarre layout) and a spring opening is anticipated.
— The Mall of America is getting a new restaurant to go with a new hotel. Cedar + Stone Urban Table is opening up at the J.W. Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America. (The name is just a little snerk inducing, considering the "urban" is suburban - in Bloomington.)
— Is there still hope for Surdyk's Flights? After an outpouring of sadness over plans to shutter the award-winning outpost at the Mall of America, a petition and Facebook page have been set up to save the eatery.
— It looks like The Lexington is getting pushed back again. Easily Saint Paul's most anticipated restaurant opening from Josh Thoma, Kevin Fitzgerald and chef Jack Riebel has been pushed back again. Todd Walker wrote in yesterday's Pioneer Pressthat the restaurant now might not open until February, but when it does - it'll probably be a really cool mix of modern and the throwback style of the classic restaurant. Most importantly, that gorgeous bar will remain untouched and a rooftop patio overlooking Grand Avenue will probably, most likely, if we are really lucky be open by next summer.
— The early word is in on Union Bar & Grill and it's not pretty. City Pages first look declares it the emptiest sports bar in downtown Minneapolis. The transformation from full service, upscale dining with a boundary pushing menu to a room filled with flat screen TV's and chicken wings is described as, "two worlds colliding: be-jerseyed sports fans and investment bankers duking it out for the soul of the restaurant." On that particular visit, the restaurant was so slow that the server was reportedly seated at a nearby table visiting with friends. Although, the "food is a step up from your neighborhood sports bar" several of the sickly sweet drink list remains intact. Is there really such high demand for Cosmos in downtown Minneapolis?