The impressive remodel happening inside Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center is nearly complete as the crews back away and art lovers once again venture inside the museum’s front doors. Inside here is one of the most anticipated new restaurants of the year. Doug Flicker (chef/owner of Piccolo) has long been a master of beautiful plates which makes him a perfect fit for the partnership that is about to deliver Esker Grove, which will open for business Tuesday December 13.
The menu is designed to enhance the art experience and the room deftly shows off those incredible works of art, not just on the walls, but in the nearby Sculpture Garden.
The restaurant is named for the sloping hill the building is tucked into and the grove of nearby trees.
Hard at work alongside Flicker is an experience crew that includes Jon S. Olson behind the bar, Kim Tong handling the front of house and T. J. Rawitzer as chef de cuisine.
The restaurant will seat 94, with additional seating outside when the warm weather returns. During the day, restaurant guests will be able to stop by for a casual bite from the counter.
By night it will transform to full service will craft cocktails from the full bar. Jon S. Olson, the bar manager, might be enjoying that view, where he can almost see La Belle Vie, just one of the bars around town he’s worked behind.
The food menu will use locally and ethically raised meats and vegetables, pulling dishes off the sidelines and into a starring role. Vegetables will feature prominently.
This weekend, the museum is hosting an open house and you can sneak in for a first peek at the room. Esker Grove will open to the public later this month.