The buds have popped, grass is green, and soon new restaurants will arrive heralding a new season and a new era in Minneapolis and Saint Paul dining. After a long winter with snow that just wouldn’t stop, it’s time to settle in for some warmer temperatures and new restaurants worth getting worked up about.
Location: 4124West Broadway, Robbinsdale
Key Players: Travail
Opening: Wednesday May 15
A new location comes with expanded capabilities for Travail’s pizza restaurant, now brewpub, Pig Ate My Pizza. The new location also includes a screened in porch for proper Minnesota summer nights outside. Get ready for the pizzas, expanded small plate offerings, pizza and beverage paired tasting menus and buckets of fun.
Location: Artisan Plaza, 1223 4th St S, Cannon Falls
Key Players: JD Fratzke
Opening: Late June/early July
The chef and co-creator of Saint Paul’s late, lamented Strip Club Meat and Fish is returning to the roasted meats and veggie game with a supper club in Cannon Falls. Fratzke is a Minnesota-country kid and getting back to his rural roots has been a thrill. The sustainable-dedicated chef is creating a restaurant inspired by the supper clubs of the 1930’s and 40’s when driving culture was young and the trips out down back country roads were as much of a thrill as the rustic, elegant dining destinations they wound towards.
Location: The Moxy, 247 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis
Key Players: Justin Sutherland and Brandon Randolph
Opening: Late Summer
Stillwater’s Pearl & the Thief is making a comeback in downtown Minneapolis. The Southern restaurant from Top Chef’s Justin Sutherland and chef Brandon McDonald closed in Stillwater in preparation for this move. The restaurant will return with all the bourbon and elegance of the original location, this time at the base of a new hotel in downtown Minneapolis.
Location: 701 West Lake Street, Minneapolis
Key Players: Alejandro Castillon
One of the chefs who gave the Twin Cities the caramelo is launching his own taco restaurant and it’s on one of the busiest intersections in Minneapolis. Chef Alejandro Castillon has moved into the former Hasty Tasty location where Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street intersect. The chef will be making great use of the giant smoker held within for whole animal roasted tacos. In addition to the tacos, there will be some Sonoran entrees and plenty of tasty cocktails fit for any time of day. Look for the patio chairs to go out, the indoor/outdoor door to roll up and the smoker to get cooking some time next month.
Location: 4131-4135 West Broadway, Robbinsdale
Key Players: Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, James Winberg
Opening: Early Fall
The can’t-stop, won’t-stop momentum of the Travailians will culminate with the new version of the culinary playground that’s owned and operated by the wildly successful chef collective that turned fine-dining on its ear, way back with they opened 1.0 in downtown Minneapolis. Now that Pig Ate My Pizza is successfully installed in the 2.0 location and Minnesota BBQ Co. is serving jiggly brisket to massive crowds, the Travail crew are all in the final stretch. There is one more pop-up installment at the 1930 Hennepin Avenue location. Homage will end in June and then there will be one more residency, KUA with friend of Travail chef KUA, Gustavo Romero before wrapping up at the location in August.
The two-story building will include a rooftop for special events, the occasional movie night under the stars, and chef spotlights. Downstairs will still be ticketed, but no longer with the timing restrictions. The ticket buys a dinner party unlike any other, but without a rush to end within a certain time frame.