- Best African/Ethiopian Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best American Traditional Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Bakery in Minneapolis
- Best Barbecue Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Brasserie in Minneapolis
- Best Breakfast Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Brunch in Minneapolis
- Best Burgers in Minneapolis
- Best Cafe in Minneapolis
- Best Caribbean/Tropical Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Chinese Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Contemporary Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Deli in Minneapolis
- Best Diner in Minneapolis
- Best Fine Dining Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best French Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best German Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Greek Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Home-style Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Hot Dogs in Minneapolis
- Best Ice Cream/Confections in Minneapolis
- Best Indian Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Irish/British Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Italian Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Japanese/Sushi Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Korean Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Latin/South American Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Mediterranean Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Mexican Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Pizza in Minneapolis
- Best Seafood Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Small Plates Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Southwestern Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Spanish Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Sports Bar/Pub Food in Minneapolis
- Best Steak House in Minneapolis
- Best Thai Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Minneapolis
- Best Vietnamese Restaurant in Minneapolis
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
PIZZA: Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix; DiFara Pizza, Brooklyn, NY; Pizzeria Mozza, Los Angeles
STEAK: Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn; Cut, Los Angeles; Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, Miss.
TACOS: Taco Taco Cafe, San Antonio; Taqueria del Sol, Atlanta; South Beach Bar & Grill, Ocean Beach, Calif.
HAMBURGERS: Bobcat Bite, Santa Fe, NM; Taylor's Automatic Refresher, St. Helena, Calif; The Meers Store and Restaurant, Lawton, Okla.
FRIED CHICKEN: Willie Mae's Scotch House, New Orleans; Price's Chicken Coop, Charlotte, NC; Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tenn.
RIBS: Charles Vergos Rendezvous, Memphis; 17th Street Bar & Grill, Murphysboro, Ill; Jaspers, Plano, Texas.
The magazine also features favorite restaurant recipes, including: Lucia's in Minneapolis-St. Paul; Eve in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Dali Restaurant & Tapas Bar in Somerville, Mass.; Binkley's Restaurant in Cave Creek, Ariz.; Kelly Liken Restaurant in Vail, Colo; Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles; and Park Kitchen in Portland, Ore. ... And the mag also features 12 small restaurants and their recipes, including: The Little Owl, New York City; The Good Fork, Brooklyn; La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI; Cremant, Seattle; Bonne Soiree, Chapel Hill, N.C.; Hatfield's, Los Angeles; Canteen, San Francisco; Revolver, Findlay, Ohio; Le Pigeon, Portland, Ore; and Komi, Washington, DC. epicurious.com/bonappetit
IN THE NEWS: The Star Tribune's Rick Nelson gives two stars to Fogo de Chao (645 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis, www.fogodechao.com) and stops by Via (6740 France Av. S., Edina, www.viacafebar.com). ... Nelson also reports on the upcoming opening of Blue Skies (24 University Av. SE., Minneapolis). "When it opens next spring, the wine bar and restaurant (no chef, yet) will use an Italian technology that not only preserves up to 100 wines in open bottles for several weeks, but also allows customers to swipe a card and purchase a single-ounce, half-glass or full-glass pour." ... Ian Pierce is the new chef at Kafe 421 (421 14th Av. SE., Minneapolis, www.kafe421.com), formerly of 128 Cafe. ... Opening is Obento-ya Japanese Bistro (1510 Como Av. SE., Minneapolis, www.obento-ya.com). startribune.com ... The Pioneer Press' Kathie Jenkins reviews Ristorante Luci (470 Cleveland Ave., St. Paul). twincities.com ... City Pages' Dara Grumdahl reviews Brasa (600 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis). citypages.com ... The Rake magazine blogs about visits to Town Talk Diner (2707 1/2 E. Lake St., Minneapolis) and T's Place (2713 E. Lake St., Minneapolis) and the opening of Chindian Cafe (1500 E. Hennepin, Minneapolis). rakemag.com ... Minneapolis.metblogs.com goes to Blackbird for breakfast.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
The Pioneer Press' Kathie Jenkins reports that Jerabek's in St. Paul is up for sale. Owner Melissa Deyo, who is part of the family that has owned the West Side bakery since the beginning, said it's time for her to try her hand at something else. Deyo's stepgrandfather, Ed Jerabek, founded the bakery in 1906. Her parents, Will and Dieta Deyo, owned and operated it from 1978 until 1994, when Melissa Deyo took it over and added a coffee shop and changed the name to Jerabek's New Bohemian Coffeehouse & Bakery. ... Jenkins notes the new Common Roots Cafe at 26th and Lyndale (the old Sobas space), where all furnishings are made from recycled or recyclable materials, and the new Manhattans in the the former Zeno space on the ground floor of LaSalle Plaza in downtown Minneapolis ... Nancy Ngo reports, "The owners of Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis have set their sights across the river in St. Paul for their next restaurant. Tim Niver, Aaron Johnson and newcomer Dan Ritter, who Niver worked with at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, are keeping mum about many details until a lease is signed. Niver did say the location won't be in downtown or on Grand Avenue and the fare will be American - but don't expect another Town Talk. Meanwhile, Town Talk partners axed plans to open a pasta shop in the former Carne Asada a few blocks away from Town Talk on East Lake Street. Niver says they've sold the space to Lilia Zagal and Armando Ocampo, who run Taqueria Los Ocampo in St. Paul and in the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. ... Charlie Theros (Rudolph's, St. Clair Broiler) is planning a new restaurant in the former Rudolph's on East Hennepin in Minneapolis called Val's, after Theros' grandfather, Rudolph Valento. It will feature martinis shaken tableside and American comfort food, such as lamb chops and hangar steak. twincities.com ... City Pages' Dara Grumdahl reviews the red-hot Cafè Maude (5411 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis, www.cafemaude.com). citypages.com ...
MSP mag's Andrew Zimmern reports, "La Belle Vie honcho Tim McKee and his partners have hired Michelle Gayer to be the new executive pastry chef, overseeing the dessert menus of both La Belle Vie and Solera. Michelle, besides being one of my favorite folks in our town's food world, is the most critically acclaimed pastry chef in the Twin Cities. She's a James Beard “Best Chef” nominee, and the editors of Bon Appétit magazine named her the “Best Pastry Chef" in America in 2002. Michelle is an alum of Charlie Trotter’s and Trotter’s To Go in Chicago, having co-written Charlie Trotter’s Desserts with the acclaimed super-chef. In 2005, she came to Minneapolis to run the pastry world at Franklin Street Bakery. mspmag.com ... Rakemag.com blogs about the new Obento-Ya (1510 Como Ave. S.E., Minneapolis, www.obento-ya.com). ... Minnesota Monthly's Rachel Hutton reviews Cosmos Restaurant (Graves 601 Hotel, 601 First Ave. N., Minneapolis). minnesotamonthly.com ... Minneapolis.metblogs.com stops by the newly opened Blackbird.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
IN THE NEWS: The Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo reports Margaux in downtown St. Paul has stopped serving lunch, added Sunday brunch and extended its evening hours to midnight. Chef/owner Margaret Doran says the spot on the edge of downtown wasn't getting enough afternoon traffic. She has also halted plans to expand next door until business picks up. ... Ngo also reports that after a six-month hiatus, Matty B's is restoring lunch July 23. ... Kathie Jenkins visits Innuendo (213 E. Fourth St., St. Paul), and Brasa Premium Rotisserie (600 Hennepin Ave. E., Minneapolis). twincities.com ... City Pages' Dara Grumdahl reviews Dave & Buster's (11780 Fountain's Way, Maple Grove, daveandbusters.com). citypages.com ... The Star Tribune's Rick Nelson gives three stars to Bank (88 S. 6th St. in the Westin Hotel, Minneapolis, www.bankmpls.com), while Tom Horgan visits Manhattans (825 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls, www.manhattansmpls.com). startribune.com ... Rake magazine blogs about Picosa (65 Main Street S.E., Minneapolis, www.picosarestaurant.com) and Brasa Premium Rotisserie. rakemag.com/today/foodnews
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
IN THE NEWS: The Star Tribune's Rick Nelson unveils the annual Taste 50: Fifty people, products, places and ideas that make Minnesota the place for food fans. Among the mentions: Don Saunders, chef-owner of Fugaise, "the Twin Cities’ most compelling under-the-radar restaurant." ... Nelson also stops by the new Landmarc Grill (405 S. 8th St., Minneapolis), while the paper's blog vita.mn features Tom Horgen and Alexis McKinnis sampling the 10 weirdest concoctions in area bars, among them the Krautini at Black Forest Inn. startribune.com ... The Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo offers a roundup of area al fresco dining, starting with Day by Day Café (477 W. Seventh St., St. Paul). Ngo also reports the closing of Willie's Wine Bar in Minneapolis and also notes, "Common Roots Café is slated to open next month in the former Soba's at the busy corner of Lyndale Avenue and 26th Street in Uptown. Newcomer Danny Schwartzman, a self-described grass-roots activist, plans to offer a menu of house-made bagels, soups and sandwiches and naturally raised chicken and fish. In keeping with an environmentally friendly vibe, he's remodeling with recycled materials. ... Then, there's Musashi, slated to debut downtown this summer in a former Olive Garden on Hennepin Avenue and Sixth Street. The restaurant's spokeswoman, Virginia Ing, says the plan is to feature Japanese classics like sushi and bento boxes and eventually hibachi grilling - the city currently doesn't allow the tabletop-style cooking in restaurants. ... Meanwhile, two blocks away at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Eighth Street, a sign in the former Zeno Café spot says Manhattan's Restaurant and Bar will open soon. Messages left for management were not returned, but according to the restaurant's voicemail, the place will open in this month." ... There's a short profile of Gaspar Perez, chef-owner of El Patio Mexican Grill (242 W. Seventh St., St. Paul). twincities.com ... City Pages Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl reviews Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine (8600 Edinburgh Centre Dr., Brooklyn Park) and Naviya's Thai Kitchen of Grand Marais (6345 Penn Ave. S., Richfield). citypages.com ... Japanese-style eatery Benihana, the Miami-based-chain, has opened its new restaurant in Maple Grove at 11840 Fountains Way, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports. . .. Mpls/St. Paul magazine's Andrew Zimmern's Chow and Again blog mspblogs.com/chowandagain reports, "One of the best modern tavern-style eateries in town, The Sample Room, is looking for a new chef. Michael Mackay is leaving, and ownership told me he is “moving in another direction.” I love that phrase. But MM has been the chef there since day one, which is what, about five or six years now?"
Monday, May 21, 2007
Lou's Pub & Package, Birmingham, Ala.; J Lounge, Golden Gopher, The Edison, The Broadway Bar, La Cita, Bordello, Redwood, and Bar 107, Los Angeles; Musso & Frank Grill, Hollywood, Calif.; The Polo Lounge, Beverly Hills; Beach Ball, Newport Beach, Calif.; Brennan's Pub, Marina Del Ray, Calif.; Bourbon & Branch, The Owl Tree, Vesuvio, and Zeitgeist, San Francisco; The Sportsman, Sonora, Calif.; Cruise Room, and El Chapultepec, Denver; Jimbo's, and Churchill's Pub, Miami; The Clermont Lounge, Atlanta; Lewers Lounge at the Halekulani Hotel, and La Mariana Sailing Club, Honolulu; The California Clipper, The Red Lion Pub, Bungalow, The Matchbox, Hideout, and Chipp Inn, Chicago; The Red Key, and Nicky Blaine's, Indianapolis; The Old Seelbach Bar, Louisville; The Chart Room, The Bar at Tujague's, Fritzel's European Jazz Pub, and Napoleon House, New Orleans; The Brewer's Art, and Shamrock Inn, Baltimore; B-Side Lounge, Cambridge, Mass.; No. 9 Park, Boston; Doyle's Cafe, Jamaica Plain, Mass.; The Bar at Seldom Blues, Detroit; Miller's Bar, Dearborn, Mich.; Bulldog N.E., and Nye's Polonaise Room, Minneapolis; Half Time Rec, St. Paul; John D. McGurk's, St. Louis; Any bar on the Strip, Double Down Saloon, and Petrossian Bar, Las Vegas; Bemelmans Bar in the Carlyle Hotel, Little Branch, The Bar at Keens Steakhouse, Minetta Tavern, Jimmy's Corner, The Angel's Share, The Brooklyn Inn, The Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Flatiron Lounge, The Saloon, San Domenico Restaurant, Spuyten Duyvil, 21 Club, Grassroots Tavern, Bill's Gay 90s, Julius', and Pegu Club, New York City; Freddy's Bar & Backroom, Brooklyn; Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden, Queens; Thomas Street Tavern, Charlotte, NC; Andyman's Treehouse, Columbus, Ohio; The Library Bar & Grill, Norman, Okla.; Friendly Lounge, The Grey Lodge, and Southwark, Philadelphia; Dee's Cafe, Pittsburgh; Tootsie's Orchid Lounge, and Robert's Western World, Nashville; La Tuna, San Antonio; Donn's Depot, Austin; The Inwood Lounge, Dallas; Shooting Star Saloon, Huntsville, Utah; Sambar, Zig Zag Cafe, and Fu Kun Wu, Seattle; Hawk 'n' Dove, and The Tune Inn, Washington, DC; Holler House, Milwaukee.
IN THE NEWS: Expanding on the Esquire list, the Star-Tribune's Tom Horgen: "Barely six months old, the Bulldog N.E. (401 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls) is having an amazing year. ... The magazine lauds the Bulldog for its tasty truffle fries, gourmet hot dogs and, of course, the beer. I agree wholeheartedly, but with one small addendum: While the article suggests ordering one of the bar's great regional taps, it's the bar's almost geeky appreciation for international taps -- specifically Belgians -- that makes this place one of the best." ... The paper also offers a roundup of area farmers markets. startribune.com ... The Pioneer Press' twincities.com Richard Chin visits Betty Jean's Chicken 'N' Waffles (319 First Ave. N., Minneapolis) ... Critic Kathie Jenkins visits Tavern on the Avenue (825 Jefferson Ave., St. Paul), Two Guys From Italy (15265 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley), and Will's Chicago Style Hot Dogs (344 Wabasha St., St. Paul) and notes the opening of Café Ena (4601 Grand Ave. S., Minneapolis). ... Sayyad Hussain, co-owner (with Om Parkash) of Mysore Café (2819 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis) is profiled ... Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo reports: "The owner of Singapore permanently shut the doors to her original Maplewood location in order to resurrect her South Minneapolis spot at 34th Avenue and 55th Street. Originally, Wai Wong and Kin Lee, her husband and co-owner at the time, let their business partners run the Minneapolis restaurant, which featured a mix of Ethiopian and Malaysian cuisine. But after going through two sets of partners in as many years and separating from her husband, Wong decided it was time to go it alone. Since she had only enough energy to run one restaurant, Maplewood had to go. ... Los Cabos in West St. Paul is back after a six-month hiatus. Chef-owner Dora Petraza reopened the Mexican restaurant on West Bernard Street after abruptly closing last winter. At the time, Petraza owned the restaurant with her husband, Moises, but now, the two are divorced. Petraza has kept the same menu, which includes fajitas, carnitas and guacamole made tableside. Elsewhere, the River Boat Grill docked at St. Paul's Harriet Island is back onboard. Manager Denise Mix says the recent closure was just for the winter because business was slow. The pause also gave them time to paint the place and tweak the menu. Expect Cajun dishes and more seafood. ... Stone's is no longer Mike Stone's restaurant. The majority shareholders of the downtown Stillwater spot let him go. Co-owner Eric Hawkins, who also owns Park Toole in Mahtomedi, has taken over. Yes, there are still free bacon strips at the bar." ... City Pages critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl reviews Café 44 (4351 France Ave. S., Minneapolis), the new restaurant attached to the France 44 Liquor Store, that "has the biggest, cheapest wine selection in the history of the Upper Midwest." citypages.com
Monday, May 14, 2007
Forbes' Top 10 Restaurant Cities:
1. New York City
3. San Francisco
4. Los Angeles
5. New Orleans
7. Washington, D.C.
10. Las Vegas
Rankings were based on: Overall number of restaurants above the fast food level; Number of fine dining restaurants with national and international standing; Solid representation of regional American food; A wide segment of second-tier restaurants that would include seafood, steakhouses, and independently chef-owned restaurants; Breadth and depth of ethnic restaurants, especially if the city has neighborhood such as a Chinatown; A significant number of neigborhood restaurants where the locals tend to eat out regularly; A well-traveled clientele that regards eating out in that city one of the real pleasures of going there.
IN THE NEWS: The Star Tribune's Tom Horgen selects the top outdoor cocktail spots. Rick Nelson in the Counter Intelligence blog looks at the now-closed St. Paul eatery Table of Contents staffers Gail Mollner and Chris Stevens, now working on launching their own restaurant: Blackbird (815 W. 50th St., Minneapolis) in mid-June. Nelson also notes the closing of Golden Chalice restaurant. startribune.com ... Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo profiles Sherry Asplund, owner of Café Julia, and notes that Corona, the beer company, plans to open Cantina #1 Corona at Mall of America, featuring Mexican beer and food pairings, this fall in the former Knuckleheads. She also reports that the former Duff's Chicago Style Eatery in downtown St. Paul re-opened last week as Will's Chicago Style Hotdog. twincities.com ... minneapolis.metblogs.com brunches at Spoon River, an upscale eatery owned by Brenda Langton (of the famous Cafe Brenda).
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
Chicago's Frontera Grill won Outstanding Restaurant of the Year and Michel Richard of Michel Richard Citronelle in Washington, D.C. was named Outstanding Chef at the 2007 James Beard Foundation Awards Ceremony. Hosted by CBS Early Show anchor Hannah Storm, the Beard Awards were held May 7 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York's Lincoln Center. More than 60 awards were presented by the country's pre-eminent nonprofit culinary organization, in its 20th anniversary celebration, and more than 1,600 industry leaders attended the ceremony. Other top awards went to: New York's L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, named Best New Restaurant; Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca.) received the award for Outstanding Restaurateur; and David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York) received the Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Celebrity and culinary superstar attendees included Stephanie March, Ted Allen, Katie Lee Joel, Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck, Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Jose Andres, Tom Colicchio, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Padma Lakshmi, and Marcus Samuelsson. The Foundation's Media Awards took place at a separate event at the Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway Hotel on May 6. All Award winners received a bronze medallion etched with the image of the late James Beard, the esteemed chef, cookbook author, and food journalist. There are no cash awards. Established in 1990, the James Beard Foundation Awards recognizes outstanding achievement within the fine food and beverage industry in North America. For full awards results, please visit http://www.jamesbeard.org.
Beard Award highlights are:
AMERICA'S CLASSICS: Primanti Brothers, Demetrios Patrinos, Pittsburgh, Pa.; The Pickwick, Christopher Wisocki, Duluth, Minn.; Doe's Eat Place, The Signa Family, Greenville, Miss.; Aunt Carrie's, Elsie Foy, Narragansett, R.I.; I
Brookville Hotel, Mark and Connie Martin, Abilene, Kan.; Weaver D's, Dexter Weaver, Athens, Ga.
BEST CHEF, GREAT LAKES: Grant Achatz, Alinea, Chicago
BEST CHEF, MID-ATLANTIC: R.J. Cooper, III, Vidalia, Washington, DC
BEST CHEF, MIDWEST: Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo.
BEST CHEF, NEW YORK CITY: David Waltuck, Chanterelle, New York, NY
BEST CHEF, NORTHEAST: Frank McClelland, L'Espalier, Boston
BEST CHEF, NORTHWEST: John Sundstrom, Lark, Seattle
BEST CHEF, PACIFIC: Traci Des Jardins, Jardinière, San Francisco
BEST CHEF, SOUTH: Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans
BEST CHEF, SOUTHEAST: Scott Peacock, Watershed, Decatur, Ga.
BEST CHEF, SOUTHWEST: Nobuo Fukuda, Sea Saw, Scottsdale, Ariz.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT: L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Chef-Owner: Joël Robuchon, New York, NY
OUTSTANDING CHEF: Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC
OUTSTANDING PASTRY CHEF: Michael Laskonis, Le Bernardin, New York, NY
OUTSTANDING RESTAURANT: Frontera Grill, chef-owner: Rick and Deann Bayless, Chicago
OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE: Rick Tramonto, Gale Gand, and Richard Melman, Tru, Chicago
OUTSTANDING WINE AND SPIRITS PROFESSIONAL: Paul Draper, Ridge Vineyards, Cupertino, Calif.
OUTSTANDING WINE SERVICE: Mark Slater, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC
RISING STAR CHEF OF THE YEAR: David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York, NY
Selected James Beard Media Awards
NEWSPAPER FEATURE WRITING ABOUT RESTAURANTS AND/OR CHEFS WITH OR WITHOUT RECIPES
Barbara Yost, The Arizona Republic
NEWSPAPER FEATURE WRITING WITH RECIPES
Janet Fletcher, San Francisco Chronicle
NEWSPAPER FEATURE WRITING WITHOUT RECIPES
Elaine Cicora, Cleveland Scene
Miriam Morgan and Jon Bonne
San Francisco Chronicle
NEWSPAPER, NEWSLETTER OR MAGAZINE COLUMNS
Dara Moskowitz, Minneapolis City Pages
NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE RESTAURANT REVIEW OR CRITIQUE: Rebekah Denn, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
TELEVISION FOOD SHOW, LOCAL: Check, Please! Bay Area, Host: Leslie Sbrocco, KQED Public Television, Producer: Tina Salter
IN THE NEWS: From MSP magazine critic Andrew Zimmern's blog Chow & Again: "Here’s the story you hate to print, but after waiting on it for months, the anecdotal research that keeps piling up is just too overwhelming not to mention. Fugaise is on life support. Not only is this a sad sign for local diners, it is especially sad because Don Saunders is a talented young man who oozes sincerity with his big smile. You want to see him win. When the rash of closings began several months ago (Levain, Five, et al.), Fugaise was on my internal Deathwatch list and seemed a prime candidate for a February demise based on the tales I was hearing of empty dining rooms, light reservation books, shrinking staff . ... I was not sure they could last that month, routinely one of the slowest in the biz. I have been in there only to shoot a news story in the last six months, but even back in the fall, Don conceded to me that things were tough. Recent press on him had me hopeful, but that often does not translate into sales. The new Cobalt development has been no panacea for the ailing businesses in the neighborhood, and the last three friends of mine to dine at Fugaise have all sat in empty dining rooms. Over the last few weeks, I have heard that the restaurant was offering incentives to individuals steering business their way, not unusual for large restaurants (who work local concierges feverishly for business), but a telling sign. Put it all together, and it smelled like an imminent closing. So what do I do, say nothing or do something? If you like this restaurant, go there. Soon. And tell your friends, perhaps it will make a difference."
In happier news, newly honored James Beard Award winner Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl of City Pages has a lengthy piece on upcoming restaurants in the Twin Cities area, led by details on Alex Roberts, famed as chef and co-owner of Restaurant Alma, opening Brasa Rotisserie in Northeast. ... The Star-Tribune's Tom Horgen offers a guide to late-night coffee shops, while Rick Nelson awards three stars to Saffron Restaurant & Lounge, 123 N. 3rd St. in Minneapolis and also takes a look at Pi, 2532 25th Av. S. in Minneapolis ... Pioneer Press spotlights Brian Hehr, chef/co-owner of Jensen's Café/Jensen's Wine and Dine (12750 Nicollet Ave. S., Burnsville). reports, "Ruam Mit Thai in downtown St. Paul has closed for the second time this year. Whether it's temporary or permanent remains unclear. The owners could not be reached, but on the door a sign from a law firm on behalf of building manager Gingold Co. reads: 'Unpaid rent late fees total $23,459.31.' ... Panino's on Rice Street in St. Paul has closed. If you're craving paninis, pastas and pizza, there's still Panino's in North Oaks off County Road 96." ... Ngo also notes, "Michael Kutscheid, the cape-wearing owner of the former Kapoochi's on Nicollet Mall, plans to open the restaurant a block from the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. He has nabbed a spot on Ninth Street and Washington Avenue - in the same building as Wasabi Japanese restaurant. Gary Stenberg, a veteran of Oceanaire in Minneapolis, will head the kitchen." She also mentions the opening of Whitney Bistro and Onyx Bar, recently debuted at Country Inn Suites at Interstate 494 and Minnesota 100 in Bloomington.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
-- Outstanding Restaurant: Boulevard, San Francisco; Frontera Grill, Chicago; Magnolia Grill, Durham, N.C., Picholine, New York; Spiaggia, Chicago.
-- Best New Restaurant: A Voce, New York City; Chochon, New Orleans; Cut, Beverly Hill, Calif; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, New York City; Momofuku Ssam Bar, New York City; Restaurant Guy Savoy, Las Vegas.
-- Outstanding Restaurateur: Thomas Keller, The French Laundry, Yountville, Calif; Keith McNally, Balthazar, New York City; Richard Melman, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises (R.J. Grunts, Wildfire, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba!), Chicago; Drew Nieporent, Myriad Restaurant Group (Tribeca Grill, Nobu, Rubicon), New York City; Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges restaurant, New York City.
-- Outstanding Chef: Tom Colicchio, Craft, New York City; Lee Hefter, Spago, Beverly Hills, Calif.; Jean Joho, Everest, Chicago; Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Chicago; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, D.C.
-- Rising Star Chef: Nate Appleman, A16, San Francisco; Graham Elliot Bowles, Avenues at The Peninsula Hotel, Philadelphia; David Chang, Momofuku Noodle Bar, New York; Patrick Connelly, Radius, Boston; Daniel Humm, Eleven Madison Park, New York City.
IN THE NEWS: City Pages annual Best of the Twin Cities is just out. (http://bestof.citypages.com/2007/foodstuff/) Among the food and dining award winners: Roosters BBQ, barbecue (www.roosterbbq.com); West Indies Soul Food, soul food; Uncle Franky's, hot dogs (www.unclefrankys.com); Napa Valley Grille, burger (www.napavalleygrille.com), Matt's Bar, readers choice; Vincent- A Restaurant, gourmet burger (www.vincentarestaurant.com); Cafe Barbette, fries (www.cafebarbette.com); Galactic Pizza, pizza (www.galacticpizza.com), Pizza Luce, readers choice; Pizza Nea, gourmet pizza (www.pizzanea.com); El Burrito Mercado, burrito (www.elburritomercado.com); The Brothers, deli (www.thebrothersdeli.com); Spoonriver, salad (www.spoonriverrestaurant.com); Franklin Street Bakery, bakery (www.franklinstreetbakery.com), Wuollet Bakery, readers choice; Rustica Bakery, bread (www.rusticabakery.com); Sebastian Joe's Ice Cafe, ice cream parlor; and Mel-O-Glaze Bakery, doughnuts (www.meloglaze.com).
Restaurant magazine just released its list of the world's top 100 restaurants. (http://www.theworlds50best.com/2007_list.html) Here are the U.S. entries:
The French Laundry, Yountville, Ca. (No. 4)
Per Se, New York City (No. 9)
Jean Georges, New York City (No. 18)
Le Bernardin, New York City (No. 26)
Charlie Trotter's, Chicago (No. 30)
Daniel, New York City (No. 32)
Alinea, Chicago (No. 36)
Chez Panisse, Berkeley, Ca. (No. 40)
Masa, New York City (No. 56)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon at the Four Seasons, New York City (No. 64)
Peter Lugar, Brooklyn, NY (No. 69)
Nobu New York, New York City (No. 89)
Gramercy Tavern, New York City (No. 90)
WD-50, New York City (No. 91)
Zuni Café, San Francisco (No. 98)
Alex at Wynn, Las Vegas (No. 100)
IN THE NEWS: The New York Times featured "A Foodie Scene in Twin Cities" in its April 29 travel section, with 112 Eatery, Wolfgang Puck's 20.21, Chambers Kitchen, Cue, and Spoonriver among the featured restaurants. travel.nytimes.com ... Landry's Restaurants Inc. plans to convert its Joe's Crab Shack in Maple Grove into a Saltgrass Steakhouse, with a late 2007 or early opening, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal reports. twincities.bizjournals.com ... The Star Tribune's Rick Nelson awards three stars in his review of Good Day Cafe, 5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley, while Tom Horgan salutes 25-year-old The Loon Cafe (www.looncafe.com), 500 1st Av. N. in Minneapolis Nelson also reports on the reopening of The Little Wagon, 420 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, and the closings of Shelly's Restaurant, 6501 Wayzata Blvd., St. Louis Park, and Cafe Limon, 611 W. Lake St, Minneapolis. Cafe Limon's owners Hector Ruiz and Erin Ungerman plan to open the more expansive Cafe Ena, 4601 Grande Ave. S., Minneapolis, sometime in May, Nelson writes. www.startribune.com ... The Pioneer Press' Nancy Ngo examines the reopenings of eateries Two Guys From Italy, Little Venetian, Little Wagon, Cafe di Napoli and Town Talk Diner. Ngo profiles Wendy Puckett, chef and manager, of Betty Jean's Chicken n Waffles (319 First Ave. N., Minneapolis; bjschickennwaffles.com) and also reports on: the transformation of Nochee in downtown Minneapolis to the more casual Harry's American Food and Cocktails, with an opening sometime sometime in June; the impending opening of Harvey McLain's Bistro Levain in Minneapolis sometime in June; the opening of Luxor Lounge in St. Paul; and the continued delay of reopening of Mama's Pizza on Rice Street in St. Paul (www.mamaspizzaparlor.com) now set for sometime this summer. The restaurant closed in February after a water main broke. And Pioneer Press critic Kathie Jenkins takes a quick look at the new Fogo de Chao (www.fogodechao.com), 645 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. www.twincities.com ... minneapolis.metblogs.com also weighs in on Fogo de Chao. ...