Slice: 2013 New Restaurant Guide & Preview


You’re going to want to grab a snack. We’re thrilled to present our very first new restaurant guide! You may have noticed that through the Slice column we here at Lavender Magazine HQ have been working hard to bring you the tastiest bites to be found around town. In the following pages we have gathered the best new restaurants of 2012, as well as a few that have already opened this year. Plus, we have a special sneak peek at what’s to come.  So, you see, this isn’t the sort of thing to read on an empty stomach. Please settle in; enjoy a slice of the Cities’ restaurant scene.

Photo courtesy of Angel Food Bakery

Angel Food Bakery. Photo courtesy of Angel Food Bakery


Angel Food Bakery
86 S. 9th St., Minneapolis
The ethereal, white skyway space is a balance to the windowless sister business Hell’s Kitchen down below. This bakery offers all the sugary decadence a sweet tooth could ask for with delicious donuts, craveable cupcakes, breads, fresh-brewed coffee, cookies, stunning wedding creations, and more. Also, they have the famous Hell’s Kitchen peanut butter and sausage bread. Heaven on a plate.


Bar Louie
1348 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis
A happening new spot (replacing the old Drink) on Lagoon in Uptown for burgers and beers with your buds.


Birchwood Café Expansion: Preview
3311 E 25th St., Minneapolis


2516 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Stewart and Heidi Woodman’s new restaurant has a more casual vibe than their original Heidi’s with a menu focused on restorative, fresh foods.


Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Blue Door Pub Longfellow. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Blue Door Pub Longfellow
3448 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis
Compared to the original, the space is expansive. In reality, it’s a comfy new neighborhood spot.  There’s a communal wood table referred to as the “long fellow” for larger groups (which is impossible in the original). However, they’re sticking to what they know and we love, great burgers and a serious selection of craft beers. Only now, like the space, it’s expanded.


Borough & Parlour
730 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 461:
When the doors opened at Borough, I took a sharp, quick breath. Could this be? The room is a comfortable mixture of wood floors; one wood wall mixed with the metal and brick that dominate décor in this part of the North Loop neighborhood.  There are little winks and nods, like the cheese grater light fixtures and the steampunk-style beer taps. The room is cozy and open; refined, but never stuffy.  The food is serious…and seriously fun.  The chefs are Tyler Shipton and Nick O’Leary, who met while working at the nationally lauded Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale.  Like that kitchen, the team that they’ve assembled cooks collaboratively.  Downstairs at Parlour, Jesse Held hopes to create the first mash-up of craft cocktail and dive bar. Gone are the twenty-minute wait times between ordering and drinking. The space and staff are completely lacking in pretention. This is meant to be a neighborhood joint and already they are building a list of regulars. Read more at


Broders’ Wine Bar: Preview
2221 W. 50th St., Minneapolis
Broders’ Cucina Italiana and Broders’ Pasta Bar will welcome another into the little empire along 50th Street into the former Pierre’s Bistro space.


Burch Steak: JUST OPENED
Intersection of Hennepin and Franklin Ave., Minneapolis
James Beard Award winner, Chef Isaac Becker, owner of 112 Eatery and Bar La Grassa, has opened his newest venture and it’s a double hitter: steakhouse upstairs and a pizza cafe downstairs with beer, wine, and cocktails.


Butcher & the Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 438:
The unfussy food is full of nostalgic flavors with a refined, perfect Peter Botcher twist. Botcher is chef Jack Riebel’s right-hand man.  Riebel jokes that Peter’s the butcher and he’s the bore (hardly).  Botcher is an expert sausage-maker. Raised outside of Winona, he wears his German heritage with great pride. Churning out velvet-textured turkey liver Braunschweiger, smoked pork jowl that’s used in place of bacon, garlicky rich venison summer sausage, fat-studded beef sausage spiked with cumin, paprika and garlic, with a faint, herby note from something he won’t tell me about.  All the meat is sourced from farmers who believe that the quality of the meat is directly linked to the care of the animal.  All the beef is grassfed, which has a bad rap for flavor. People say that it’s too lean, but the gorgeous fat, glistening off a smoked beef shortrib that we sampled was impressive with the luxurious mouth feel – not to mention flavor.


3700 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
This sweet little bakery has found a new home at the base of a new building with plenty of early morning sunshine to pair with those pastries and scones.


Café Maude at Loring Park
1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 452:
Café Maude mixes the historically boho Loring Park vibe with their proven formula of killer cocktails, comfort food with a dash of live music, and lands softly in their new space with an ease that feels like they’ve been there for much longer than the last few weeks.  The tapestry fabric wrapping around the top of the bar and the gold velvet backs on some of the booths harkens back to the the Loring Bar.  There’s space for live music and plenty of comfortable seating.  It’s definitely got that same sophisticated, comfortable Maude vibe. The cocktails and menu also have that same artisan flavor because they’re being overseen by the same talented folks who work at the original [South Minneapolis] location. Chef Matthew Kempf has been splitting his time between the two locations, but here he was given free reign over the creation.


Photo by Mike Hnida

Colossal Café. Photo by Mike Hnida

Colossal Café St. Paul
2315 Como Ave., St. Paul
The name was meant to be ironic for the first location: a tiny, but beloved, spot in Minneapolis. Their St. Paul restaurant is neither huge nor small. It’s a comfortable neighborhood haunt serving scratch food in the morning, noon, and night. The yeasted pancakes are the stuff of legend while the pork sandwich served at dinner (with a pint of craft brew) is working its way into the legend book.


Devil’s Advocate
89 S. 10th St., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 448:
The food is dominated by balls. Meatballs with worldly seasonings paired with inspired sides. The original chef couldn’t quite find the groove, but the staff in place now is having some fun—and it’s evident on the plate. The traditional meatballs have a nice amount of salt in them, which makes an eater eagerly reach for one of their beers. In a rich tomato sauce, they taste like someone’s nonna spent hours fussing over them. The falafel is dense, smooth in texture, and served alongside some fregola (a textural sibling to couscous) mixed with fresh mint; it’s a light, refreshing bite.  The way Chef Erik Forsberg sees it, the flavor options are endless. On our visit, they were talking about possibly doing a banh mi style meatball.  What sounds like a gimmick tastes like a good idea. These small, easy-to-eat bites of food are just begging for a beer. They have over 60 taps and a staff well-educated in their brews. They will be doing many beer dinners, where real aficionados can sip and eat a more refined menu.


Eat Shop Kitchen & Bar
16605 County Road 24, Plymouth

From the full article in Lavender Issue 454:

From Plymouth emerges a new restaurant, Eat Shop.  From inside this kitchen comes chef-driven, scratch cooking. Everything about their approach is straightforward. The space is large with little touches of whimsy. There’s a silhouette of a pig with a balloon tied around his middle above one large corner booth, stacks of wine bottles, and a trail of mismatched plates adorning the wall next to the kitchen.  There is also a screen stretched over part of the dining room playing a loop of food movies and classic Julia Child episodes. The team that put this place together includes the culinary forces of Chef Jeff Anderson as well as Michael Larson has extensive experience in the restaurant business, balanced with the fresh enthusiasm of doing it all for themselves for the first time. No matter the occasion, if you’re a fan of comfortable surroundings, I know a great spot out in Plymouth that I think you’d like to see.


Eat Street Social
18 West 26th St., Minneapolis
This swank spot had the liquorati swooning when they first opened the doors. The bar was set up by master barmen Nick Kosevich and Ira Kaplowiz, the dapper dudes behind Bittercube Bitters. They are well known by those who know craft cocktails. They hired an array of great drink mixers to serve up some of the best cocktails in town. The restaurant comes from the same team who run Northeast Social. It has the same convivial atmosphere and the menu boasts favorite dishes like pastas, a hearty burger, and fried calamari.


Photo by Keane Amdahl

Eli’s East. Photo by Keane Amdahl

Eli’s East
815 East Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Like the original Eli’s, this neighborhood gem has a rotating board of specials in addition to their menu of favorties like the famous Eli’s mac and cheese and a perfectly cooked burger. (The wings are always a hit.) They have expanded the offerings a bit with memorable dishes like their spin on coq au vin. Be certain to also save a little liver room for a couple of cocktails. These guys know how to mix a beautiful beverage. Big maroon booths and a lot of wood make for an intimate, masculine space while the odd triangular shape keeps the interior interesting.


5331 West 16th St., St. Louis Park
Like so many before it, Figlio broke up, moved out of Uptown, and into the Suburbs. Kaskaid Hospitality takes the brand over from Parasole and brings back some old favorites along with new dishes in the spirit of the iconic restaurant original.


2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 455:

Scandinavian food is sweeping the globe, leading the current culinary trends with locally sourced, clean flavors.  Dazzle your friends and family with the food from a new restaurant serving dishes directly on this cutting edge of this modern cuisine at the American Swedish Institute. On the surface, this might not sound too sexy, but once you see what the ASI has to offer, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It’s beautiful. It’s spacious. It has scenic views and a gorgeous outdoor courtyard, but most importantly, it has the food.  ASI’s Fika (pronounced Fee-ka) is being all but worshiped by local area critics. – Keane Amdahl


Photo by Andy Lien

Foxy Falafel. Photo by Andy Lien

Foxy Falafel
791 Raymond Ave., St. Paul
This adorable little restaurant space struggled to find the right fit, until Miss Foxy came along and added her DIY charm and created a cozy, homey space. Even more importantly, she filled the room with the warm scents of her singularly wonderful falafel. If you haven’t tasted one of her crusty, tender fritters, you owe it to your tastebuds to get right over there now. In addition to her originally flavored fritters, the beet and the curry flavors, she’s expanded her offerings to tender turkey shawarma, chicken gyros, and the most delectible gluten-free baked goods. Serving wine and beer, it’s a great spot for a quick lunch, easy-on-the wallet date night, or weekend brunch. Foxy Falafel dazzles diners without ever getting fussy. This is just some great, comforting food in a pretty and casual environment. This glass slipper fits just right.


French Hen
518 Selby Ave., St. Paul
The former Bon Vie space (they moved down the street into A Piece of Cake) has been refreshed and replaced with another neighborhood spot for breakfast, brunch, and lunch.


Gastrotruck: Preview
Northeast, Minneapolis
A green Nordeast eatery that will grow as much as 50% of their own produce. A fast-casual, affordable space expected in fall of 2013.



George & the Dragon. Photo by Shelly Mosman

George & the Dragon
813 West 50th St., Minneapolis
Modeled after an English Public House (or pub), George and the Dragon serve approachable and delicious food for the whole family. The menu is stacked with great homemade grub like burgers, bangers and mash, and curry. There’s even a weekend brunch. Since opening, the restaurant has become a neighborhood gathering point for many of the nearby young families and a great spot to grab a couple of pints or a glass of wine with friends. Somehow they knew that this was exactly what the neighborhood needed.

Photo by Hubert Bonnet

The Gray House. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

The Gray House
610 West Lake St., Minneapolis
Located just off Lyndale Avenue on Lake Street, this restaurant space has had a few tennants, but it seems like The Gray House is the first to finally fit. Chef Ian Gray is making everything from scratch, like the buttery little cracker bites in the bread basket to the scratch-made pasta. The dishes are American comforts like roasted chicken with polenta, given a little chef-y goose. The wine list is well-selected as is the collection of craft beers. A welcome neighborhood bistro perfect for a couple of pints after work or a cozy date night.


Hello Pizza: Preview
3904 Sunnyside Rd., Edina
A new pizza spot from the owners from the wildly successful Pizzeria Lola.


Photo courtesy of The Hole

The Hole. Photo courtesy of The Hole

The Hole
2501 SE University Ave., Minneapolis
This is not your average sports bar. Yes, the beers are icy cold and the TVs ample, but there’s more to it than just that. The bar is stocked beyond the Bud Light and what’s coming out of the kitchen is worth a gander. It’s got pizzas, burgers, and wings, but the food here is prepared by an actual chef who has a fine dining background. That means that these are some inventive, deliciously prepared wings and poppers.


Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Icehouse. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
When word got out that the owners of Be’Wiched were involved in the opening of a rocking new music venue with an all-day deli case and a Johnny Michaels-designed cocktail list, it all seemed like so many variables. How could all those plates be kept perfectly spinning? But spin and rock they certainly do. The cocktails are divine, with both full-sized and modest sips, the food is filled with delicious dishes from modest noshes to full meal options (and a truly wonderful sandwich selection). All this, in addition to being a great venue to catch some head bobbing music. Oh, and brunch! Did you know they do brunch with what might be the best bloody mary in the Twin Cities? Yup, they do it all.


The Kenwood
2115 W. 21st St., Minneapolis
Don Saunders’s new neighborhood darling has found its way into the hearts of those who live nearby as well as those looking for a little refined dining in a none-too-stuffy room. From the plaid cloth-papered walls to the equestrian decor to the cheeky notes at the bottom of the menu, no detail has been overlooked to ensure this is a great spot for breakfast, lunch, or a date night dinner. The food is pure elegance as is the stunning wine list.


The Left Handed Cook
920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
From the full article in Lavender Issue 444:
It takes a special kind of crazy to want to pick up from L.A., where you’ve established a career and life for yourself, plop down in the middle of a city that you’ve never lived in, and open up a business. Thankfully, Thomas Kim and Kat Melgaard are just the right kind of crazy. Tiring of the smog, the traffic, and the general high cost of living, they traded in the city of angels for the Minneapple. The concept of The Left Handed Cook is revolutionary for the Midtown Global Market place. The menu sounds like a long list of the food that I know chefs love to eat in their off hours. It’s all at once gourmet, but full of comfort food. It’s full of Asian accents, but entirely at home in the Midwest. While Kim mans the food, Melgaard manages the service aspect. Her creative eye and punk-DIY aesthetic brings a unique look to The Left Handed Cook. She adds genius little touches like Mason jars filled with vegetable oil and pictures placed inside. They made for great centerpieces at their opening party. Plastic cups were adorned with beads that spelled out helpful suggestions like, “Eat more.” She’s a party-throwing genius.


Photo by Joy Summers

Louis Ristorante. Photo by Joy Summers

Louis Ristorante
211 West 7th St., St. Paul
To eat at Cossetta’s is to taste a piece of St. Paul history. The market has become as much a part of the fabric of the city as the Capitol or the cathedral. What began has a modest little market has expanded to become an enormous food wonderland. Atop it all is the recently opened Louis Ristorante. A more elegant dining experience the menu pleases people with Italian favorites. Stop by for happy hour when the portions are still dinner sized, but the prices are miniscule. A great spot for a date before a show. The outdoor patio holds some stunning views of the saintly city.


The Lynn on Bryant
5003 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 457:
There’s a new meeting place for the Lynnhurst neighborhood. The block of businesses that were once devastated by fire now shows no sign of the destruction that was once here. It’s been reborn as a thriving hub of restaurants and shops. The completion of the rebirth was the opening of The Lynn on Bryant.  The long, white communal table dominates the front room, where the décor is clean and bright with rustic touches, like a focal wall decorated with reclaimed wood, with just a sliver of red accent paint visible between the slats.  It’s sunny, bright and welcoming. Past the open kitchen, the back room is cozier with soft lighting, no windows and soft acoustics. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s not every ambitious idea that opens right out of the gate, nailing their intention, but so far The Lynn seems to do just that. At every visit, the room has been a gathering of neighbors, couples, families, friends, people meeting for business purposes or just passing through.  There’s a new place near the heart of this Minneapolis community and they have gently placed their fingers right on the pulse.


Marin at Chambers: Preview
901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Expect fresh, healthy foods from this new spot from the owners of Mill Valley Kitchen to replace the recently departed D’Amico Kitchen at the Le Méridien Chambers Hotel.


Photo by Mike Hnida

Photo by Mike Hnida

Masu MOA
332 South Ave, Bloomington
Face away from the door and you’d think you were in the original Nordeast Minneapolis Masu. The mega mall outpost is just as eye-dazzling and serves a very similar menu. It’s a sushi-staked reprieve from the food court doldrums.


333 S. 7th St. #190, Minneapolis
At the base of the Accenture building, Mona offers an elegant lunch and dinner option downtown Minneapolis. Dishes are all small plates of French-influenced fare.


Mosaic Café
3019 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis
The erstwhile Glaciers Cafe has led the charge on a restaurant revolution around the Longfellow neighborhood. The menu is filled with sustainably raised foods and a healthy selection of vegetarian offerings. Remember, it’s all about balance–eat the good stuff, but save room for their frozen custard.


2551 Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis
This rock ‘n’ roll part of town has just gotten a little added glitz with the new Nightingale. The space is sleek and cozy. The menu features small plates, perfect for grazing well into the wee hours. They open at 5pm for those keen on happy hour, but stay open until 2am.


Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Northbound Brewery. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Northbound Brewery
2716 East 38th St., Minneapolis
The hip kids in this quiet corner of Minneapolis have been flocking to the new Northbound Brewery. In addition to their delicious brews, the food is also quite tasty. Their motto regarding the food is “nostalgia in every bite.” It certainly worked on me, a porketta sandwich tasted just like the meat I remember from the Iron Range days of my youth: smokey, juicy, and spiked with fennel. This is a charmer of a neighborhood pub.


The Oceanaire Seafood Room
50 S. 6th St., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 436:
The bar inside the new incarnation of The Oceanaire Seafood Room is packed. The room swirls with neon blue reflecting off mirrored chandeliers. The room as described by the General Manager, Jake Uttich is going for a “1940’s meets 1970’s meets the future” style. He’s not wrong; a sharkskin suit wouldn’t look the least bit out place in this room. The exodus of elegance from the old Hyatt is complete, as Oceanaire has moved on to these shinier new digs.  The room is completely different; bright, wide open, and right next to the street.  Another change is the head toque. Now installed behind the burners is Robert Wohlfeil. While all the [seafood] ethics and the [interior] cosmetics are nice, there is the matter of actual taste. The food is just as exquisite, elegant and opulent as ever.


Photo by Hubert Bonnet

Parka. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

4021 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
None Listed
This collaboration between Dogwood Coffee, Rustica Bakery, and Victory 44 has got the Longfellow neighborhood buzzing. There’s nothing else quite like it in the cities and, already, it seems safe to call them a hit. In the morning they serve impressive coffee drinks with Rustica pastries and bread. For lunch and dinner, the kitchen fires up dishes that sound like nostalgia (meatloaf, fried fish, and Jell-O salad) and arrive like a work of art. It’s the playful modern cuisine that Chef Erick Harcey is known for. It’s a modest, clean space that they share with Forage Modern Worskhop.


Potter’s Pasties: Preview
1827 Como Ave., Minneapolis
The food truck known for their English-style hand pies will sell them grab ‘n’ go at this no-seater spot as well as offer par-baked pies for easy home prep.


The Pourhouse
10 S. Fifth St.,Minneapolis
This Prohibition-inspired downtown spot is filled with spaces to catch a game, some tunes, brews, or food as well as a collection of secret passages worth exploring.


3001 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Farewell for good Figlio! This new hot spot at Calhoun Square brings the neighborhood sliders, flingers, and funky daily mac ‘n’ cheese for their dining pleasure.


Red Cow: Preview
3624 W. 50th St., Minneapolis
Luke Shimp has left the Blue Plate Company to branch out on his own solo endeavor in this former Blockbuster space that will serve a selective wine list with gourmet twists on casual pub fare.


Republic – Uptown
3001 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
The 7 Corners hot spot for hops lovers has expanded into Calhoun Square with their staggering selection of craft beer and all the delicious food accoutrements to accompany them.


Rincon 38: Preview
3801 Grand Ave., Minneapolis
Hector Ruiz of Cafe Ena and the late El Meson will open this tapas-focused spot.


Sandcastle: Preview
Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis
Many may have bid, but only Doug Flicker was chosen to run the food out of the Lake Nokomis concession stand where we expect to soon have the best picnics of all time.


Photo by Keane Amdahl

Smack Shack Corndogs. Photo by Keane Amdahl

Smack Shack
603 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Lobster fans havs have long been waiting for this new North Loop spot to open and now all their drawn butter dreams have been answered. This place has got it all: expansive bar, a mezzanine for private parties, a giant pot for boils, plenty of outdoor seating, a raw bar and more. They also are serving vegetarian dishes like a green tomato po’ boy as well as full entrees, including steak.


Sushi Fix: Preview
962 E. Lake St., Wayzata
The best sushi to be had from a food truck is moving into a permanent space in beautiful downtown Wayzata; the Sushi Fix restaurant should be opening very soon.


Travail Expansion: Preview
4154 W. Broadway Ave., Robbinsdale
The little restaurant on the edge of the city that caught the imagination of the entire nation is expanding and will hopefully mean no more standing out in line for hours.


UNION Chef Jim Christiansen. Photo by Mike Hnida

UNION Chef Jim Christiansen. Photo by Mike Hnida

731 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

From the full article in Lavender Issue 460:

The signs of life were there before anyone knew what was coming. The hulking space that once housed Shinders was undergoing a massive transformation. It would be known as UNION.  The retractable roof came into shape, offering a new way to dine, year-round, under the stars.  Mouths gaped at the specs; the entire operation looked ambitious and impressive.  In a head-spinningly short amount of time, they were opening their doors to the public. Not only was the restaurant space exciting, so too was the news of who would be running the kitchen.  Jim Christiansen came through the ranks of various Tim McKee restaurants. He was the chef who tried to wrestle expectations of owners and customers at Il Gatto, before taking some much needed time off to travel and cook at what is the hottest restaurant on the planet, Noma. Once he was committed to the new restaurant, Christiansen began to spin his culinary magic and form the menu.  With an enigmatic, talented chef like this, in the dizzying location, UNION will also likely be drawing in all kinds of colorful people to the heart of downtown Minneapolis.


Photo by Hubert Bonnet

World Street Kitchen. Photo by Hubert Bonnet

World Street Kitchen
2743 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
There are few food trucks who inspire the sort of devotion that World Street Kitchen has. Even the Minneapolis mayor proclaims his adoration for the Yum Yum Bowl. This hip spot at the base of some newly built condos is fully of the vibrancy felt in the neighborhood around it. The menu is stacked with vegetarian, gluten-free, and ungodly decadent dishes (MFC Chicken, I’m looking at you). Be certain to taste the wine and beer cocktails as well as the house-made soft-serve fro yo.


Zeke’s Unchained Animal: Preview
3508 E. Lake St., Minneapolis
Burgers, pizza, wings, and craft beer are coming to this oddly named space from a collective of chefs who hope to open very soon.

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