The neighborhood across the river from downtown Minneapolis is popping with new restaurants.
Right now it’s all about the sunny riverfront deck at this St. Anthony Main newcomer, brought to you by the folks at the nearby Aster Cafe. The menu focuses on moderately priced Mexican fare, from eight varieties of tacos ($7 to $10) on freshly made masa corn tortillas to a half-dozen larger plates ($12 to $23). Cocktails, wine and beer, too. Dinner daily, weekend brunch.
219 SE. Main St., Mpls., 612-255-2000, jefeminneapolis.com
PinKu Japanese Street Food
Here’s how fresh the food is at this stylish, quick-service newcomer: The kitchen has no real storage space. “We don’t need it,” said chef/co-owner John Sugimura. “We buy the fish and produce that we need every morning.” The menu gets right down to business: salmon, shrimp and tuna, done up in nine delectable combinations. Potstickers, too, and a brief selection of beer, wine and sake. That’s it, and that’s all you’ll need. Top price? Nine bucks. Dinner daily.
20 University Av. NE., Mpls., 612-584-3167, pinkujapanese.com
This Los Angeles-based chain doesn’t feel like one. Well-seasoned, spit-roasted meats (beef-lamb, chicken) and falafel make their way into a variety of sandwiches and salads, all notable for their fresh ingredients, lively flavors, jumbo portions and moderate prices (anything above $10 is a rarity). The bar serves house-made sangrias and craft beers. Lunch and dinner daily.
518 E. Hennepin Av., 612-584-4922, spitzmn.com