Old mansion, new name
The Vintage (579 Selby Av., St. Paul) has closed, but the splendid 1880s mansion won't stay dark for long. Il VescoVino (Italian for "the bishop's wine") plans to open on Monday.
The menu will be southern Italian, with an emphasis on small plates, medium prices (under $22) and an Italian wine list featuring nearly two dozen 250- and 500-milliliter pours (carafes of about 8½ ounces and almost 17 ounces, respectively).
The Cathedral Hill landmark has undergone an interior renovation, but fireplace lovers needn't worry; all hearths remain. The restaurant's ownership has a strong East Metro food pedigree. Karen Marchionda's family is the force behind Buon Giorno Italia and Osteria I Nonni in Lilydale, Jim Risimini's name is familiar to St. Paulites who recall the former Rimini's on Grand Avenue. Chef Wally Buffalo was sous chef at Osteria I Nonni.
Coming to Loring Park
Last year A Rebours co-owner Doug Anderson was eyeing a spot on St. Paul's Mears Park for expansion. That didn't happen, but the project didn't die. Nick & Eddie, a revival/homage of the former Manhattan restaurant where Anderson was once head waiter, is landing by year's end on Loring Park in Minneapolis in what was most recently the Loring Grill (1614 Harmon Place) plus a storefront next door.
Anderson promises an American classics menu "with no trace of irony," served from breakfast to late night and featuring roast chicken, chopped liver with garlic toast, potato pancakes, flank steak marinated in peppers, blintzes, smoked fish and baked Alaska.
"No ahi tuna," said Anderson. His spouse Jessica, a partner in the venture, will revive the memorable baked goods she turned out at their former Bakery on Grand. Gerard Boissy, another Bakery vet, will prepare the restaurant's cured and slow-cooked meats as well as an in-house hot dog.