Restaurant news: Openings and celebrations

  • Updated: August 6, 2014 - 2:11 PM

The Modern Cafe is celebrating its 20th birthday this week.

Openings. openings and celebrations

Richfield’s 66th-and-Lyndale crossroads is well on its way to becoming a food lover’s magnet.

First came an instantly popular branch of Pizza Lucé (800 W. 66th St., www.pizzaluce.com), reviving a derelict Bridgeman’s outlet. A branch of Lakewinds Food Co-op (6420 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., www.lakewinds.com) debuted in late June.

And now Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar (6439 Lyndale Av. S., Richfield, www.lyn65.com) is open daily for dinner, along with a two-part happy hour (4 to 6 p.m. and 9 to 11 p.m.).

Chef/co-owner Benjamin Rients (a Restaurant Alma vet) is channeling seasonal ingredients into flatbreads, a burger, salads, fried chicken, small plates and other accessible fare.

On the subject of Pizza Lucé, don’t miss the chain’s 11th-annual block party on Saturday at the original Lucé (119 N. 4th St., Mpls.). From noon to 10 p.m., the no-admission-fee event will feature slices, brats, beers from Summit Brewing Co. and 10 bands.

A downtown Wayzata newcomer

The former Sunsets is back in business, under a new owner and a new name. The former is Dean Vlahos, the entrepreneur who launched Champps Americana, Redstone American Grill and Blvd Kitchen & Bar, and the latter is CŌv Wayzata (700 E. Lake St., Wayzata, www.covwayzata.com).

The casual, All-American lunch and dinner menus feature flatbreads, pizzas, salads and a raw bar, as well as steakhouse-style dinner entrees.

Shea Inc., the Minneapolis design firm, has replaced the space’s dark look with a light-filled homage to Nantucket, and beefed up the Lake Minnetonka-side patio.

Meanwhile, on Mears Park

Public Kitchen + Bar (229 E. 6th St., St. Paul, www.public kitchenstpaul.com) is now serving lunch and dinner daily in its home (designed by Wilkus Architects of Eden Prairie) in the Park Square Court building.

Chef Greg Johnson (formerly of Kincaid’s and the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant) is focusing his efforts on steaks, seafood and house-made pastas in the upper-level dining room and small plates to complement the cocktail and wines-by-the-glass menus in the lower-level lounge.

Toasting 20 years in Northeast Minneapolis

The Modern Cafe (337 13th Av. NE., Mpls., www.moderncafe minneapolis.com) is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week by trading its regular evening menu (yes, a pot roast-free week in northeast Minneapolis) for a series of six-course dinners that continue through Friday.

For $55, diners can enjoy courses created by past Modern chefs, including Phillip Becht of the soon-to-open Victor’s on Water (205 Water St., Excelsior, www.victorson waterstreet.com), Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Co. (www.redtablemeatco.com), Scott Pampuch of the University of Minnesota and Matt Morgan of the Bachelor Farmer (50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., www.thebachelor farmer.com). No reservations.

On Saturday, Modern chef de cuisine Ella Wesenberg, along with co-owner Jim Grell, are throwing a fried chicken-and-sides dinner. The details are still being hammered out, but this much is certain: “It’s going to be cheap,” said Grell.

Rick Nelson

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