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Counter Intelligence: Spiffed-up Basil's opening next week

  • August 30, 2006 - 3:34 PM

Spiffed-up Basil's opening next week

After closing for a top-to-bottom renovation, Basil's Restaurant (710 Marquette Av., Minneapolis) is reopening Tuesday. The Marquette Hotel dining room, famous for its third-floor balcony overlooking the IDS Crystal Court, is getting a $750,000 makeover that covers everything from new furniture and wall and floor coverings to remade menus by chef Mark Stankey.

One element that didn't change: the Mary Tyler Moore table, the front-row center balcony spot that the actress made famous in the opening credits of her eponymous 1970s sitcom.

"It's the most requested table in the city," said Basil's manager Dan Meador. "We could never get rid of it."

Suburban growth

First the northern 'burbs, and now the southwest ones. The owners of Canyon Grille (3490 Northdale Blvd., Coon Rapids) have expanded to a second suburban location: 13000 Technology Dr. in Eden Prairie, the former home of Bilimbi Bay and the Pickled Parrot.

The first thing to go was the island decor. "It looks a lot nicer now," co-owner Ann Peterson said with a laugh. "When we walked in for the first time, it required a lot of visualizing."

The wood-roasted lunch-dinner fare resembles its Coon Rapids sibling, with one addition: pizza. A new chef's bar offers views of the kitchen; tasting dinners (by executive chef Jeff White) are coming soon. The restaurant's wine emphasis made the move, with a slightly pared list ("We don't have as much storage room in Eden Prairie," said Peterson). Another holdover? The big patio, with views of the Purgatory Creek wetlands.

Last week was a busy one for the Canyon Grille crew. Along with opening a new location, the restaurant also catered (foie gras tartlets, caviar-topped lox blinis) a political fundraiser for Sixth Congressional District candidate Michelle Bachmann, attended by President Bush. "We're making all kinds of waves," said Peterson.

RICK NELSON

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