After closing Heidi’s in October, chef Stewart Woodman has resurfaced. He’s now on the payroll at Kaskaid Hospitality, operator of Crave, Urban Eatery, Figlio, Union Rooftop, the recently opened BoneYard Kitchen & Bar and what is now the former Union Fish Market.
Yes, after just eight months of operation, Kaskaid chief Kam Talebi has pulled the plug on Union Fish Market in downtown Minneapolis.
What a shame. The issue certainly wasn’t chef Lucas Almendinger’s cooking (I gave the restaurant 3 ½ stars in December). The ground-floor space has never grabbed the same kind of attention that its dramatic rooftop counterpart enjoys.
Union Fish Market was preceded by Kaskaid’s initial (and similarly short-lived) Union concept, which debuted in November 2012 under chef Jim Christiansen, now chef/co-owner of the recently debuted Heyday.
As Kaskaid’s new culinary director, Woodman’s first duty is tackling that troubled 8th-and-Hennepin real estate. Kaskaid isn’t saying much more, only that the room is currently undergoing a renovation, and that more news will follow in the coming weeks.
The building’s popular rooftop restaurant is continuing, as is the lower-level nightclub.
Bill King, Kaskaid’s corporate executive chef, remains. As for Almendinger, he’s taking a brief respite to spend time with his newborn daughter, Arianna.
“It dawned on me that she’s only going to be six months old for 30 days, and I want to spend time enjoying that before jumping back into 70-hour work weeks,” he said. “This isn’t me leaving the industry, it’s an extended vacation to spend time with my family and get the lay of the land.”
As for his tenure at Union, “it was a great experience,” he said. “Kam is an awesome person to work for. He gave me a great opportunity, and was so supportive. There’s a massive amount of talent in that building, and Stewart has quite a pedigree, so the restaurant is in good hands.”
Another food truck goes brick-and-mortar
The Left Handed Cook’s departure from its counter service location at the Midtown Global Market created an opportunity for Hot Indian Foods owner Amol Dixit.
Now those who can’t get in line at the year-old orange truck can find chef Janene Holig’s inventive roti-wrapped burritos at the Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., www.hotindianfoods.com).
Dixit & Co. are starting quietly, with a lunch-only schedule through May 18, adding dinner service the next day.
At the farmers market
Two restaurant-related farmers market tips: Duluth’s remarkable Northern Waters Smokehaus (394 Lake Av. S., Duluth, 218-724-7307, www.northernwaterssmokehaus.com) will be making once-a-month appearances at the Kingfield Farmers Market (4310 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., www.kingfieldfarmersmarket.org, open Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.), selling a selection of its first-rate cured meats. The first appearance is May 18.
And when it begins in June, the Linden Hills Farmers Market (2813 W. 43rd St., Mpls., www.lhfm-mpls.com, open Sunday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) will offer two new programs. The first is a wholesale market, aimed at chefs, caterers and grocery buyers and held from 7 to 9 a.m.
The second is a planned how-to “Food Guru” stall, staffed by a rotation of chefs, bartenders, brewers and other food pros from around the Twin Cities.