The renovated Target Center comes with a refurbished menu for the masses in time for the Minnesota Timberwolves home opener Oct. 20.
At a media preview Tuesday, restaurateur-chef David Fhima unveiled the new offerings and created a buzz with Moroccan spiced organic chicken tulips with Gorgonzola sauce. He calls them tulips because the meat on the drumstick is pushed toward the top, providing many plump, juicy mouthfuls of meat. They are marinated in spices for days before being cooked and sold several to a bucket for $12.
“The old days of picking on the Timberwolves food [are] over,” Fhima said by way of introduction. “We’re going to have great food in a great arena.”
Target Center has been undergoing a $140 million renovation for the past two years that will be complete for the opener. Fans will be able to enter the building from an airy multistory atrium. They’ll see concourses with wood and metal finishes and large drum lights that give the building a warm, modern feel, a marked change from the chilly, utilitarian concrete of old.
Last year, Fhima, executive chef to the Wolves and the Lynx, revealed new food options for the fanciest seats in the building. Now he and Chicago-based concessionaire Levy Restaurants are giving the masses more options.
In addition to Fhima’s chicken, the Parlour Burger from Borough and Parlour in downtown Minneapolis was popular with media Tuesday.
Lord Fletcher’s on Lake Minnetonka will offer a fresh walleye sandwich. SotaRol, in south Minneapolis, will sell sushi burritos. City Girl Coffee is selling espresso in Sections 188 & 136.
There will be French fries piled with cheese and pulled pork, pork burgers, free-range chicken tenders, stir-fry chicken, kimchi hot dogs, brats and organic chocolate chip cookies. All the sandwiches and burgers will be served on rolls and buns from Fhima’s low-yeast method.
For those who prefer more middle-of-the-road arena food, such as nachos, hot dogs and popcorn, that will still be readily available, but Fhima said he’s trying to sell food with “honest,” whole, well-sourced ingredients.
Until now, the 27-year-old Target Center trailed newer Twin Cities sports venues in terms of comfort, amenities and updated culinary offerings.
Through a sales tax, the public is paying $74 million of the renovation tab. Timberwolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor, who also owns the Star Tribune, is paying $58 million. Building operator AEG paid almost $6 million.