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Wayzata hotel and restaurant to debut in June

For now, envisioning the eventual ninetwentyfive restaurant at the upcoming The Landing hotel in Wayzata, takes a lot of imagination.

But while exposed studs and hard hats rule the space at the moment, all hands on deck are barreling toward at June opening.

The hotel itself – Wayzata’s first in 53 years – will hold 92 rooms (including a handful of plush suites), 31 condos and a full-service spa, and will fully open to the public on June 16 after a series of soft openings. It’s taking reservations for anything past that date now.

A two-story fireplace will be the centerpiece of the lobby area, and a “fireside room” upstairs will serve as wine storage and a venue for private events and wine tastings.

The restaurant, headed by former Lucia chef Ryan Lund, will debut at the same time as the hotel in a 5,628-foot space with 285 seats between the downstairs and mezzanine levels (including the bar) and a patio that will run parallel to Lake Street.

But most other details of the place? The name? The food? Well, that’s all being kept pretty close to the vest.

Last week, Lund, who came on board about a month ago, began working in earnest on the menus, and is ready to start tasting his goods – but not telling anyone what they are.

Expect, however, for there to be plenty of nods to his old haunt, Lucia’s, where he helmed the kitchen for more than a decade.

“I think it’s around impossible after writing all those menus to completely change my style,” he said with a grin. “But the only thing I’m going to say about it is it needs to be the best.”

Dawnette Meadows, most recently at Crave, will act as the food and bar director. Beyond having a strong wine program, Lund also hinted that bourbon will be a focus at the rectangular bar in the middle of the eatery – but don’t take that to mean that the restaurant itself will be southern leaning, he noted.

A small platform in the bar area will act as a music venue for jazz brunches and other small bands in the evenings.

“It’s going to be a place to go after being on the boat all day and sit down at the bar,” Lund said. “But it also has to be a place that people will go for their anniversaries or to propose. And we want to really key in on the business traveler, too. We’re going to have an awesome breakfast that starts at 6 a.m.”

North Loop news: A change in chefs for the Hewing Hotel's Tullibee

Open just four months, and there’s already a change at the top at Tullibee, the handsome restaurant in the new Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood.

Chef Grae Nonas, recruited with some fanfare from Austin, Texas, to Minneapolis, is leaving the restaurant.

His replacement? It’s another out-of-towner. He’s Bradley Day, and he’s coming to town armed with an impressive and varied resume. A native Australian, Day trained at TAFE International Western Australia in Perth, then spent a half-dozen years in London, cooking for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Gordon Ramsay before moving on to the London branch of Asia de Cuba.

In 2003, that gig brought him to the United States, and Day became executive chef of the New York City outpost of Asia de Cuba. He continued to work for restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and his China Grill Management, opening Center Cut (a contemporary steakhouse), Bar Basque (Spanish), Kutsher’s Tribeca (a “modern Jewish-American” deli) for the company (all have subsequently closed). In 2015, Day became executive chef of STK Downtown, the New York City outpost of an upscale steakhouse/lounge chain run by the One Group.

Day is drawn to Minneapolis by the “opportunity to work with the fresh and seasonally diverse ingredients provided by the city’s many nearby farmers, purveyors and freshwater fisherman,” according to a statement. And, yes, Tullibee’s Nordic sensibilities and cooking style will remain in place, said a Hewing spokeswoman.

Day (pictured, above, in a provided photo) is scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis next month.

As for Nonas, he remains at Tullibee “and is currently slated to stay through mid-April to assist with transition,” said the spokeswoman. “There are no confirmed plans for him currently but he will remain in Minneapolis.”

During his brief tenure at Tullibee, Nonas (a 2015 Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef) made quite a splash. Not only does he prepare what is easily the city’s tastiest lefse, but Nonas captured top honors at last month’s Cochon555, the annual competition that pits five of the region’s top chefs against one another in a heritage pork cook-off. He’ll compete with nine other regional finalists in the national Cochon555 in October in Chicago.

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