Walk into the just opened Meyvn (901 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-802-3848, mevyneats.com), and the first sensory experience is the hint of smoke that lingers in the air.
That campfire note is emanating from a small, glowing pile of white oak that lights up the left corner of “Liza,” the gas-assisted oven that dominates the restaurant’s wide-open kitchen.
Um, Liza? It’s because the gigantic oven’s exterior is covered in small, shiny tiles.
“We thought of a disco ball,” said chef/co-owner Adam Eaton with a laugh. “And the next thought was Liza. Liza Minnelli.”
Meyvn (it’s pronounced may-ven, and it’s Yiddish for connoisseur or expert, a highly applicable name) is the work of Eaton, Laurel Elm and Tim Niver, three of the outsized talents behind Saint Dinette in Lowertown.
Eaton and his crew bake their dense, chewy, deeply golden, hand-formed bagels on planks in Liza’s intense heat, starting them on the left — close to that burning oak — and, as they bake, sliding them to the right.
There are six varieties: plain, poppy seed, sesame seed, brown sugar, garlic-onion and everything, and they go for $2 a pop.
The generous cream cheese schmears ($3) range from plain to versions packed with green onions or smoked whitefish. There’s a hearty hummus, too. Proteins include a crisp-edged pastrami ($6), silky and sumptuous Nova lox ($9), corned beef ($5), bacon ($3) and an egg ($3).
A short roster of small plates includes that hummus with a tender house-baked pita, shakshuka fortified with chickpeas, latkes with apple butter, a challah monkey bread finished with chocolate and cream cheese icing, a tabbouleh salad and a half-dozen sandwiches, including a Reuben, a hot pastrami and a Rachel. The neighborly prices generally fall within the $8 to $13 range.
The mood changes at dinner, when Eaton beefs up the sandwich/small-plates selection with oven-roasted chicken, lamb skewers with saffron rice, pierogies stuffed with farmer’s cheese, oysters on the half-shell, whitefish roe with chips and chicken broth with a matzo ball, with most falling in the $14-and-under range.
Niver, Elm and Eaton have transformed the former home of Tinto (now at 4959 Penn Av. S.), making it lighter and brighter with a show-and-tell kitchen and an indoor-outdoor bar. There’s beer and wine, and friendly service at the counter.
From Minneapolis to St. Paul
“We’ve been talking about St. Paul, but building a whole new space always seemed so daunting,” said Bogart’s owner Anne Rucker. “But then Dave [Merryfield, Rucker’s husband and business partner] and I went to take a look, and we totally fell in love with it. This feels like a smart and easy way to dip into the St. Paul scene, and see if people like us over there.”
Rucker expects to feature all of her first-rate goodies at the new location: brioche raised doughnuts, glazed with brown butter icing or chocolate ganache, or filled with Nutella or vanilla bean buttercream, plus variations on cake doughnuts, which incorporate dried lavender or cold press coffee grounds.
“We may do a special that’s only available there,” Rucker said. “There are so many cool and amazing vendors at the market, and I’d love to collaborate with them and create special doughnuts.”
The market’s official opening date hasn’t been announced, but it’s coming later this summer, and Rucker hopes that her 10-by-10-foot outlet will be ready when the market opens.
Bogart’s started in 2011 as a stand at the Kingfield and Fulton farmers markets. A brick-and-mortar shop, located at 36th and Bryant in south Minneapolis, opened four years ago, and Rucker added an IDS Crystal Court kiosk in 2015.
“We started at a farmers market, and now we’re going into a food hall,” Rucker said. “I like that idea.”
Landing at the airport
That 12-story building that’s nearing completion outside (and connected to) Terminal 1 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport? It’s the InterContinental MSP Airport hotel (5005 Glumack Dr., ihg.com), and when it opens on July 14, it’s going to be home to several food-and-drink establishments, under the direction of chef John Occhiato.
The hotel’s first floor will feature La Voya — the name is inspired by the word voyageur — will take its cues from the French brasserie school of restaurants and will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Next door, the reincarnation of Bradstreet Craftshouse will focus on craft cocktails, locally brewed beers and casual fare ranging from pastrami sandwiches to curried chicken wings.
It’s the third location for the restaurant/bar, which started at the Graves 601 Hotel (now Loews) in downtown Minneapolis in 2009, relocated to a Lowry Hill address in 2015 and closed 13 months ago.
A second bar, Altitudes, will take full advantage of its top-floor perch and will feature wine and beer “flights” (get it?), light snacks and runway views.
Sweet success story
Certain amenities really make a neighborhood, don’t they?
Consider the smile-inducing abilities of ice cream shops. Specifically, just-opened Fletcher’s Ice Cream (1509 NE. Marshall St., Mpls., 612-345-4938, fletchersicecream.com).
Owners Jason Fletcher and Anil Prasad are churning out 16 ice cream flavors (top seller: a white chocolate-berry concoction, “but our pistachio is pretty darned good,” said Fletcher), along with espresso drinks and waffles, serving from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Fletcher left a career in the pharmaceutical industry to own a coffee shop, “with something to supplement it,” he said. “I did various Google searches on ‘What products make people happy?’ and ‘ice cream’ came up numerous times.”
He learned how to make ice cream by watching YouTube videos and then gleaning firsthand experience from a Florida ice cream shop owner.
“What I learned is not how to make great ice cream, but that ice cream is easy to make if you’re making it great,” Fletcher said. “If you use great ingredients, you make a great product. Cheap ice cream is actually difficult to make because you have to put all this stuff into it.”
The couple initially scouted real estate in Uptown, but eventually headed Northeast.
“Because Northeast has a need for ice cream,” Fletcher said. “It’s more affordable than Uptown, and we love the people. There’s a small-town feel, right here in the middle of the big city.”