Bradstreet Craftshouse returns, now on Lowry Hill
It’s back. Minneapolis’ first high-octane cocktail venue has returned after a brief hiatus, in a new location.
Bradstreet Craftshouse, formerly downtown, now occupies the former Rye Deli (1930 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., bradstreetcraftshouse.com). The move comes with a reinvention: Chef Blake Meier is taking a neighborhood restaurant approach to his dinner-only menu (and serving an abbreviated version until 2 a.m. daily).
The bar has branched out, too. “I have a bit of mixology fatigue,” said co-owner Ben Graves with a laugh. “We’ll still offer esoteric cocktails, but we’re not saying no if you want a gin and tonic.”
Graves and his wife, Lindsay, are responsible for the handsome top-to-bottom renovation, which naturally plays homage to early Minneapolis interior designer John S. Bradstreet.
New and notable
Il Foro (36 S. 7th St., Mpls., www.il-foro.com) is now serving chef Joe Rolle’s Italian cooking at lunch (Monday through Friday) and dinner (daily) in the former (and glorious) art deco home of the Forum Cafeteria in City Center.
Lela (5601 W. 78th St., Bloomington, lelarestaurant.com) is now open for lunch and dinner daily. Chef John Mullen III (formerly of 6Smith and Bank) and Wischermann Partners corporate chef Oscar A. La Fuente are focusing on pastas, crudo and steaks, with a complement of small plates, salads and sandwiches. The restaurant is located in the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, formerly the Hotel Sofitel.
The brick-and-mortar edition of Big River Pizza (280 E. 5th St., St. Paul, bigriverpizza.com) is opening “very soon,” said chef/owner Steve Lott. The restaurant is located across the street from the St. Paul Farmers Market in the Lofts at Farmers Market. Lott is planning to start with dinner service and will add lunch as the kitchen gains experience. Meanwhile, “I suspect we’ll be doing some lighter breakfast menu items at the Farmers Market this weekend, and then some slices in the evening,” he said.
After 15 years — first in Linden Hills, and for the past five years in the 50th-and-France commercial district — lovely Rice Paper (3948 W. 50th St., Edina, www.ricepaperrestaurant.com) is closing.
“I feel the need to make a transition to another phase of my life,” said owner An Nguyen in a note to her customers. “I will be taking some time off to allow myself to listen to life’s whispering invitation to other journeys.”
The restaurant’s last day is June 30, so hurry in for one last taste of the kitchen’s one-of-a-kind grilled tofu, the green onion Chinese pancakes and what might be the area’s best spring rolls. And be sure to take the opportunity to salute Nguyen for her work as a restaurateur, not only at Rice Paper but at Matin, her groundbreaking Vietnamese restaurant that graced the Minneapolis Warehouse District in the 1980s.
Pie, no more
The Four Inns (101 E. 5th St., St. Paul), a beloved 45-year-old breakfast-and-lunch tradition on the St. Paul skyway, served its last slice of pie last week.
When Business Insider turned its attention to determining the nation’s 14 best French restaurants, it should come as no surprise that La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., Mpls., www.labellevie.us) landed on the list. Chef/owner Tim McKee’s restaurant is in heady company: Jean-Georges, Per Se, Eleven Madison Park, La Bernardin and Daniel (New York City) and the French Laundry (Yountville, Calif.) all made the cut. See the complete list at tinyurl.com/o46he4p.
Meanwhile, in Italy
Follow the exploits of chefs Lenny Russo (Heartland Restaurant & Wine Bar) and Sean Sherman (Tatanka, the soon-to-launch food truck) as they cook — and represent Minnesota — at Expo Milano 2015 in Milan, Italy. Check out their diary at www. startribune.com/tabletalk.