The prime Calhoun Square space formerly known as Figlio -- let's face it, will anyone remember it as Il Gatto, its short-lived replacement? -- isn't going to be dark for long.
That's because Primebar will soon be lighting up the corner of Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue S. in Uptown Minneapolis.
The Primebar format has the bar shaking up specialty cocktails and pulling 40-plus draft beers, and the kitchen specializes in a long list of small plates (deviled eggs, shrimp-goat cheese bruschetta, barbecue pulled pork sliders) before moving into burgers, pastas and steaks and chops, all served in a contemporary setting.
Most small plates will be priced under $10, with most of the larger-plate options falling squarely in the mid-teens.
The restaurant and bar is part of the Chicago-based Restaurants-America, which operates a half-dozen concepts in Illinois, Florida, Arizona, Texas, Virginia and California.
"We're really excited that they picked Calhoun Square to be their first entry into this market," said Ken Seifert, the center's general manager. "We think that it's really going to add more diversity to the area."
A late spring/early summer opening is planned.
So long, farewell
Sorry to hear that Marcello's Pizza and Pasta has closed its doors after a 28-year run. The popular Plymouth restaurant, in the moribund Four Seasons mall, lost its lease. The mall was purchased by Wal-Mart in 2010.
On the calendar
No dinner plans tonight? The March guest-chef-in-residence event at the Walker Art Center's Gather (1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., www.walkerart.org) features Russell Klein of Meritage (410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, www.meritage-stpaul.com), who will be preparing a pair of complimentary additions to the restaurant's small plates menu. Check it out from 5 to 9 p.m.
The long-awaited Butcher & the Boar (1121 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.) is scheduled to debut its craft beers-bourbon-charcuterie strategy on Tuesday at 5 p.m., with chefs Jack Riebel and Peter Botcher in the kitchen and Jerald Hansen behind the bar.
Here's a delicious way to spend Monday evenings: Dining your way through Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," recipe by recipe, at Salut Bar Americain (5034 France Av. S., Edina, and 917 Grand Av., St. Paul, www. salutbaramericain.com).
Every Monday night, chefs C.J. Van Proosdy (Edina) and Anthony Leonhardi (St. Paul) select a recipe from the landmark (and famously labor-intensive) cookbook and prepare it for their guests. "It's a low-volume night, so we can take the time to do it right," said Van Proosdy. "We find a balance between staying true to the book but also making it accessible for our guests, to show them they can go home and do this."
Coming this Monday: Tournedos Henri the 4th, a simple filet steak on artichoke hearts with a canopy of bread and sauce béarnaise. "And the week after that we're doing duck en croûte, with veal sausage and a cherry demi-glace," said Van Proosdy.