Tenant, the tasting menu-only operation that’s taking over the former Piccolo space at 43rd and Bryant in south Minneapolis, is one major step closer to opening.
The restaurant is now accepting reservations. First day? May 11. Book a seat online, or by phone (612-827-8111).
“We’ll also take walk-ins, if there are available seats,” said co-owner Cameron Cecchini. “But we’re so small that we recommend giving us a call, or texting.” (That's Cecchni, left, and co-owner Grisha Hammes, outside their opening-soon restaurant; provided photo).
How small? Dinner will be served in an overlapping series of seatings for eight; three on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, with a fourth added on Friday and Saturday. (Yes, that’s a total of 24 diners on weeknights, and 32 on weekends). All dinners will commence at the top of the hour, starting at 6 p.m.
Diners will be seated in the dining room or at the kitchen counter.
“Some people prefer tables,” said Cecchini. “Personally, I like to be at the counter, I like to see what’s going on in the kitchen.”
Same here. The plan is to serve a six-course meal in roughly 90 minutes, at a $50 tab.
“People hear ‘tasting menu’ and automatically think ‘special occasion,’” said Cecchini. “We’re honored to do those nights. But we also want to break people out of that mindset. This is going to be a casual experience.”
Pasta will play a significant role (“I love cooking – and eating – pasta,” said Cecchini), headlining several courses (that's Tenant's dill-carrot pasta dough, above, in a provided photo). Others will focus on vegetables, fish and a more substantial meat entrée. As for dessert, “I’m very big on ice cream for dessert,” Cecchini said. “Just keep it simple, something sweet at the end of the meal.”
Cecchini and co-owner Grisha Hammes – both Piccolo vets -- have assembled their crew: Alex Dayton (a vet of Red Wagon Pizza, Piccolo, Borough and San Francisco’s Flour + Water) and Reed Evavold (his resume includes Piccolo, Tilia, Heyday, Corner Table and Brewer’s Table). The four of them will do the cooking, and the serving.
The renovation is progressing. Along with new flooring, finishes and paint in the dining room, the biggest change will be the addition of that kitchen counter, a process that involves opening up the wall that once separated Piccolo’s kitchen and dining room.
A final note: While diners will be presented with a set menu, the kitchen will make allowances for dietary restrictions.
“Just let us know ahead of time,” said Cecchini. “We’re in the hospitality industry. It’s our job to accommodate our guests.”