It’s been a busy week in the restaurant world, with these exciting openings in the Twin Cities.
When Rose Street Patisserie moved out of Linden Hills, chef Daniel Del Prado took over the space that shares a back door with his Italian-Argentine spot, Martina. The new restaurant is finally here, and it’s leaning into Del Prado’s fascination with Sicily as a crossroads of world cultures.
Rosalia is a counter-service pizzeria (no reservations) with two kinds of pizza: Neapolitan pies, but crispier; and fugaza, which Del Prado describes as Argentine focaccia “with a lot of cheese.”
On research trips to Sicily, Del Prado was struck by the influences of Middle Eastern, ancient Greek and Phoenician civilizations on the island’s cuisine.
“I love where you can see the history through food,” he said. Those flavors come through in a section of the menu devoted to sauces and dips (think baba ghanoush and chicken liver pâté). A few crudos, vegetable sides and salads round out the menu.
“I know it looks all over the place, but seriously, everything makes sense,” Del Prado said.
The Naples-made wood-fire oven is tiled with the name of the restaurant, which nods to the Sicilian saint and to the former occupant of the space, John Kraus and Elizabeth Rose’s French bakery. That oven dominates the space, which Del Prado has decked out with plants and candles, but keeps casual.
“It’s a little more relaxed than Colita and Martina. You don’t have to dress up. But if you want to make it kind of like a date night, you can do that.”
Rosalia is starting with dinner only, but might add daytime service later this fall.
2811 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-345-5494. Open 4-9 p.m. Sun.-Thur., and 4-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Airport eateries are often inspired by brick-and-mortar restaurants, but in the case of Sidebar at Surdyk’s, it’s the other way around.
“For years, everyone always asked us when are you going to put a restaurant streetside so I don’t have to take a flight to eat your food,” said co-owner Molly Surdyk. She’s referring to the now-closed and much-loved Surdyk’s Flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, which was the inspiration for Sidebar, a new neighborhood restaurant within the footprint of the northeast Minneapolis liquor store.
“We took the same premise from Surdyk’s Flights, but enhanced it a whole bunch,” Surdyk said. “We obviously have a lot of wine, approachable good stuff everyone is used to, as well as some surprises.”
The menu draws on the cheese shop’s greatest hits with cheese and charcuterie boards, and adds heartier fare such as burgers and cheese curds, steak frites, clams, wontons, seasonal salads and brunch.
The space seats 34 inside and 30 on the patio, with a garage door in between that will stay open as long as the weather allows.
But the bar is the centerpiece — quite literally, as the rest of the restaurant surrounds the 19-seat copper-topped oval. (Those seats are off-limits for now due to the pandemic.) “We have prided ourselves on the knowledge of our wine consultants and the experience you have when you come into our liquor store and cheese shop,” Surdyk said. “Now we have all that great stuff in one place and we can serve it to you and talk to you about it.”
And should one of the store’s many wines interest you, there’s only an $8 corkage fee to open a non-menu bottle at your table.
During the renovation, the cheese shop got an upgrade, too. It’s still stocked with grab-and-go and prepared items, and there’s a new walk-up window for morning coffee and pastries.
After four generations in the business, how does it feel for Surdyk’s to begin a new chapter? “Really, really fun,” Surdyk said.
303 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls. Open 4 p.m.-late Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-late Fri.-Sun.
After surveying the prospects of the 2020 food truck landscape, the ownership behind the popular Alimama’s Sambusa Mediterranean Grill decided to pivot in a different direction. Enter fried chicken.
Fusing the spiced-up Nashville Hot fried chicken style with traditional flavors of the owners’ Ethiopian backgrounds, the Nashville Coop brand launched two food trucks this spring. It has now gone brick-and-mortar, taking over the fryers at the former Mac’s Fish & Chips on Snelling Avenue, on a strip that is increasingly becoming a restaurant hot spot.
“We’ve been getting tons of requests for a brick and mortar and it couldn’t be a better time to get one up and running as the food truck season unwinds,” said co-owner Arif Mohamed.
The trucks are parked for now, but Mohamed said they will be back at breweries and private events soon.
Look for the same hit menu, including the hot chicken “sammich,” plus new additions such as chicken and waffles.
300 S. Snelling Av., St. Paul. Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Wendy Puckett began making soul rolls — egg rolls filled with soul food — to get her kids to eat more vegetables. Now the North Side community stalwart is scaling up.
Her six-year-old Wendy’s House of Soul has moved from a counter inside a convenience store to a full-fledged brick-and-mortar spot in Minneapolis’ Harrison neighborhood. And with more space comes more soul rolls. Try them stuffed with a three-cheese macaroni, Reuben sandwich filling, a Sunday turkey dinner, gyro meat, or create your own.
There are also three flavors of wings, a deep-fried burger or deep-fried chicken sandwich, waffles, salads and fried dessert pockets.
1825 Glenwood Av., Mpls., 612-800-4535. Open 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat.
No longer a pop-up, Bellecour Bakery is taking up permanent residence inside Cooks of Crocus Hill. Bellecour pastry chef Diane Moua and her team moved their kitchen from its former home in Wayzata (the restaurant and bakery closed in July) into the cooking school space at Cooks.
After a brief closure to renovate, the new digs open Saturday, Sept. 19 with an expanded menu of savory items such as deviled eggs, a BLT croissant, salmon tartine and kale salad.
208 N. 1st St., Mpls, 612-223-8167. Open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.
Plus three more restaurants that opened recently:
House-milled matcha, gongfu tea service, and sweet and savory snacks all are available at this new spot that pays reverence to East Asian tea culture.
“Most matcha in the U.S. has been milled in a factory at least several months ago, then shipped overseas,” explained owner Simon Parish about the signature offering at his new tea house. “As a powder, the quality of the tea degrades much faster. We, on the other hand, purchase full-leaf tea cultivated specifically for milling into matcha, so the freshness of the flavor is preserved much longer. It really tastes like no other matcha I’ve tried.”
224 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-321-8215. Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
A food truck easily spotted in New York City for being yellow as a taxi, has opened its first store outside the Big Apple, on Level 3 West of the Mall of America. Wafels refers to its Liege-style Belgian waffles, crisp with caramelized sugar. Dinges (Belgian for “whatchamacallits”) are the toppings: strawberries, fudge, “spekuloos” gingerbread cookies and more.
Mall of America, 60 E. Broadway, Bloomington. Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. daily.
The burger joint, from Smack Shack owners Josh Thoma and Kevin Fitzgerald and chef Nick O’Leary, has opened its first stand-alone restaurant in the former Bay Street Grill in St. Paul. In addition to their two-patty smash-burgers, the new spot offers breakfast and biscuits from Betty & Earl’s Biscuit Kitchen. (You can also get Burger Dive in Rosedale Mall’s wondrous Potluck food hall. But its first location, at the back of Tony Jaros River Garden, is now closed.)
731 Randolph Av., St. Paul. Open 8 a.m.-midnight Mon.-Sat., and 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.
Staff writer Rick Nelson contributed to this report.