Just in time for the Final Four, Minneapolis has another new hotel — sort of. It’s actually the former Hotel Minneapolis, now rebranded as the Emery.
And visitors and locals alike now have a couple reasons to peek inside that grand, marble-columned lobby.
Giulia, a northern Italian restaurant featuring housemade pasta, wood-fired pizza, and hand-pulled mozzarella, is now open. (215 S. 4th St., Mpls., 612-340-2000, dinegiulia.com)
On the other side of the Emery’s stunning ground floor is a new Spyhouse Coffee, downtown Minneapolis’s first.
Steven Brown of Tilia is attached to Giulia, in collaboration with the chef Josh Hedquist, formerly of Spasso in Minnetonka.
“You have the best of both worlds,” Hedquist said. “You’ve got some young crazy dude, and then you got like an old, local legend.”
Hedquist said the two chefs collaborated “50-50” on the menu. “I do more of the daily day-to-day stuff, and then I rely on his pedigree and experience to make sure we deliver a spectacular product.”
In addition to three pizzas (clam, a Naples-style margarita, and salumi), and two pastas, the lunch menu includes a couple of panini, soup and salads. A carne e pesce section expands the dinner menu, with veal Milanese, branzino saltimbocca and a pork chop.
At dinner, you can also get one of Hedquist’s signature dishes: hand-pulled mozzarella, made tableside.
Before Spasso, Hedquist, a Food Network challenge alum, cooked at the Copper Hen in Minneapolis. And before that, he worked in Miami, alongside chefs who hailed from Italy. He, however, has never been to the region that inspired Giulia.
The chefs he worked with “show you tricks that have been handed down over 2,000 years,” he said. “No, I’ve never been, but I feel like I have.”