Edit ModuleShow Tags

Upscale Indian Is Coming at Dancing Ganesha



Published:

You know what the Twin Cities desperately needs? An exciting Indian restaurant. Aside from a few Hyderabadi restaurants that have opened lately, the Twin Cities–Indian dining scene has seemed really dull lately. You’ve got your northern-everything restaurants, with the chicken tandoori, shrimp jalfrezi, and tamarind chutney out of jars; and then you’ve got your southern-vegetarian restaurants, with lentil everything—and tamarind chutney out of jars. Sure, there’s the tiny, scrappy Kabobs, which actually specializes in Hyderabadi cuisine. For that matter, there’s Hyderabad House in northeast Minneapolis. But deep in my heart, I feel that Indian food is one of the world’s best cuisines, and we’re kind of missing out around here.

That all may be on the verge of changing. Why? Because Dancing Ganesha is scheduled to open April 29 in the old Willie’s Wine Bar spot (at the southern end of downtown Minneapolis, not far from Loring Park). The owners and consulting chefs tell me that Dancing Ganesha is going to be the Twin Cities first upscale, contemporary, ingredient-first Indian restaurant. That consulting chef is Twin Cities legend Heather Jansz, who ran St. Paul’s dearly departed Curry Leaf during the 1990s. The owner is Santal Vishwantha, who also owns Nala Pak, the Columbia Heights restaurant that many people believe offers the best southern-vegetarian Indian cuisine in Minnesota (and that many still refer to by its former name, Udupi).

So, what did they tell me? That Dancing Ganesha will have cocktails, a full bar, and a fine-dining Indian chef, a man who has been working in Texas, but previously worked in Singapore. That one Sunday a month, Heather Jansz may do a Sri Lankan night, which would mean that Twin Citians would have access to a real rijsttafel for the first time in, what, a decade? (If you are longing for rijsttafel right this second, you can arrange for Heather to cater one in your home. That’s what she’s been doing all these years: catering—and teaching private-cooking classes in people’s homes. She does some for groups of mothers and school-age kids that sound particularly interesting. Find more information at heatherjansz.com.)

But back to the restaurant. “We’re trying to have a different menu than the Bombay Bistros and New Delhi [restaurants] have,” Santal Vishwantha tells me. “Those people who want to stay in the chicken-tandoori comfort zone will find some familiar items, but for the explorers there will be another set of products.” Well, it’s about time. I’m sick of all this tamarind chutney in a jar.

Of course, forecasted restaurant openings are notoriously variable. Vishwantha tells me the best way to know when the spot is open will be to watch their website: www.dancingganesharestaurant.com.

Dancing Ganesha

1100 Harmon Place, Minneapolis
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

A True Farm-to-Table Dinner: Cedar + Stone Celebrates Farmers

Farmers get a special "thank you" dinner at JW Marriott's Cedar + Stone, Urban Table restaurant at Mall of America

Minnesota Wine Country: What’s New at the Minnesota State Fair

Enjoy local wines, hard cider, wine slushies, free food and wine demos and more at the Great Minnesota Get-Together

The Best (and Worst) Food Delivery Services

Twin Cities restaurant-to-your-door services, ranked

Gamertainment Go-Tos

Check out eight Twin Cities eateries to get your game on

New Specialty Brews and Beverages at the 2018 Minnesota State Fair

Quench your thirst with 40 specialty brews and beverages—here is a complete list of the 27 new and 13 returning beverages found only at this year’s Great Minnesota Get-Together

New Hotel, Great Restaurants: Stillwater Is Blowing Up

Lora Hotel, Feller Restaurant, Pearl and the Thief—what's going on in Stillwater!?

North Loop Destination: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea

Espressos, teas, cold brews, and elixirs mean there’s something for everyone at North Loop’s new coffee and tea café

Berry Love Plus Berry Shortcake with Lime Whipped Cream Recipe

Everyone loves berries—including Justin Timberlake, the creator of the "brasberry"—but it just so happens the Twin Cities loves them more than most

3 Things to Eat This Week: July 25-29

Eat like a kid in summer: root beer popsicles, corncobs, Cubanos
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags