There’s lots to love about the new Heidi’s. For starters, it’s open again (as of Tuesday) after a nearly year-long hiatus caused by a kitchen fire. Its new space (in Minneapolis’s Lyn-Lake neighborhood) is cheery and comfortable, and the dining area seems slightly more roomy and somewhat less deafening than the old Heidi’s dining rooms. The plates of barramundi, roasted pork, and truffle-oil-laced pappardelle we scarfed down suggest that the husband-wife team behind the eatery, Heidi and Stewart Woodman (of Shefzilla fame), haven’t lost their deft touch, and the buzz at a preview dinner we attended last weekend suggested we weren’t alone in our opinion.
But one of the best things about the new Heidi’s is the bar. Just inside the entry, the 15-seat bar is little more than a waiting area, but the handcrafted cocktails invented and served up by Heidi’s young mixologist, Lauren Cantine, nearly led us to give up our table for a few more hours slumped over the bar. The “gin smash” contained macerated raspberries, cranberries, and just the right amount of sweetness. A presumably seasonal rum concoction played on the holiday fruitcake theme, but it wasn’t anything you’d ever prefer to regift. And the bartender’s experiment with sweet vermouth and house-made celery-root bitters may be the most innovative martini we’ve had in years.
Be sure to call for reservations, but don’t forget to arrive a little early or linger a while after for a stop at the bar. After all, a proper “Welcome back, Heidi’s!” toast is in order.
2903 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3512, heidismpls.com