Dining Dish: Spring Unleashes a Slew of New

Are you a downtown Minneapolis working and feeling just a bit peckish? There’s good news. The Hen House is now open and serving breakfast, lunch and dinner inside the former Peter’s Grill space. The room has been modernized and given a sunny makeover, plus they’ve added a full bar. They use local ingredients and have a menu filled with foods to please all eaters from traditional breakfast dishes, a bakery case, gluten-free options and did I say cocktails? Because, cocktail + bacon = the keys to my heart. Happy hour starts at 2 and runs until 7 p.m.

The Public Kitchen and Bar is coming to Lowertown. The space nestled between Barrio and Bin Wine Bar. Points to owner Carol March for resisting the alliteration temptation. March is a real estate agent who has long been involved in various ways with the restaurant industry. Renovations on the historic building facing Mears Park are under way. Lunch will be served on the main level with a lower level opening for dinner service. She plans to open in early summer.

I was giddy to read the names of Paul Berglund (of The Bachelor Farmer) and Thomas Boemer (of Corner Table) on Food & Wine’s list for Best New Chef Midwest People’s Choice. The key is to vote early and often—that list is stacked with names of other guys from around the middle of the country. What they don’t know is that we have got the best right here in Minneapolis. The only way to show them is to vote like mad for your favorite hometown food hero.

The other night I had the pleasure of attending a Chef’s Night Off cooking class with Chef Thomas Kim of The Rabbit Hole inside Kitchen in the Market. Not only was it a total blast, we learned to make kimchi and a killer fried rice (there might have been karaoke and I might have sung myself hoarse), but the active shared commercial kitchen was buzzing with other workings. I caught a glimpse of a grinning JP Samuelson and his crew from the forthcoming 6 Smith doing some menu testing. Their restaurant will be out in Wayzata and will mostly likely be worth the drive even for those outside the Western suburbs. Just another reason I love taking classes inside KITM. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s all about, they have upcoming classes with Thomas Boemer and Jack Riebel. Someone ask Jack what his next project is, because he has been a little too good at keeping that secret from us.

A couple of closings to report, The Belmore has shuttered andGoby’s, the St. Paul watering hole on Snelling and Randolph has called it quits. The space won’t be dark for long. A Crooked Pint Ale House will be taking its place.

And if you’re looking for some cocktail events, there are two upcoming that I’m looking forward to. Zen Box Izakaya has teamed with Easy and Oskey, the make your own bitters company and Sweet Science, the craft ice cream makers for a one of a kind dinner event. They’ll be serving a flight of ramen dishes, 7 courses, paired with cocktails and ice cream. The event is this Sunday from 6—10 p.m. and tickets are $70 and include all the food, ice cream, and cocktails.

Bradstreet Crafthouse, home of the craft cocktails is shaking things up for their birthday by bringing home several of their one-time workers who have gone on to greatness. Shawn Jones of Coup d’Etat, Robb Jones of Saffron and more will join Bradstreet’s head bartender Jennifer Boutell in mixing some memorable drinks on Sunday April 27th beginning at 7 p.m.. There will be food, in addition to the drinkable booze arts, live jazz, and some other special performers. If you’re at all interested in the cocktail movement, this will be the spot to rub elbows with the top tastemakers in town. Tickets are limited and available for $40.

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