Order Up! As we enter the New Year, we say goodbye to some long-time favorite restaurants

Updated January 2, 2020 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.  THIS WEEK’S GIST: New Year’s may mark new beginnings … [ Read more]

Next Gen: These young people are staking a claim in the future of their fields

  It’s always entertaining to guess about the future. What are the trends and movements that will define food, drink, and culture in the next generation? But instead of always asking “what’s next?” perhaps we should be asking “who’s next?” These Minnesotans got in on the ground floor of their industries and movements at a … [ Read more]

A Star is Born: Estelle dazzles with Iberian- and Italian-inspired fare

Whatever else you eat at Estelle, you’ll come back for the pastéis de nata. When these humble-looking, eggy little custard tarts hit the table at the new Spanish-Portuguese-Italian spot in the former Bottle Rocket space in St. Paul, they might not look like much, but they will put a hook in you. These perfectly flaky … [ Read more]

New Wave, Old School: With Due Focacceria, Eric Carrara leverages tradition to define the future

The crunch of a cannoli at St. Paul’s Due Focacceria really resonates. It’s not just a question of the shell, which is wrapped around a form, fried to a crispy, bubbled tube, and then filled to order. And it’s not just a question of the perfectly textured miniature chocolate chips that stud the lemon-zested cannoli … [ Read more]

2019 Year in Review: Food

Country flavors, quality ‘Q, and numerous reboots define a busy culinary year in Minnesota Some years it can be hard to make much sense of the “food story” in any given place. Restaurants open and close, people come and go, and patterns seem faint or downright illusory. 2019 was not one of those years. 2019 … [ Read more]

Order Up! The closure of two old-school Italian joints suggest the end of an era

Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.  THIS WEEK’S GIST: There’s probably nothing to the closure, within a couple of … [ Read more]

Review: Welcome to Willards – Cambridge’s fine dining star is a community space to savor

For anyone who has followed the story of chef Erick Harcey’s career, a dinner at Willards in Cambridge, Minnesota, feels like the richly deserved product of years of effort and evolution. From his time at Victory 44 in North Minneapolis to the breakout effort at Parka on East Lake Street to the briefly shining high-end … [ Read more]

Country Flavor: New London’s Model Citizen is poised to shape the future of Minnesota food

Minnesota cooks are going wild. Established chefs laden with talent are packing up their knives and fleeing Minneapolis–St. Paul. From Moose Bear Wolf in Ely to Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail, and from the Falls Landing supper club in Cannon Falls to Willard’s in Cambridge, chefs with the chops and drive to make it … [ Read more]

Bold New Farmer: A renewed Bachelor Farmer is positively vibrant

Since its 2011 debut, The Bachelor Farmer has been among Minnesota’s most ambitious restaurants, combining a loose Scandinavian aesthetic with a farm-to-table mandate. In the years since opening, the restaurant has settled into a comfortable niche: a polished, reliable, Scandi-cute fixture of the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Even with the presence of the co-located … [ Read more]

Northern Lights: Talent and ambition powers the dining room of Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail

Ask a handful of Minnesotans about going “up north” and you’ll probably get a cluster of different responses that share a few things in common. Up north isn’t a specific place, although many people have a place in mind. It’s not a where, it’s a what—a slower pace of life, a retreat from the lacerating … [ Read more]

Order Up! Dining scene in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood heating up

Updated March 14, 2019 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot. THIS WEEK’S GIST: The Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis may … [ Read more]

Whirlwind Tour: Minneapolis Skyway Dining

To an infrequent visitor, the streets of downtown Minneapolis can seem cold and sterile. Where any other city’s core would be filled with the bustle of crowds on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks, Minneapolis’ downtown looks suspiciously like the set of “I Am Legend.” This, we contend, is simply because the casual visitor does … [ Read more]

For Minnesota’s Restaurant Scene, 2018 Was a Hell of a Year

The state of independent restaurants in Minnesota in 2018 is not merely strong; it’s exceptionally strong. A number of high-profile openings and announced expansions leave diners with a glittering galaxy of choices that will only continue to brighten as we move into 2019. First and foremost: Carefully curated mini-empires are expanding incrementally and wisely to … [ Read more]

Minnesota Restaurant Openings and Closing in 2018

The restaurant business is famously volatile, and 2018 in Minnesota was par for the course—dozens of high-profile spots opened or closed their doors in an environment rife with change. But the continued shift of entertainment dollars into dining is still paying dividends for the industry, and openings outnumbered closings as an already lively scene gathered … [ Read more]

Culinary partners J.D. Fratzke and Matty O’Reilly part ways with a handshake

A quest for work-life balance has led to an amicable parting of ways at one of the metro’s most prominent restaurant groups. J.D. Fratzke, the chef-entrepreneur whose work at The Strip Club Meat and Fish made him a regional standout, has worked as a culinary director over the past three years for Matty O’Reilly to … [ Read more]