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What's new in Duluth?

AnneInMpls May 27, 2010 11:48 AM

What are the new openings, closings, and culinary events in Duluth these days?

More importantly, did all my favorite places survive the winter? (Sarah's Table, Northern Waters Smokehaus, Kippis & Takk for Maten, Amazing Grace, etc.,etc., etc.) I'm worried about Kippis, because their web site has disappeared. I was hoping to send some friends there this weekend to sample their lovely Spring cocktail...

Anne

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Northern Waters Smokehaus
394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

Takk for Maten
11 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802

  1. The Dairy Queen Jun 22, 2012 05:55 AM

    Has anyone tried the pizza place that moved into the old Hells Kitchen space in Canal Park? http://vittapizza.com/index.html

    ~TDQ

    1. s
      soupkitten Sep 4, 2010 06:30 PM

      i'm the world's biggest shithead for not posting about all the meals we had in the duluth area. *hangs head.* sorry, i just didn't get around to putting my thoughts down earlier than now.

      duluth treated us very well, and we'd return to most places we dined.

      no particular order:

      amazing grace: breakfast. peaceful art-bakery vibe, with wifi, similar to may day or birchwood in minneapolis. good uncomplicated natural-ish (without getting too granola) food served by cheerful and sweet punk-hippies. rec the french toast made with house baked bread in slices 2" thick. this was in the same building as northern waters smokehaus, which smelled fantastic, but was closed at the time of day we were there.

      clyde iron works: light dinner/snack. this ambitious and obviously new restaurant is in a beautiful converted iron works warehouse. enjoyed the view of freight trains passing on tracks on the horizon while dining. less enjoyable were overeager waitstaff (to the point we felt rushed into ordering), who were flummoxed when we didn't order everything all at once, and were seemingly plucked from their former careers as perkins servers in order to work here. also while we were there, roving bands of seemingly unsupervised tweens played tag up and down the stairs, messed around on the indoor bocce ball court, and screamed. although none of this was the restaurant's fault, it got very noisy in the tiered space. the restaurant has wood fired ovens, their baked buffalo wings were exceptionally good, and an apple crisp was very good and unpretentious. the rest of the food was okay, nothing to write home about. the space is beautiful and this would be the place to rent out for a wedding or large event in duluth. great potential. fire and retrain servers.

      http://heavytable.com/clyde-iron-works-in-duluth-mn/

      duluth grill: brunch: this converted embers/denny's type building, now housing the independent duluth grill, is basically located in a motel 6 parking lot on the dingy side of town, and at first glance is unappealing-- i had trouble convincing dh to go there with me. inside, though, the place is clean, cheery and packed to the gills with locals enjoying good food-- indeed, the plates at the duluth grill are similar to what denny's food would be, if denny's food was really good. scratch made, not greasy, fresh vegetables, several steps above sysco-diner in every respect. nice, attentive and efficient staff. breakfast skillets are huge portions, served along with sides big enough to be a mini-breakfast in themselves, such as a cinnamon roll as big as your head, or pancakes. do yourself a favor-- if you're not a lumberjack, split breakfast with another person! of note, a selection of gluten-free menu items that borders on extensive.

      http://heavytable.com/duluth-grill-in...

      the anchor bar, superior WI: burgers: in the shadow of the john a blatnick bridge, also known as the wicked high the hell up in the air bridge, in superior WI, is a lovely area with empty lots and shuttered buildings, and inexplicably (or perhaps just because it's wisconsin), random bars every 100 yards or so, with nothing else around. among these unassuming taverns is the humble facade of the anchor bar. the interior is no less humble than the exterior-- in short, the place is a dump, a dive in every sense. dim light, a layer of cigarette smoke and greasy dust on the surface of the nautical paraphernalia which covers every wall surface within. patrons who look like fixtures at assigned barstools, dutifully punishing their livers at regular intervals. a flyer on the wall advertises $2 "pirate shots" (bartender's choice). after less than a minute of standing in this establishment, the thought occurs to you, for the first time, that bathing your entire body in hand sanitizer may not be at all unpleasant. my kinda place.

      having said all that, this place makes: fucking. transcendentally. delicious. burgers. the staff is not even surly, as i'd been warned, they were very nice people all around. and for the record, my review of the burgers here was completely sober-- i had a soda with my burger, and marveled at the pure and absolute greatness that emerged from such depths of squalor. any "pirate shots" that may or may not have been consumed came after the burger-- this burger, which i will remember always, and dream about on cold nights. it's enough to make me go all the hell the way back there again. rec: cashew burger.

      1. y
        yahooer Aug 23, 2010 03:50 AM

        Day was so foggy, we had to turn back before we got to the New Scenic Cafe. We reurned for dinner and am so glad we did. Started with Tuna Tacos which were amazing. On the recommendation of people at the next table, we added currried mussels which were so good, they might be illegal. Rounded out the meal with soup, fried grouper which I never even got to taste andhuckleberry mousse for dessert. Pretty much perfect. Great service. Wonderful room. Great location. Wish we had someplace like this at home. We loved New Scenic Cafe so much, we're coming back back to Duluth just to eat there. Lunch AND Dinner. It's only a 3 day drive.

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        New Scenic Cafe
        Duluth, MN, Duluth, MN

        1 Reply
        1. re: yahooer
          k
          kriminalrat Sep 4, 2010 04:57 PM

          Great recommendations in this thread. Northern does incredible charcuterie and smoked fish. Looking forward to stopping by. Any thoughts on farther up the shore closer to Lutsen./Grand Marais?

        2. rp1760 Jul 18, 2010 09:39 AM

          Thanks for the post, Anne. I will be making my annual summer trip to Duluth in mid-August, and was also wondering about the state of the restaurants. Good to know Takk is still in business!

          In April, the Pickwick was closed. Does anyone know the status now? I heard there would be new management (sad to see it leave the family) and not sure if it's worth a quick stop for nostalgia sake.

          Does anyone have any recent experieinces at Nokomis or New Scenic Cafe? I have such a hard time choosing between them.

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          Nokomis Restaurant & Bar
          5593 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

          New Scenic Cafe
          5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

          7 Replies
          1. re: rp1760
            s
            soupkitten Jul 18, 2010 09:50 PM

            i am also planning a whirlwind trip to duluth and am already shortlisting restaurants! thanks to Anne for starting the discussion.

            i'd love some local recs for: ice cream, freshwater fish, pie, and *your favorite* unique to duluth. . . tia

            1. re: soupkitten
              toshio Jul 19, 2010 07:38 AM

              The Pickwick is being remodeled and under new ownership. I always go for Nokomis over the New Scenic, I just feel the chef has a bit better hand at putting together dishes, Nokomis can be a bit understaffed as it is feast or famine on the Shore. Just had a a few items from the new summer menu and they were spectacular - gnocchi with duck confit and a cheese plate with grilled peach and fig were highlights - the outdoor deck and half price wine didn't hurt (Thursdays).

              There is a new outpost of the Cloquet Mexico Lindo in the Fitger's complex that has gotten good reviews and my daughter claims the makeover of the Radisson rotating restaurant to JJ Astor is a real success, better service , better atmosphere, and much much better food.

              I say the Rustic Inn in Castle danger has better pie than Betty's in Two harbors, well worth the additional 10 minute drive.

              No decent homemade ice cream that I know of, but the Portland Malt Shop next to Fitger's does a good job with malty tasting malts.

              Lots of folks with local fish - herring sandwich at the Pizza Luce on Fridays a good bet. (I think they have almond crusted walleye at the JJAstor).

              Watch out for traffic - no problem if you are used to TC traffic, but for us locals the ten extra minutes to get up the shore is an eternity.

              -----
              Nokomis Restaurant & Bar
              5593 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

              New Scenic Cafe
              5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

              Pizza Luce'
              11 E Superior St Ste 100, Duluth, MN 55802

              1. re: toshio
                rp1760 Aug 11, 2010 05:41 PM

                Thanks, Toshio. i am about a week away from my journey Up North. Anything else that should be considered by a foodie?

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                Up North
                514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703

                1. re: rp1760
                  toshio Aug 12, 2010 05:38 AM

                  Most has been said before: the Northern Waters Smoke Haus http://www.northernwatersmokehaus.com/ in the Canal Park area is great, I've been enjoying chunks from a link of their home made chorizo with breakfast for the last few weeks and I do like their sandwiches, IMHO the best foodie breads on a sandwich in Duluth.

                  Stopped back at Nokomis for just a dessert and a nightcap last week - yum, but I do miss the sampler of different Ice creams he used to do.

                  I have heard good things about the Ziegiest Cafe (associated with our new art movie house downtown) http://zeitgeistarts.com/ and the revised Lake Avenue Cafe http://www.lakeavenuecafe.com/ .

                  If you are up this weekend you can probably forget about the Canal Park restaurants as it is Blues Festival weekend and they will be busy (at least for Duluth).

                  Have fun and tell your friends about Duluth!

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                  Nokomis Restaurant & Bar
                  5593 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

                  Lake Avenue Cafe
                  394 S Lake Ave Ste 107A, Duluth, MN 55802

                  1. re: toshio
                    rp1760 Aug 14, 2010 06:02 PM

                    I am up there the week after Blues. I went for ten years in a row - it is a zoo!!!! Thanks for the tip on Ziegiest - I hope to get there.

                    1. re: toshio
                      scoopG Jul 20, 2011 06:46 AM

                      Agree about Northern Waters - had the Lake Superior Smoked Whitefish as well as the Smoked Trout and they were expertly prepared. They even helped prepare a makeshift cooler to help transport the two large pieces!

                      Lake Avenue Cafe presented a bit of a mixed bag. Perfectly done smoked octopus salad with charred tomatoes, lettuce, pancetta and an avocado vinaigrette. Lake Superior Fish Cakes were not good - no discernible of pieces of fish in the overly mixed cakes. Foie Risotto was served on polenta, not risotto. Probably should have ordered the Oxtail Lasagna!

                      A great marketplace - the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace that is!

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                      Lake Avenue Cafe
                      394 S Lake Ave Ste 107A, Duluth, MN 55802

              2. re: rp1760
                scoopG Jul 20, 2011 06:34 AM

                Nokomis Restaurant and Bar is a bit of a drive from Duluth - but a lovely and scenic one all the same! Excellent Pan Fried Smelt, Lake Superior Trout Cakes and Line Caught Halibut in a quiet, upscale setting. Beet Salad was serviceable. Attentive service. We passed New Scenic Cafe on the way there and their parking lot was filled. We were one of only four tables at NR&B. NR&B has a good few tables with great lake views as well as al fresco dining options.

              3. t
                takkformaten May 29, 2010 01:48 AM

                hey Anne, we are still here and open in the evenings, just going by one name now. We have the same cocktail list, and we've added a few new ones, such as the Fjord, a great Lingonberry martini, an absolutely wonderful mojito, and fresh sangria. Our new web site isn't up yet, but it will be soon, at www.takkformatencafe.com. We have some great wines and awesome lefse pizzas (my favorite is the Grilled Asparagus and Feta); I hope you and your friends can visit us soon!

                1 Reply
                1. re: takkformaten
                  AnneInMpls May 29, 2010 09:41 AM

                  Hooray! This is wonderful news! That Lingonberry martini has my name ALL over it. I wish I could hop in the car right away... But I'll be up there soon. And I've already told my friends. (I love web-enabled phones!)

                  Anne

                2. toshio May 27, 2010 01:39 PM

                  Sad story with Kippis, Ari lost his green card due to some delays getting paperwork filed, so he's back in Finland - partner to join him in a year or so. Takk for Maten now operating all day?

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                  Takk for Maten
                  11 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: toshio
                    AnneInMpls May 28, 2010 11:33 AM

                    Oh, such a bummer! I will really miss Kippis. But it's very good to know that Takk for Maten is still there. I wonder if they inherited the cocktail list....

                    Thanks,
                    Anne

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                    Takk for Maten
                    11 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802

                    1. re: AnneInMpls
                      scoopG Jul 20, 2011 06:28 AM

                      Yes, still going strong. Stopped in twice on a quick trip here. Really enjoyed the Lefse (Ham and Eggs Lefse) and hearty Smoked Salmon Chowder, downed with Lake Superior brews. The BLT Lefse Pizza was perhaps overly topped with Jarlsberg and mozzarella cheeses. Love this notion of putting chopped hard boiled eggs into many of the lefse sandwiches.

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