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Food lover and chef back HOME for a week, WHAT DOO I EAT?

I need to know, I've been gone for over a year. I live and work in New York but crave Minneapolis like it's (and it is) in my bones. Where do I go, where do I eat, since I've been gone. What's changed? What restaurants have lost their luster, is Nick and Eddie still worth a return visit (?), what's been usurped, is Bangkok still the best Thai deli in Saint Paul (?). Who are the new emerging players (?). What about the Minneapolis dinning scene has changed in the last year and what would be a shame to miss?

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  1. Welcome home! BTD may no longer be the best. Read up here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7546...

    ~TDQ

    1. In no particular order:
      Haute Dish - Landon Schoenfield
      In Season - Don Saunders
      Piccolo - Doug Flicker
      Victory 44
      Travail
      On's Thai
      Patisserie 46

      Nick and Eddie - meh

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      Victory 44
      2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

      In Season
      5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

      1. Newish...

        Agree with kt on Piccolo, In Season, and Victory 44. Also agree to forget about Nick and Eddie. If Travail has figured out their kitched inconsistency, then that is worth a shot (but you may not like the room).

        I would also recommend Cosmos now that Hakan Lundberg is cooking there. And Heartland's new space is wonderful (so's the food).

        1. I would normally say Travail, but they will be closed from tomorrow to Jan. 7th. Today would be your only day to go. Get there when they open, otherwise you're looking at a long wait.

          The main chef from Bangkok, as I understand, On, has opened her own place called On's Thai Kitchen in the spot Cafe Bonxai was, University / Snelling. Oh, I see TDQ alludes to this.

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          Snelling Cafe
          638 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

          1. I am going to add to the "go to Piccolo" list. It was the best restaurant meal I had in the Twin Cities in the last year.

            Another couple of other places I would recommend would be Bar La Grassa and the Strip Club.

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            The Strip Club
            378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

            Bar La Grassa
            800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

            1. Some random thoughts:

              -Piccolo is the most intriguing spot in town (that I haven't been to). AZ called it one of his favorite meals of the year and said they are as good as any restaurant in the country right now.

              -If you haven't been, Victory-44 is worth a look.

              -Travail is fun, but they are closed from tomorrow until Jan. 7, so you might miss them.

              -I think Saffron is as good as anything right now. Same goes for Alma.

              Good luck and happy eating!

              1. Victory 44 and Piccolo are new, and certainly worth the visit. Saffron is not new, but is absolutely killing it right now. Not sure how new it is, but Sole Cafe has gotten some well-deserved love on this board recently.

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                Victory 44
                2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                1. Me too! From Minneapolis and moved to Manhattan in the last year. I'm really missing the prices!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: diearzte2

                    Piccolo, Alma, and La Belle Vie are making the best food right now.

                    I'll politely disagree with Kevin47 about Saffron. I'm done throwing bombs on these boards so I'll just say it was a failure on every possible front (food, service, etc.).

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                    La Belle Vie
                    510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                  2. Regarding what's changed, I'm sure that Dara or Heavy Table or City Pages will do an end-of-year roundup, but these episodes in the soap opera of Twin Cities dining may pique your interest & choice of eating spots:

                    1. Chefs and staff migrating en masse from one Szechuan restaurant to another. Whoever was in the kitchen at Little Szechuan the last time around, isn't.
                    2. Town Talk Diner being sold, and when it became known that staff were planning to quit, their employment ended abruptly. Food, serivce is going downhill.
                    3. Tim McKee and Josh Thoma parting ways after news emerges that money was being passed around between their restaurant accounts. They are no longer partners -- interests in La Belle Vie, 112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa, Smalleys Barbecue are noted but the kitchens seem to be unaffected. Except for...
                    4. ... Solera being sold to a local hotel in part because of #3, and chef JP Samuelson announcing his departure at the end of December.
                    5. Tom Pham closing spots on Nicollet Ave, opening a place downtown that was originally misnamed because his designers failed to understand his pronunciation of Wanderers vs Wondrous, moving Than Do across the street from his original spot, and then suing his sisters.
                    6. Heidi's and Blackbird being consumed by fire. Each being resurrected in new spots with new names.
                    7. Casper & Runyon's Nook being consumed by fire. News immediately followed by castigations in the comments section of the Pioneer Press article over their earlier deal to buy the RanHam bowling lanes in the basement next door.
                    8. New Hmong market opening in St. Paul, just as wondrous and confusing as the existing one.

                    It's a soap opera, so let's stipulate that accuracy takes a back seat to breathless scandalizing. :)

                    Chatters, what did I miss?

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                    Town Talk Diner
                    2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                    Little Szechuan - West End
                    5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

                    112 Eatery
                    112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                    La Belle Vie
                    510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                    Solera
                    900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                    Bar La Grassa
                    800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: KTFoley

                      Thank you KT!

                      I miss the Minneapolis-St. Paul forum, the Manhattan one seems less like a community. I wish I had gone to some Chowhound meetups so I could put some faces to names, but oh well.

                      To keep this post on topic, the things I really miss in no particular order:

                      Burrito Loco - the wings actually, more of a college nostalgia thing
                      Brasa
                      Be'wiched
                      Local D'Lish - People really need to shop here more, Ann is awesome!
                      Stellas - the rooftop, plus now the drinks don't seem so expensive
                      Jimmy Johns - lunch at the office

                      1. re: diearzte2

                        they don't have Jimmy John's in ny? wow, just looked online and they are only in ithaca and syracuse and amherst ny!

                    2. I don't know the mexican food situation in NY, but I constantly have cravings for the huaraches con chales at Gordita el Gordo on lake. Hand pressed masa cooked to order in lard, topped with Chales which are the bacon form of chicharrones. I had great mexican food in Chicago, but after a long week in the kitchen these bring me back to reality. Simple, awesome.

                      BTW, I still like to sit at the bar at Nick and Eddie and eat. It eliminates a ton of service errors that seem to be the undercurrent of dislike for the place. I think Derek can kick out some serious dishes.

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                      Gorditas El Gordo
                      211 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN

                      1. Thanks everybody for catching me up on a years worth of restaurant news, I will have to get out to On's Thai, and Victory 44 looks interesting. I had friends that worked at Town Talk, so I heard all about that depressing story.. and I'll have to squeeze in Piccolo (budgetwise) somehow, I just watched Bourdain's visit there and it made me simultaneously proud and angry that there wasn't a full show devoted to the region.

                        Thanks!

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                        Victory 44
                        2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN