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Now open: The Rabbit Hole; Coming soon: Sonora Grill, Freehouse, La Fresca and maybe Lutong Mekeni
UPDATED 12/12/2013 | Some exciting new restaurants have just opened or are opening up in the next few days, and Midtown Global Market is the incubator for two of them.
The Left Handed Cook has closed its counter in the Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, and has reopened in the same building as a sit-down restaurant, The Rabbit Hole. The new restaurant offers an interesting East meets West fusion menu with a distinct Korean accent - and dishes ranging from kimchi fried rice and rice cakes with duck confit to burgers with kimchi aioli and crispy poussin with pickled radish. Watch for a review, coming soon.
The Sonora Grill, another fast-serve counter inside the Midtown Global Market, will open a freestanding restaurant at 3300 E. Lake Street, with a grand opening scheduled for Friday, December 20. Scroll through the food photos on their Facebook page, and you'll get a pretty good sense of the repertoire: pinchos (skewers of meat or shrimp), bocadillos (sandwiches) and caramelos (Sonora-style tacos.) Shown here, the Sonoran shrimp caramelo.
Next Monday, December 16 is opening day for the Freehouse, the new brewpub/bar/taproom/restaurant at 701 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis. It's the latest from the Blue Plate restaurant group - the company that owns the Longfellow, Edina and Highland Grills, plus the Lowry, Scusi and Groveland Tap. "There are other brewpubs, taprooms and bars that serve only one brand of beer. But we are not that.,' proclaims their website. 'We serve our beer side-by-side with that of our competition with the belief that quality and selection of our ingredients and the care and craft of our brewmasters and chefs will shine through in every batch we brew, every pint we pour and every plate we serve. "
Not much word on their menu, but the Freehouse logo promises "Breakfast to Beer," and a photo gallery on their website shows what chef Breck Lawrence describes as "fun, great food": ranging from fish and chips and Korean oysters Rockefeller to ancho-chocolate braised short ribs and a bahn mi sandwich with fries.
Coming in January: La Fresca, the latest from chef Hector Ruiz, chef-owner of Cafe Ena and Rincon 38 is scheduled to open on January 2 at 4750 Grand Ave., Minneapolis, with a menu of "nouveau Mexican cuisine." We hear a lot of the recipes will come from Hector's mother - more details coming soon.
There's a tantalizing hint on Lutong Mekeni's Facebook page that the terrific little Filipino restaurant at 712 University Ave. St. Paul will soon re-open for business, following completion of kitchen remodeling work. Back in April when I reviewed Lutong Mekeni, I reported that "nearly everything else I sampled was delicious, including the menudo, adobo and pancit, and the laing, stewed taro greens in a savory sauce." (Shown here, a combo plate.)
Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.