Heyday, Lucia's, and Nico's Tacos make top 100 neighborhood gems list

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Alma Guzman
Heyday's bar area, complete with a nod to the Replacements
We love our neighborhood restaurants here in the Twin Cities, and apparently the rest of the country does too. OpenTable just released its 2014 list of the 100 best neighborhood gems in the United States, and three Twin Cities restaurants make the cut: Heyday, Lucia's Restaurant & Wine Bar, and Nico's Tacos.

See also: Signature Dish: Lucia's chef Lucia Watson


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Suburban Bites: The 7 best places to eat in the Stillwater area

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Jana Friebrand
A big ol hunk o' meat at Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar in Stillwater

Stillwater, Minnesota, and Hudson, Wisconsin, both located within about a half-hour drive from most launchpads in the Twin Cities, are practically busting at the seams with antiquey, boutiquey, bed-and-breakfast charm. Their prime location in the St. Croix River Valley means there are lots of hiking trails with impressive vistas (and even better secret picnic spots), warm-weather festivals (just say yes when someone asks you to go to Lumberjack Days), and a ton of waterfront bars and restaurants. 

That last item is, of course, the one that interests us most, and while neither Stillwater nor Hudson is technically a suburb, they are indeed perfect places for a mini road trip and some destination dining. So with the weekend upon us and humidity levels expected to reach tropical highs, let us suggest a few places to go eat and drink in the Stillwater area.  

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UPDATE: Bradstreet Craftshouse will move into former Rye Deli space

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Photo courtesy of Bradstreet Craftshouse
For those of you whose hearts stopped beating earlier this week when it was announced that craft cocktail pioneer Bradstreet Craftshouse was closing up shop with the sale of the Graves Hotel, you can breathe a sigh of relief. We learned late yesterday afternoon that while they'll indeed be closing their doors at the Graves, they'll be reopening them in the location that was, until very recently, occupied by Rye Deli.

Bradstreet will close at the Graves by the end of the month and will reopen in Lowry Hill sometime in August. Here's what you can expect from the new incarnation of Bradstreet Craftshouse.

See also:
Bradstreet Craftshouse set to close as the Graves 601 Hotel changes handsMore »

Canteen brings toast bar trend to Minneapolis

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Canteen has moved into the Urban Bean location and plans to introduce artisan toast in late June
If you've been paying attention, you know the national food scene is all atwitter with talk of toast. Cafes and bars dedicated to crispy slices and various spreads have been celebrated and mocked. Food trendsters have hailed it as the next big thing, and skeptics have whipped themselves into a powerful counter-frenzy.

Last week, MSP Magazine's Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl broke the news that Minnesota was about to get its very own toast bar. Located in the former home of Urban Bean at the intersection of 33rd and Bryant, Canteen is now officially open for business and will unveil its toast menu sometime closer to the end of June.

We had a chance to meet up with Liz Abene, owner of Canteen Girl baked goods and longtime Urban Bean veteran, to learn a little bit more about her new venture, the ideas behind it, and what exactly we can expect from Minneapolis's very first toast bar.

See also:
Haute Dish will soon get a BBQ joint makeover
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First Look: Lago Tacos in Lyn-Lake

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David McCrindle
When you consider the high concentration of bars in Uptown and the tendency for people to be out late and on foot, there's an alarming lack of tacos in that neighborhood. Or there was until very recently, when World Street Kitchen debuted their lamb belly and jerk beef fusion ones and Nico's Tacos moved into the former Birdhouse space on Hennepin.

Now Lago Tacos, a mid-range Mexican restaurant with a store in Excelsior, has opened in the former Heidi's space on Lyndale. Is it in any way significant that both of Stewart Woodman's shuttered restaurants became taco spots? Probably just a coincidence. But it certainly seems that the slightly upscale taqueria concept is just what the neighborhood was hungry for. We stopped by this weekend to get a first taste and check out the overhaul of the patio and interior.

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Chef Tim McKee dishes on his new Uptown restaurant, Libertine

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Photo courtesy of Libertine
Uptown's newest restaurant, Libertine, to open its doors on July 16
If the past few years have seen a boom in the North Loop's dining options, this year might be Uptown's time to shine. And with restaurants like Coup d'Etat and Hammer & Sickle, plus nearby World Street Kitchen and the newly opened Heyday, it's no surprise that the big dog himself, James Beard Award-winning chef Tim McKee, has set his sights on launching his newest concept, Libertine, right smack in the middle of it all.

McKee, who is best known for his prized fine-dining restaurant La Belle Vie, has been consulting with Parasole Restaurant Holdings for a while, and this new concept will take shape in what was once Uptown Cafeteria. The new concept is designed to better suit the maturing neighborhood, and we had a chance to chat with McKee himself about what exactly Libertine will be bringing into the mix.

See also:
Kyatchi's Hide Tozawa on Minnesota sushi bars: "Most aren't doing it right"
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Suburban Bites: The 7 best places to eat in Roseville

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Ed Neaton
Serious spice at Szechuan on Snelling Avenue

Whether you live in the suburbs, or find yourself outside your regular stomping grounds in search of restaurant options, there's value in knowing more about all the great eats beyond Minneapolis and St. Paul's most covered neighborhoods. In our Suburban Bites series, we'll explore the best places to eat and drink in the greater metro area.

What brings you to Roseville, dear Hot Dish reader? Are you here trying to find your way out of the gigantic Forever 21 at Rosedale Mall? Maybe you're strapping on skates and feeding your childhood Olympic dreams at the Roseville Oval or just going for a Target run at arguably the best and most consistently stocked store in the Twin Cities? In any one of these scenarios, you're going to end up hungry, so we've compiled a list of some of our favorite places to eat in this little north-of-St. Paul gem.

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Suburban Bites: The 7 best places to eat in West St. Paul

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Sean McPherson
Succulent bird at Pollo Campero

Whether you live in the suburbs, or find yourself outside your regular stomping grounds in search of restaurant options, there's value in knowing more about all the great eats beyond Minneapolis and St. Paul's most covered neighborhoods. In our Suburban Bites series, we'll explore the best places to eat and drink in the greater metro area.

For many people, a trip to the suburbs means surrender to a predictable meal. But a Target/Office Max run should be seen as an opportunity to explore a new neighborhood, not as a chance to try the featured footlong at Subway. The first- and second-ring Twin Cities suburbs are filled with unique dining options, and today, we tackle West St. Paul.

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Suburban Bites: The 7 best places to eat in Edina

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Courtesy of Patisserie Margo's Facebook page

Whether you live in the suburbs, or find yourself outside your regular stomping grounds in search of restaurant options, there's value in knowing more about all the great eats beyond Minneapolis and St. Paul's most covered neighborhoods. In our Suburban Bites series, we'll explore the best places to eat and drink in the greater metro area.

Edina gets a lot of flak. Some of it deserved (remember that no happy hours thing?) and some of it very undue. Though its boutique corners, low-profile wine bars, and charming European gastropubs are just minutes southwest of some of the most populous, young, up-and-coming neighborhoods of Minneapolis, many don't consider Edina when dreaming up their next dinner destination. This week, we hope to change that. Here's a few of our favorite things to eat, cakes and otherwise, in the natural habitat of the so-called cake-eater.



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30 Days of Biking combines Thai food and a nighttime bike excursion

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Photo by Phil Vello, courtesy of 30 Days of Biking
Ride your bike, eat Thai food, then ride your bike some more to raise money to buy bikes for kids!
If you're at all involved in the local social media scene, you've likely heard of 30 Days Of Biking, a group dedicated to promoting bicycling as an alternate means of transportation. The people behind the initiative have set up a fundraiser in partnership with northeast Minneapolis Thai restaurant Sen Yai Sen Lek, to help raise money for an organization called Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

The event will take place on Tuesday, May 6 at 5 p.m. and will start with a three-course meal at Sen Yai Sen Leck and will end with a nighttime bike ride along the Mississippi river. Dinner is $30 and $5 of every meal will be donated to Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

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