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Sneak Peek: Birch's on the Lake
By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 07/17/2014
Fans of eating, drinking, and internal rhyme structure lend me your ears! What’s Kim Bartmann, restaurateur extraordinaire and leading proponent of restaurant names with internal rhymes—Pat’s Tap, Tiny Diner—planning for Loring Park? I heard: The Third Bird.
The Third Bird is opening soon, probably in August. It’s farm-driven, as all Bartmann’s projects are, and is going to have as chef recent Union Fish House top toque, the well reviewed and talented Lucas Almendinger. The wine list is by extra busy consultant to the stars Bill Summerville, and Steven Brown of Tilia is in there too, helping with staffing and concept.
I went and toured the place this morning and it looks gorgeous with a beautiful circular white ash bar held together by big brass pins and a funny and fabulous bird mural by the artist Steven Noble, AKA the guy who did those excellent Kraken Rum illustrations. One big surprise: The main entrance will be on that beautiful old alley, and not to the Loring Park side. This is to enhance the sense that it’s a place for old Minneapolis, that is, the people who live here and can find the alley door, and not just for tourists, Kim Bartmann told me.
“This is really a bunch of people working together to make something cool happen on Loring Park,” said Bartmann, referencing the way it’s really a joint collaboration of several folks with a long Minneapolis history, namely herself, Kevin Sheehy (Café Maude), and Steven Brown. Wine will be a big focus of the Third Bird, Bartmann says, with Summerville (formerly of La Belle Vie, soon of Merchant) helping assemble a big aperitif list and an extensive wine list studded with esoteric choices, both affordable and less so. The food will be largely about a wood-fired oven, and simple foods.
“Picture yourself with a bunch of friends, you come in, get a couple of aperitifs, a whole chicken and a bunch of vegetable sides, a bottle of wine or two—it will be like that.”
And if all goes according to plan, the Third Bird will be like that before the show chickens are on display at the State Fair.
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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