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First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: | Posted: 03/15/2012
Yesterday the biggest non-secret in the city was confirmed, that Azia would be returning to Eat Street. Even though the new version known as Azia Market will live in the same old location, will it be able to claim the diva status it once owned? Now that Eat Street Social is open on its back porch, and Icehouse will be a neighbor soon, it seems like this will be a hot corner.
The food philosophy is centered around the four elements represented in the new logo: vegetables, rice/noodles, seafood, and meat.
A sneak peek at the preliminary menu shows that a raw bar and oysters will make a comeback, which is nice. Small dishes sound tasty and interesting, mussels with black beans and yellow curry pesto, grilled rack of lamb flambéed in chardonnay, Vietnamese tuna ceviche with crispy melon, and miso-mustard braised pork belly among others. A bowls section lists pho, bibimbap, and ramen.
There seems to be a bit of vegetarian offerings, eggplant ragout and Buddha's delight, and there's a raft of meat dishes such as lemongrass braised short ribs and five spice duck breast. But maybe more interesting are a few whole fish options: Whole drunken Dungeness crab simmered in sake and a whole crusted Atlantic Char served with ginger butter.
Cocktails will be creative and use fresh-squeezed juices, but they'll tend towards more traditional, without trying to battle the ESS mixologists next door. A sake list is also in the works.
Azia Market will be open from 3 p.m. - 2 a.m. daily, with happy hours from 3-6 p.m. and 10 p.m. - close.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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