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First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 01/10/2014
Dara and I got the scoop on the soon to open Uptown newbie.
Chefs Nick O’Leary and Tyler Shipton were founding members of Travail, but then went on to open one of the top new restaurants of 2013, Borough, with its excellent cocktail bar Parlour, run by Jesse Held. It’s a mighty team, date night finesse, lots of energy, and cocktails on par with the best in the nation. Now for their next act they take on Uptown with Coup D’Etat, a 300 seat, multi-level, indoor-outdoor visionary cocktail restaurant and more scheduled to open next week.
Nick O’Leary says the food will not be like Borough, with the elaborately constructed plates, but nor will it be a chicken wing bar. “No burgers, no tacos, no sandwiches, no wings—it seems like every place in Uptown has a burger and bad chicken wings, we wanted to do something else.” Like what? “Real food that’s comfortable to people in the neighborhood: Polenta, arincini balls, flatiron steak, a half roast chicken, salt crusted loup de mer, tuna crudo, gnocchi, pastas from scratch,” said O’Leary. “When I look around, I see a lot of people moving to Uptown right out of college, and I think people want another option besides pretty bad chicken wings.” But there will bar food—at the walk-up window which faces the Lagoon. This window will be a true street-food window, says O’Leary, it will actually be street food meant to consume on the street. And there in the window: “A bad-ass burger, tacos, pizza by the slice, anything we like, we’ll put it on the chalkboard and sell it from the window.” That should make summer in Uptown more fun.
Tuna crudo with breakfast radish and blood orange.
Pork belly with potato butter, cabbage, and caraway.
Fried brandade with piri piri and capers.
The drinks will be a shift from Borough as well. Jesse Held's new team, which includes veteran mixers Shawn Jones and Trish Gavin, will be pouring more of a European style cocktail. To them that means a lighter, more refreshing drink that doesn't play heavy-handed with the booze (though there will be drinks with punch). Look for more cocktails that are meant to be paired with menu items as well.
Not As Cool Hand Luke: This riff on whiskey sour combines Spanish vanilla, lemon, and cherry flavors as well.
Duck, Duck, Grey Duck: An Old Fashioned style tequila-based libation combining an Earl Grey tea infusion and flavors of the Caribbean.
Coup d’Etat has its media preview today, and opens next week after training parties. 2923 Girard Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3575, coupdetatmpls.com
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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