It's been a crazy week, and I can't help but use one of my favorite words this Fresh Forkin' Friday: kerfuffle. It's right up there with galoshes, ishkabibble, and suspantuous (a totally made-up word that I like to slip into conversation with snooty people, just to give them a moment of pause, that maybe they don't know everything).
Let's start with the D'Amico kerfuffle. On Wednesday around noon, I got a call from one of my minions who said there was a big all-staff meeting scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Cucina and that they were all pretty sure what the news would be. Sure enough, D'Amico Cucina will be closing at the end of the month. I'm certain the books are already jamming up with reservations from those of us who want one more memorable meal in Butler Square.
But save your tears; we here at MSP have it on good authority that the boys are negotiating to take over a high-profile downtown restaurant space and will be opening a progressive Italian restaurant before you can say New Hotness.
Little Szechuan says it is closed for renovations this week, so heads up if that was your weekend plan. Let's just hope it isn't closed for "renovations" like the Times was. Let's keep an eye on this one, shall we?
Wolfgang Puck is manning the grill?! Maybe he's not literally slaving over the bahbie, but he's just opened the Garden Grill by the Walker. Burgers, dogs, (hey, soydog!), smoked turkey legs, and salads are all less than $5. Open Thursday evenings and Saturday/Sunday afternoons until September.
Sushi Tango has reopened in its new digs across the hall in Calhoun Square. Taking over the old Good Earth space gives it a killer patio, room enough for teppanyaki tables, and a bigger kitchen, which means an expanded menu. I'm already craving the Juicy Brucy roll with spicy tuna, asparagus, and kaiware wrapped with tuna and avocado.
moto-i has joined the pack and opened a roof-top patio. Pretty soon, you'll be considered a bottom-dweller if you open a restaurant without one.
Sam's Wine Shop (612-338-5393) is open again on Washington in the North Loop! This time there's more than just wine, a smattering of booze and beer has been added by the new owners.
On the horizon:
- The Three Fish space has been snapped up and will become Wakame Sushi.
- The jP space will become Anchor Bar as imagined by Shea.
- And the Fugaise space will live and breathe again as Butcher Block, courtesy of Filipo Caffari (formerly of i Nonni), Darin Koch, and Fabrizio Ciccone (Cafe Agri). But can they somehow find a way to make a window?
- Matt Kempf (formerly of Au Rebours, and most recently Salut Edina) will be the chef of the new restaurant that takes over the Figlio space.
It's also Grand Old Day on Sunday, which officially kicks off the MN festival (read: corndog and cheese curd) season.
For more chatter on MN festivals, tune into FM107.1 for the Weekly Dish this Saturday from 1-2 p.m.
This really doesn't have to do with food . . . but kinda.