While we update the restaurant guide as often as we can with high-intel of opening/closing restaurants, we spend the man-hours only once a year to slog through the more than 900 listings and fact-check them for hours, amenities, and existence. You'd be surprised how many places never send notice to let you know they've added brunch, or have a new website, or are being closed by the Feds. Shocking.
So after hours ripping through the directory, we (myself plus a whole wagon load of interns) have some illuminations to share with you.
First and foremost, we've added a tiny P icon to each listing that has private dining . This is huge for all of you who e-mail me in Nov./Dec. looking for places to host your office parties. Best yet, clicking on the P in the Key will let you scroll through all the private dining listings.
CLOSINGS (maybe you knew, maybe you didn't, maybe you don't care)
- The Front Cafe is currently closed while they're "restructuring the kitchen."
- Martini's Grafitti Grill is closed.
- The Narrows closed its Maple Grove location, but remain the Lake Minnetonka biker bar with the best dirty pork stew.
- Nathan's Famous at the Mall of America has closed. No Joey Chestnut for us.
- Naviya's Thai Kitchen and Naviya's Kalico Eliphant have both closed.
- Staccato is closed despite what the website says.
- Tam Tam's African Restaurant has closed, but is looking to move to a new place.
- Tangled Up in Blue isn't anymore.
- Chapati in Edina is now going by the name Biryani.
- The Cherokee Sirloin Room in West St. Paul is now the Cherokee Tavern with a different menu and look.
- The Mediterranean Cruise Cafe moved its whole operation from Eagan to Burnsville.
- Marx Wine Bar is now known as Marx Fusion Bistro & Wine Bar.
- Pastrami Tommy's is now PT's Pastrami & More.
- India Palace Restaurant, not to be confused with India Palace, has taken over Royal India in Plymouth. I have no idea which India Palace Bill says is moving into Burnsville.
- Sgt. Preston's, a favorite Seven Corners haunt, has become Preston's Urban Pub.
- Mort's Deli is now serving breakfast on the weekends only.
- Basil's, the iconic Mary Tyler Moore IDS restaurant, no longer serves dinner to the public (just private bookings) and is no longer helmed by Mark Stankey.
- New websites for Risotto and Rasa Sayang, the Malaysian place I drive past every time I go to the Cinema Grill.