Sunday, December 11, 2016

Best of 2016: Restaurant Closings

Fare thee well, Piccolo. 

I mean for more of this? Be still my bleeding heart.

It was with an extremely heavy heart that I woke up on Saturday morning and learned that Piccolo is closing.
Vin du liqueur = vin of my dreams. God bless Piccolo for introducing me to this nectar of the gods.
Long among my favorite restaurants, Piccolo has such a beautiful, unique spirit (and some of the best food anywhere). Sure, chef Doug Flicker just recently opened Esker Grove at the Walker (which menu promises to be far more exciting than any other museum restaurant in the Twin Cities), but it just won't have the same cozy, late 1990s vibe that puts the soul at ease.
A fond farewell salute to the bravest bar that ever was. 
Piccolo is just the last of a string of legendary Twin Cities restaurants to close in the last year. I didn't want to let the New Year come and go without acknowledging their passing and finding some promising new options for the future. So, here are some of the incredible places that have closed in 2016:

Thank god for Smack Shack, which will still be around to enrich the 1029.
And here are the ones I'm desperately looking forward to trying in 2017 to fill the void:

  • Esker Grove
  • Tenant (going into the former Piccolo space and will be run by some of Doug Flicker's most promising proteges)
  • Rabbit Hole
  • 510 Lounge (from Don Saunders, chef of the Kenwood, will go in the former La Belle Vie space)
  • Nighthawks/Birdie (I know this has been open for a while but I still haven't been...I know! I know! 2017 is the year!)
  • Grand Cafe
  • Restaurant Alma (which just re-opened, re-vamped, after an intensive renovation)
  • Pop-ups (I am all for this new trend, although I wish they were easier to find... anyone have a solution? Is there a twitter handle? Bueller?)
  • Young Joni
  • Red Rabbit
  • Tori Ramen
At least we will always have Barrio and their kick ass happy hour - always on point. 
Do you have any great suggestions for new places to check out, or old favorites I might have missed? Please pass them on! I'm always looking to expand my horizons (and my taste buds); send suggestions to, or tweet them to me @becki_iverson.