We’ve spent so much time reading this year about restaurants closing, shutting down, and otherwise disappearing from the face of the Earth, that we’ve forgotten some of the more positive stories of the year.Â So, in a spirit of happy-fun-time, let’s reminisce about all the brave souls who actually opened a business this year and are still in business at year’s end.Â Here’s to the entrepreneurs!
Capitol Dawg– 20th and Capitol-happy hour pricing and one of the only places in town that you can get a deep-fried dog.
Cosmo Cafe– 10th and K- a sleek eatery attached to the charming Cosmopolitan Cabaret.Â It’s still getting its sealegs, but the Paragary name is popular enough to mean that you need a reservation on most nights.
Tre– Howe and Hurley- The Haines brothers continue the expansion of their restaurant empire, this time with a mega-lounge.Â Strangely enough, the food at Tre is probably the best food coming out of any of the Haines’ kitchens.Â Will people go toÂ a night club to eat though?Â With food this good, they just might.
Table 260– 9th and J- upscale soulfood downtown.
Grange at the Citizen Hotel- 9th & J- as far as hotel restaurants go, this one is similar in that it’s also in a hotel.
Dad’s Kitchen– 5th and Freeport- it’s hard not to like the homey eats at DK.Â If only they’d start serving Oskar Blues on tap, it would be the perfect hangout.
The Greenhouse– Lead Hill and Eureka in Roseville- stunning beers and a newly reworked menu make this place a destination, even if you don’t like beer but just like new menus.
Buonarroti Ristorante– Fulton & Marconi (Town & Country Village)-fantastic Italian goodness.Â Wide range of dishes, wide range of prices.
Andaloussia– Howe & Arden- still the only Moroccan restaurant that provides forks and knives to diners.Â Try the lamb.
Formoli’s Bistro– J at 33rd- fantastic small plates, indulgent dishes, cute atmosphere, sexy owners.
Masullo– 2711 Riverside- pizza perfection.
Morgan’s Bar & Grill– 33rd & S- mostly bar, very little grill, but what grill there is is tended lovingly by Shawn Morgan who takes a somewhat pathological pleasure in doing everything, and I mean everything by hand.Â No crappy bar snacks here.Â Everything is made fresh and to order.Â You gotta love a man who smokes his own meat.Â If I could do that, I might never leave the house.
The Terrace– Fulton & Marconi (Town & Country Village)- a delicate little place that does an elegant breakfast and lunch service.
This is not the whole list, by far.Â I didn’t mention the several new locations of local restaurant chains and the onslaught on frozen yogurt slingers: Yogurtagogo, Yogurt Monkey, Yo yo yogurt, about a dozen new Big Spoons. I’m sure you’ve seen a few around town that I didn’t have a chance to get to.Â Let me know.
The economy might not be great, but we can still celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit when we see it in action.Â All of these places have two things in common, they need good word of mouth, and local patronage.Â I’ve done my job.Â Now it’s your turn.