Posted on Thu, Feb. 02, 2006
BY KATHIE JENKINS
You've got to wonder what the neighbors are thinking.
Eat Street has always been a 17-block stretch of hole-in-the-walls on Nicollet Avenue - from Grant Street to 29th
Street in Minneapolis. But things have started to change.
First came the trendy restaurant Azia at the corner of 26th and Nicollet. Then, the hip Bad Waitress Cafe debuted
across the street a few months ago, followed by Anemoni, an oyster and sushi bar complete with champagne and
sake lists and DJs.
Now comes Peninsula, a honker of a restaurant. Once you see it, you instantly want to eat there. It's got an
industrial look with chrome accents and walls painted earthy warms tones like mustard, sandstone and spruce. The
black-clad waiters have colorful sarongs jauntily tied around their waists. And there's an open kitchen, so you can
watch the cooks at work.
The Malaysian food is truly exciting. The lengthy menu offers something for everyone. And everything - smoky mee
goreng noodles with shrimp, tofu and potatoes; roti, the multilayered pancake filled with egg, onion and green
chiles; rich, fragrant curries slowly simmered in coconut milk, chiles and ginger, cinnamon and cloves - tastes like it
was cooked to order.
The restaurant debuted last week, so there are probably still a few kinks to be worked out. A second printing of the
takeout menu might also be in order since Minneapolis is misspelled Minneapollis. But if they keep serving food this
good at these prices, Peninsula is bound to be a star.
JOIN THE CLUB
It's clear the new Clicquot Club Cafe in Minneapolis was conceived by somebody with great taste and an even greater
sense of color. The walls are cheery orange, yellow, green, rust and gold. Even the red concentric circles on the
dessert plates and the individual pink teapots are perfectly coordinated with the rest of the decor.
Tucked away in the sleepy Seward neighborhood in the landmark Orange Crush building, Clicquot Club turns out a
simple menu of soup, salad and sandwiches on the order of what you'd make at home. There are also organic teas
and coffee and an array of baked goods so appealing you want to eat your way through the whole lot of them.
Best dishes I tried? A prosciutto and pesto panini and a seven-layer bar that made me wish I could run right home
and start baking.
Throw in the friendly service, the delicious lattes and the fact you don't have to pay to be a member at this club, and
it's easy to understand why, during a recent visit, every single table was taken.
Small Bites are first glances - not intended as definitive reviews - of new or changed restaurants. Pioneer Press
Peninsula, 2608 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-8282. Open for lunch and dinner daily. Prices, $2.50 to
Clicquot Club Cafe, 2929 E. 25th St., Minneapolis; 612-724-4700. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Prices, $2.95 to $8.95.