It takes a brave person to open a restaurant in any climate, let alone during a global pandemic.
Still, there have been plenty of openings in the Twin Cities in recent months.
Here’s some info on a few new breakfast-to-dinner family restaurants that I’ve been loving lately.
The copper field
This all-day restaurant with decent cocktails and comfort food is a stone’s throw from my kids’ school and has been a nice addition to the neighborhood.
By the owners of Green Mill, The Copperfield is on the first floor of the new seniors’ apartment building The Linden.
Decor is bright and modern, and there’s plenty of natural light in the space. The owners have wisely hired industry veterans Joe Odman (formerly of The Lexington) and Joe Paton (formerly of Ox Cart, The Fitzgerald and more) to steer the ship, so hospitality is top of mind.
The food is warm and simple – there’s nothing on the menu that you (or your kids – it’s definitely a family business) won’t recognize.
We especially enjoyed a family breakfast here – my teenage son’s eyes swelled when he saw the size of his cinnamon pancakes, which were fluffy and delicious. My husband really enjoyed his egg sandwich, made with thick bacon, provolone, avocado, greens and a runny egg on a nice soft focaccia bun. I chose the Mexican Hash, a deeply satisfying little comfort bowl that includes hash browns, chorizo, poblano and jalapeno peppers, eggs, and cheddar cheese. I had mine with a nice homemade English muffin.
Dinner options were a bit more hit or miss. There is a very good club sandwich, with thick ham and turkey and lots of bacon. The bread is toasted just enough so as not to tear the roof of your mouth off, which is, in my opinion, the measure of a great club.
We liked the pastry on the dough, but the filling was bland. It was definitely helped by a little cup of salty sauce, but I wanted more spice inside.
The sweet market salad was large enough to feel like a satisfying meal, loaded with grilled chicken, dates, nuts and gorgonzola cheese.
The Wild Rice Stuffed Chicken didn’t impress us – it was pretty decent wedding food – but still hit that comfort food mark.
The cocktails are simple, but well executed, and there’s a small take-out coffee counter that I’m sure is a hit with the neighbors.
All in all, there’s a reason it’s been crowded since the day it opened.
The copper field
- Or: 735 Maple Street, Mendota Heights
- Contact: 651-240-6759; thecopperfieldmn.com
- Prices: Sandwiches cost between $13 and $17; entrees from $15 to $22; breakfast, $8-13.50
- Good to know: Ample on-site parking; gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options
Yum! Kitchen and Bakery
I had heard for years about Yum – the bakery, which has two locations in Metro West – has a cult following, particularly for its decadent chocolate cake.
This cake, along with a full menu of well-executed lunch and dinner options, is now available in St. Paul, which is good news indeed.
The open, bright and airy space is in the new mixed-use building that replaced O’Gara’s on Snelling and Selby Avenues in St. Paul.
I’ve had two business meetings there in the short time it’s been open, and the counter service operation is quick and friendly.
I’m currently obsessed with baked goods, especially this rich and delicious chocolate buttercream glazed cake, called Patticake after owner Patti Soskin. My son got one for his birthday and we ate every morsel within days.
My kids, who are scone fanatics, also loved Yum’s berry version, and I, a shameless coconut fiend, devoured a slice of moist, ultra-coconut coconut cake. .
For lunch, I highly recommend the tuna fondant. The “fancy schmancy” tuna salad is sprinkled with lots of vegetables, including red peppers and kalamata olives, and it’s served open on a homemade English muffin with a side of delicate potato chips, also fried on the spot.
A little heartier, a chicken parmesan sandwich made with tender, flavorful, delicately fried chicken with a bright marinara and melty mozzarella cheese on a ciabatta bun. Unfortunately, it appears that this sandwich is not currently on the menu, which changes frequently.
On a day when I felt deprived of veggies, the Sichuan salmon, served with a ton of well-dressed green beans and jasmine rice, really hit the mark.
I haven’t managed to get there for breakfast yet, but next time I have a morning meeting I know where I’m going – there’s a breakfast burrito calling my name .
Yum! Kitchen and Bakery
- Or: 164 N. Snelling Avenue, St. Paul
- Contact: 651-615-1230; miamcuisine.com
- Prices: Sandwiches range from $8.95 to $14.95; entrees from $12.95 to $19.95; breakfast, $6.95 to $14.95
- Good to know: On-site parking is behind the restaurant; gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options
Small bites are first glimpses – not intended to be definitive reviews – of new or changed restaurants.