The folks behind popular noodle shop Tori Ramen (161 N. Victoria St., St. Paul, toriramen.com) are planning a sequel.
Less than a year and a half after debuting the original on a corner of St. Paul’s Selby Avenue, chef/owner Jason Dorweiler expects to open a larger, more upscale version of the original in north Minneapolis’ former Victory 44 location this spring.
“We’re going to take it to the next level,” Dorweiler said. “It’s going to be a lot like [the original] but a step higher.”
In December, a fire broke out in the building that houses the Selby Av. shop, and, looking at the initial damage, Dorweiler dreaded the worst.
As a result, Dorweiler began looking for a new backup location. The gem he’d found: the former Victory 44, vacated last summer.
“We were looking at the worst-case scenario because it was kind of a mess,” Dorweiler said. “It eventually turned out to be less severe than we thought, but we decided to stay.”
Dorweiler plans to bring four or five favorites from the original — which specializes in pork-free broths — to the new location, but then further expand the menu with starter plates, other entrees and desserts. Many of the items he’s mulling originate from specials that did exceptionally well at the Selby Av. shop, including boneless Korean-style wings, a vegetarian version of takoyaki (deep-fried octopus balls), and finalés such as the taiyaki, a fish-shaped waffle filled with sweetened red beans.
The larger footprint will also allow Tori Ramen to make its own noodles for the first time. Dorweiler is excited to experiment with the likes of squid ink noodles and a ramen-style gluten-free noodle he believes will be very popular if he can nail it.
Like the original, the new Tori Ramen — which could adopt a slightly different name but will sound familiar, Dorweiler said — will offer wine, beer and a house kombucha. Look for an opening in late March or early April.
Dalton & Wade (323 Washington Av. N., Mpls., 612-236-4020, daltonandwadempls.com) introduced a new candlelit date night. Every Tuesday it will offer couples an appetizer, two portions of hickory-smoked meat, two large sides and a dessert for $40 — by the glow of a whiskey bottle candle. Diners have the option to add two “Wade” Old Fashioneds for another $10. The offer is available after 5 p.m.
In south Minneapolis, French restaurant St. Genevieve (5003 Bryant Av. S., Mpls., 612-353-4843, stgmpls.com) has added a modest happy hour menu, with a white and red wine for $5 each, Hamm’s beer for $1 and a handful of snacks (a cheeseburger, chicken wings, French fries with a bearnaise sauce or crab beignets) for $6 each. The specials are available Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. and every day from 9 to 11 p.m.