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After 15 years of ceviche, platanos and saltado in Minneapolis, the city's beloved Ecuadorian restaurant Chimborazo has announced plans to expand with a second location, this time in St. Paul.

The restaurant is often cited in food media as a beloved yet underrated neighborhood gem, and chef/owner Marcos Pinguil is ready to spread more of that love to the Capital City. The new spot will be located in a former Rusty Taco, at 508 S. Lexington Pkwy. (right by Trader Joe's). The restaurant is targeting a spring opening with a scaled-back menu, counter service and beer and wine.

Meantime, their Minneapolis location (2851 Central Av. NE., Mpls., is open daily for lunch and dinner, and there's brunch on weekends, too.

Fresh Italian now in south Minneapolis

Please welcome Gia to the dining landscape. This new, fresh Italian restaurant from chefs Jo Seddon and Lisa Wengler is open Tuesday through Saturday in the former Cave Vin (5555 Xerxes Av. S., Mpls., Reservations are already filling up quickly.

More tacos are always a good idea

Nico's Tacos has finished the light remodel of the former Tinto's and is now open at 50th and Penn. This is the third location for Jenna and Alejandro Victoria and promises to be its biggest, most exciting yet. The agave bar boasts a wide selection, and will delve further into Mexican beverages including tepache. They're also working on a pulque, a traditional Mexican beverage, which isn't common around town. On the food side, Alejandro's cuisine is going further into his Michoacán roots, and the kitchen staff is working on the onsite nixtamalization of corn for tortillas.

Maple Grove's Hope Breakfast Bar plans hit a bump

Sarah and Brian Ingram's feel-good, all-day breakfast eatery Hope Breakfast Bar has been in expansion mode with a Woodbury location under construction, Eagan and St. Louis Park locations packing in diners, and the original St. Paul spot continuing to be a popular spot for pancakes and a full bar.

But the Maple Grove City Council recently nixed the location that had been the hopeful address for a Hope Breakfast Bar over concerns about parking. The development at the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes would have included Hope and another Dave's Hot Chicken. What comes next is unclear, but while finishing construction on the Woodbury Hope Breakfast Bar, another is in the works for Edina, at 7585 France Av. S.

Giving the traditional Piroshky a Pacific Northwest-inspired spin, this bestseller is a blend of smoked wild salmon, cream cheese, and a dash of dill and onion.
Giving the traditional Piroshky a Pacific Northwest-inspired spin, this bestseller is a blend of smoked wild salmon, cream cheese, and a dash of dill and onion.

West Coast Piroshky pop-up

Fans of the celebrated Seattle-based Piroshky Piroshky Bakery, famous for its Eastern European-inspired pastries, can get their fix locally as the bakery heads to Inbound Brew Co. (701 N. 5th St., Mpls.) on Feb. 20.

Here's what you need to know: Order ahead by Feb. 18 (find the menu at, there's a $50 minimum, pickup is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the brewery, and there will be a curated selection of craft beers on hand.

Founded by Olga Sagan in 1992, the bakery specializes in its namesake pastry — handheld turnover-like sandwiches filled with all things sweet (chocolate hazelnut, rhubarb, marzipan) and savory (chicken curry, smoked salmon pâte).

Correction: A previous version of this story had an incorrect street for the new Nico's Tacos.