‘Fun and No-Fancy’ Meals Are Coming to Sooki & Mimi – Twin Cities
When chef Ann Kim decided to open her new restaurant, Sooki & Mimi, last February, restaurants in the Twin Cities were closing left and right, and the state of the industry looked grim.
As restaurant mandates and capacity limitations continued, Kim opened the doors to Sooki & Mimi, to great acclaim, with a 10-course vegetarian tasting menu.
The menu format has since changed from tasting menus to a prix fixe menu (a customizable course of items at a fixed price). But now, as the restaurant industry returns to normal, Kim is ready to pursue an a la carte menu concept.
“What we’ve created over the past year has been beautiful and a happy surprise,” she said. “Out of necessity, I was really able to push myself and the team creatively to showcase the skills and talents of the team with a tasting menu – a vegetable tasting menu of all things also in February – then a fixed price menu. It was amazing to do, but I want to go back to the original vision, which is, as I call it, “fun and no-fancy”. The last day to take advantage of the prix fixe menu is May 1st.
An a la carte menu was originally Kim’s plan when considering Sooki & Mimi, but the pandemic and its impact on local restaurants steered Kim in a different direction. “I think a lot of people had the misconception that this was a fancy, fancy restaurant,” Kim explained. “That’s just not the case.” His hope is that with the a la carte menu and its more accessible prices, the restaurant can grow from a special once-a-year visit for customers to an everyday restaurant for the neighborhood.
The à la carte menu debuts May 4 and features new offerings alongside classic customer favorites — these birria mushroom tacos aren’t going anywhere.
There will be duck breast served with mole negra alongside homemade corn tortillas and a new taco — the only one on the menu that incorporates homemade flour tortillas that Kim learned to make in Sonora, Mexico — which fuses Kim’s love for Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches with carne asada. The taco will be topped with chihuahua queso, homemade Chicago-style giardiniera (spicy, crunchy, and sour), and accompanied by a birria-inspired dip juice. My Italian and Illinois native heart couldn’t be happier.
Keep an eye out for other Sooki & Mimi bar classics on the menu, like Kim’s Korean Fried Chicken sprinkled with a Tajin-inspired gochugaru and dipped in chili sauce.
Uptown, where the gender-defying restaurant is located, has seen a wave of restaurant closings over the past two years. Many businesses in the area, Kim says, are still closed. “I think Uptown is having a reset. I want to see (this menu change) also as a rebirth and a reset for us. Hopefully it will generate new energy, life and joy, and bring some people back to Uptown.
Sooki & Mimi: 1432 W. 31st St., Minneapolis; 612-540-2554; sookiandmimi.com