Since moving to the Twin Cities 3-plus years ago, I’ve been a one-salon kind of girl, getting my hair cut, colored, and styled at Evolution on Lyndale, a salon owned by Matt Swinney, who I wholeheartedly vote the best stylist in MSP. Right, I know this is one of the two salons I’ve been to, but I still know he is worthy of the vote. He has impeccable taste, graceful styling skills, and a salon that absolutely comes from his heart.
Today Matt told me about the restaurant ŌM opening at 401 First Avenue North in Minneapolis in the spring. I’ve been following ŌM’s Tweets, so I perked up when he told me about the plans for the food and suggested I sign up to be an “ŌM enthusiast,” which promises to make me among the first to receive news, announcements, and “exclusive” invitations.
ŌM’s concept and presentation look exceptional. The James Beard-recognized cookbook author Raghavan Iyer is the “culineer,” which Jeremy Iggers reports is short for “culinary engineer.” How snappy, which is what the interior and fresh Indian food will likely prove to be. I hope ŌM will fill a gap in the Twin Cities dining scene. Creative, contemporary Indian food with no buffet.
Whether by suggestion or fate, after Evolution I went in search of lunch and ended up at the Indian restaurant Namaste Cafe. With a door so welcoming, how could I not go inside?
Namaste has a huge menu of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, curries, bean specialties, breads, and the Namaste lunch box. I had a tofu roti wrap, a “delicious mix of spicy beans, crunchy cabbage, fresh tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, and cilantro wrapped in a whole wheat roti.”
I loved every bite. As I ate, the front door was open, letting in the spring breeze, and next to me a table of mixed-race, mixed-age people were discussing the challenges of creating a civil society. “What did Margaret Mead say?” said the white-haired Indian woman, as they listened carefully to one another and jumped in and out of the conversation.
Namaste Cafe is just like yoga class, only you get to eat. A meal here leaves you feeling grounded, connected, and a little more open in your heart.