The patio is now open at the new Xavi Restaurant, located in the former First Course space at 5607 Chicago Ave. S.
The name Xavi is a derivative of the Basque language word meaning “the new place.” Short for Xavier, it also happens to be a name that didn’t make the cut for Chef Michael Agan’s twin boys.
Agan grew up in Southwest Minneapolis, and remembers playing soccer at Pearl Park and biking to his grandmother’s house to mow her lawn (she lived three blocks away from the new restaurant).
“We really want it to be a neighborhood place,” he said.
Cofounders Agan and James Elm met back in 1999 when they were starting their careers, at D’Amico in Eden Prairie.
Agan has worked as executive chef of Crave and spent time in restaurants including Chambers Kitchen, Solera, Campiello, Café Lurcat and Masa. Elm has worked as the bar manager at Acqua in Forest Lake, as well as the Loring Pasta Bar and Dakota.
“The timing was finally right,” Agan said.
He said the lemongrass marinated pork loin seems to be a hit, which comes with a crunchy peach and arugula salad. Other favorite dishes include the monkfish, grilled lamb ribs and watermelon salad.
Agan said they keep the food interesting, with new entrees added every few weeks.
Ninja figurines are available for kids. One of Agan’s four kids likes the mango salad, another pickier eater sticks with the grilled cheese and snap peas off the kids menu.
“It’s not anything fancy. We want people to come here, relax, have some wine, a couple of small plates, dinner, and enjoy themselves,” Agan said.