Indigenous restaurant Owamni is debuting a 13-course decolonized chef’s tasting menu and swapping it out with regular lunch and dinner service for several weeks.

Launching on Jan. 12, the Waníyetu tasting menu honors the winter season and celebrates Owamni’s new nonprofit-owned status, according to an announcement. Starting on Jan. 17, there will be two seatings per day – at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – every Wednesday through Sunday for at least a month.

The Waníyetu (“winter” in Lakota) menu was created by Owamni co-founder Sean Sherman, executive chef Lee Garman and other members of the culinary team. Items on the opening version below are subject to change.

During the Waníyetu run, Owamni will not offer regular lunch or dinner service. If the menu is a hit, the restaurant could extend its run another week or longer.

Currently available through Feb. 18, tickets are $175 and can be purchased online. There’s an additional cost for wine or non-alcoholic beverage pairings, as well as other drinks à la carte.

As is always the case with Owamni’s dishes, nothing on the Waníyetu menu contains colonial ingredients, including wheat, cane sugar, beef, pork, chicken or dairy.

Vegetarian and vegan options are available, too.

The smoked bison course on the Waníyetu tasting menu

In September, Owamni announced that it was acquired by North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems, or NĀTIFS, the nonprofit led by Sherman. The ownership change enables revenue generated by Owamni to directly support NĀTIFS programming. In this case, 10% of every Waníyetu ticket benefits NĀTIFS, whose mission is to increase access to Indigenous food and education.

“Winter is the season storytellers bring light into our lives, and to be a good storyteller, you need to break new creative ground,” Sherman said in a statement. “That’s what we’re doing with our Waníyetu menu. This more elevated menu gives our culinary team the opportunity to push boundaries, showcase the ingredients from our amazing Indigenous producers, explore the rich and diverse flavors of North America, and demonstrate the heights Owamni can reach with our service and creative capabilities. Each dish will tell a story, each flavor will carry a history, and together, we will be narrators of this culinary tale.”

The smoked berry and sumac tea courses on the Waníyetu tasting menu

Established in 2017, NĀTIFS operates the Indigenous Food Lab, a professional kitchen and training center, and the Indigenous Food Lab Market, a cafe and retail space with products from Indigenous vendors, at Midtown Global Market. 

NĀTIFS plans to replicate the Indigenous Food Lab and Indigenous Food Lab Market pilots in other parts of North America to support Indigenous food access and enterprise development.

Owamni opened in 2021 and won the coveted James Beard award for Best New Restaurant in 2022.

The restaurant is located at 420 S. First St., in the Mill District near St. Anthony Falls, a sacred site for the Dakota and Anishinaabe people.