GET TO GRAND CAFE IN MPLS - (MSP)
Chow-friends, get there...get there now. St Paul Susie told she'd been there and enjoyed it, and I am telling you - this place is PHENOMENAL.
It has a very warm and inviting feel, the neighborhood restaurant vibe - candle, linens -- I met three girlfriends there at 6:15. We got sat immediately -- the crowds seem to come closer to 7. Various groups - couples, a couple with a 6 year old child, a group of women celebrating a birthday - a whole mix.
Girlfriend had a certificate they'd won from a silent auction. Manager I believe? Came over and gave us our options. Chef could prepare a meal for us with wine pairings - we could order straight off the menu....so we chose our protein and had them do the rest as a surprise.
Course 1 - white asparagus over roasted red pepper and a delectable, light puff pastry leek tartlet.
Course 2 - Beet salad (more salad than beet- but with goat cheese, toasted walnut vinaigrette, and caramelized half pear.
Course 3 -I HATE SQUASH...but I guess now I love it. One piece of hand made pasta rolled in a circle and filled with autumn squash and marscapone, onion confit, oyster mushrooms and a thin layer of sherry sauce. I COULD EAT THIS AS A MEAL.
Course 4 - half poached salmon with frisee and fennel with slivered potatos underneath. this rocked.
Course 5 - Protein - girlfriends ordered the bison steak (I don't eat red meat) - they said it was AMAZING. They said that it was the right amount of chew but was smooth like velvet. I ordered the cornish game hen with fried polenta. Oh man..this is what hen should taste like.
Course 6 - Vanilla bean ice cream and a small pumpkin souffle-ish thing. I don't like pumpkin either. Oh wait, I ate the whole thing. I guess I did.
Wine pairings were spot on - service was knowledge, quick and polite, water glasses continuously getting filled, continuously getting new silverware but you didn't really realize that there was anyone even interrupting your conversation...
People - get there now.
Grand does need the support. I have had a couple of really nice meals there in the last few months too and I hope they don't get lost in the shuffle with Blackbird and Heidi's opening less than two miles away, Corner Table a mile away and all of Lake & Lyndale and Uptown all very close too. I go to yoga class across the street on Wednesdays and the rooms look pretty quiet on week nights. Weekends are hopping though.
The Walleye cakes are amazing!
Thanks snoboardbabe for a great, fun, detailed review- makes me wanna go right now!
That's talent when people can discover they like vegetables they hated!
I'll second that this is a great restaurant!! I went with a friend who lives in the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago (sorry I didn't see the thread asking for comments). My friend loves to frequent his neighborhood restaurants, and I willingly agreed to try it out. It was my friends 4th visit in as many or fewer months, and my first visit. We both had the beet salad with walnuts and carmelized pears and goat cheese and really liked it. We both had a Kobe beef brisket (I'm thinking...trying to remember), and it was very, very good - something about a beer sauce too....too long ago and too much food in the meantime... but!! There is no question that the Grand Cafe serves GREAT food and the wait staff is also very pleasant and informative. I'd definitely return to try another item on the menu!
GastronautMan -- I am not sure if it was Mary...but probably? She was a thin, petite woman with blondish hair and I think glasses? Very friendly with a soothing voice? I have some friends that are going there tomorrow night for dinner based on my experience. I hope they love it as much as I did. I honestly cannot wait to get back there-may try for lunch....CH boyfriend loves ruebens and I see there is one on the menu.