THE MARVELOUS NEW LIFE OF GRAND CAFE
Awarding-winning Chefs Jamie Malone & Erik Anderson reopen the storied Minneapolis restaurant
Minneapolis, MN (May 2017) – From chef partners Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson comes the new age of Grand Café, an updated turn for the beloved South Minneapolis bistro. Keeping in mind its rich 70-year history, the revamp brightens this French classic’s charm and nostalgia while feeding the neighborhood with hearty fare prepared at the hands of the talented hometown chefs. At the new Grand Café, a carefully crafted dichotomy of old and new intertwines atmosphere and cuisine.
“We both recognized something very special in the soul of Grand Café,” said Jamie Malone. “Every decision we make about the space is thoughtful. Our goal is to preserve the patina that one couldn’t recreate if you tried.”
St. Paul born and bred, Jamie Malone has remained a Minneapolis mainstay through her work with Chef Tim Mckee, Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Chambers Kitchen, and shared stints with Anderson at Hotel Ivy’s Porter & Fry and Sea Change. Malone gained national attention for the Twin Cities as a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” and semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef” and “Best Chef: Midwest.” Atop her culinary achievements, Malone has written for Esquire’s “Eat Like a Man” blog and won Cooking Light’s” Trail Blazer” award for her work with sustainable seafood. A Midwest native by way of Chicago, Erik Anderson has journeyed through the world-class kitchens of Noma, The French Laundry, and Minneapolis icons Aurigia and Sea Change. Most recently, Anderson co-helmed the ground-breaking The Catbird Seat in Nashville, receiving top accolades including Bon Appétit’s “Best New Restaurants in America” and GQ’s “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America.” In 2012, Anderson was named one of Food & Wine’s “Best New Chefs” followed by “Best New Chef: All Star.”
Encouraging an array of experiences, from a brief bite and sip to a multi-course family feast, the menu recalls the grand dining traditions of Europe: In a modern love letter to the mother sauces and classic technique, Malone and Anderson interweave playful touches to forgotten recipes. Little things pack a punch of flavor, like the Foie Gras Royale, a rich custard served with crème gitanes, or a Red Prawn Castella, with the flavors of the briny jewels balancing the delicate Japanese sponge cake. For the table, shareable snacks are highlighted by Tarte Flambee with Bacon, Onions and Alpine Cheese, Pike Quenelles in Crayfish Sauce, and prized piles of 24 month-aged Mangalitsa Ham from Wedge Oak Farm. Typical entrees range from Roasted Chicken with Spring Garlic and Green Asparagus to Duck Egg Dumplings with Mushroom, Spring Onion and Soubise. Anderson will also be continuing his popular pressed duck dinners.
“We find joy in resurfacing what was once deemed ‘old-fashioned’,” added Erik Anderson, “There is history and intention behind the menu, without being esoteric. At the end of the day, we’re cooking delicious food for our neighbors.”
Dessert leans toward the simple and satisfying—vanilla ice cream is topped with Armagnac-soaked prunes and lemon ice, while Baba au Bourbon eschews the classic for a smokier note. A wide variety of cheeses round out the nostalgic nods to a proper bistro experience. Honoring the storied brunch tradition of its former life, Grand Café continues a sumptuous weekend brunch replete with signatures such as buttery heaps of pancakes cooked on the ancient griddle, a classic Eggs Benedict dripping with creamy hollandaise, and orange-flecked Brioche French Toast Suzette.
Brunchtime beverages stick to the café’s vintage coffee and tea service roots, with product upgrades by Coptic Coffee and Rare Tea Cellar. Nighttime tipples span the breadth of beer and wine, featuring a well-edited selection of sherries, a variety of vermouths on tap, and a mix of favorite local brews and new discoveries curated by Beverage Director Bill Summerville.
Part magic, part history and all charm, guests entering the Grand Café space encounter a quirky yet timeless slice of the Old World. In cheeky deference to its roots, the South Minneapolis bistro houses hand-painted antique French wallpaper, a tropical mural through the eyes of early explorers, and a smattering of mismatched French and American ceramics. The showpiece bakery window, filled with lush foliage, peeks at a decades-old Baker Boy bread oven and 1939 Hobart stand mixer, recalling its original heyday as a bakery in the 1950s. Mining its rich history for buried treasure, a 1923 Parisian zinc bar gleams amid weathered white oak floors and curvy art deco-shaped booths. Rosy-hued walls add a soft glow through the whitewashed French windows, contrasting a perimeter of dark walnut wainscoting and gleaming brass sconces.