THE MARVELOUS NEW LIFE OF GRAND CAFE
Awarding-winning Chef Jamie Malone reopens the storied Minneapolis restaurant
Minneapolis, MN (May 2017) – From chef Jamie Malone 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.
“I recognized something very special in the soul of Grand Café,” said Jamie Malone. “Every decision I make about the space is thoughtful. The 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.
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 interweaves 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.
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.
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.