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People Watching at the Grand Cafe

Dining at the Grand Café (May 12) the second night it reopened under the new ownership of chefs Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson was like hobnobbing with the who’s who of the Twin Cities' culinary scene.

Malone and Anderson, of course, are the esteemed chefs who've been lauded in the press for their numerous pop-up adventures and star turns at local restaurants while waiting to get funding for their highly anticipated French restaurant, Brut. Brut is still on the drawing board, but the Grand Café is a more than adequate placeholder.

Bill Summerville, the sommelier and general manager at La Belle Vie for years who then did a turn at Spoon and Stable when it first opened, greeted guests at the door and recommended wines. Learning from the master was the already masterful Marco Zappia, who applied his apothecary skills honed at Bittercube with mixed drinks to wine cocktails. The four did the same dance a few years ago at Scena in Uptown.

Doug Flicker, who just closed his fine-dining restaurant Piccolo, and his wife Amy Greeley stood at the bar sipping wine. Flicker and Greeley are in the process of opening their second restaurant together, Bull’s Horn, a dive bar, around the corner from Sandcastle on Lake Nokomis. 

Geri Wolf, a restaurant consultant and event planner, dined in one of the small booths just inside the front door. Her recommendation: “The foie gras is brilliant,” she says.

Sitting at a window table in the back were Bill and Nadine McGuire. Bill McGuire is the owner of the Loons soccer team, and both foodies are fans of the chef-owners.

And that was just in the first two hours of the evening. The Grand Café is in South Minneapolis on Grand Avenue and 38th Street.

Since Foodservice News just signed on to produce the 7th annual Charlie’s Awards, which honors the best of the best in the food and beverage industries in the greater Twin City area, we’re drawn to talent like a moth to a flame. And if you have to wait to get a reservation, you can always watch the movie: www.grandcafemn.com/marvelous-grand/

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