FDC #47: The Grand Cafe

Our latest culinary adventure took us to the Grand Café in South Minneapolis, a small French-inspired café helmed by local all-star team Jaime Malone and Erik Anderson. It was such a fantastic meal all around that I’m actually at a loss for words on how to describe it…

The meal was so [superlative – (if you want to play at home, skip to the end now)]. Every dish was [adverb] plated and featured a wide range of flavors and [plural noun] – there wasn’t a single dud on the whole night! We started with a bottle of [liquid], a red that our server Evy described as [adjective] and [adjective]. It was delicious!

From there, the meal progressed through [number] courses. Our first course was a chicken liver filled Paris Brest that was so sweet (in a good way) that it could’ve been a dessert.

Also some [adjective] foie gras and crème that came in the most [adjective] eggshell. Both were sublime. The foie gras, especially blew us away. The crème was tart and sat atop the foie gras, and a bite of both packed so much flavor. We all loved it.

Next came a spinach [noun] with hazelnuts, sunchokes, and warm [adjective] butter. After the two rich first courses the salad was a nice reset for our palates. It was really good, but as The Simpsons so expertly taught us: you don’t win friends with [same noun as above].

The third course was officially the “Appetizer” course. We had a tarte flambé, a lamb terrine, and a pike quenelle. Three intimidating sounding dishes, but very [adjective] tasting dishes. The tarte was basically just a bacon and onion [noun]. It was probably the least inspiring dish of the night, but it still [verb past tense] great. The lamb terrine looked beautiful on the plate. It had so many colors and textures – I didn’t want to ruin it by [verb ending in –ing] it! But it tasted [adjective]. The textures were not only a feast for the eyes, but a feast for the [body part], too. I forgot the technical name (and ingredients) for the Fruit by the Foot on top, so I’m just going to call it [French word]. But the real highlight was the pike quenelle. It’s as classic as classic French dishes get—going back to the time of [historical figure]. It’s basically fish mousse, which I know sounds [adjective], but it was delicious! It didn’t taste fishy at all, and the crayfish sauce was so good, we asked for extra [plural noun] to sop it all up.

Our fourth course consisted of two mains: hen egg dumplings and roast chicken. Due to some traveling and general busyness on my part, I’m writing this later than I’d hoped and unfortunately forget how the dumplings tasted, but every dish was a winner, so I’m sure it tasted [adjective].

I do remember the chicken. It was some of the juiciest white meat I’ve ever had, and the skin was [adverb] crispy. We knew going in that the chefs were talented, but they really cracked this chicken dish. It was another highlight in a meal full of them.

For dessert, course [number], we got a chocolate pot de crème and a “Bourbon Baba with Tonka bean and Chantilly.” We were always getting the pot de crème, as that was a significant reason for coming to Grand Café, but Evy sold us on it even further by promising some of the best cookies we’d ever [verb past tense]. She wasn’t wrong. They were great.

The baba was [adjective]. It was basically a pound cake soaked in bourbon, and boy could you taste the bourbon! I warmed up to it after the first bite, and thoroughly enjoyed eating the rest of my share.

Overall, the group seemed to agree that this was one of the better FDC meals we’ve had. Every dish hit the mark, with some true standouts mixed in. Really, I’d [verb] the [noun] was [adjective]!


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