Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Grand Cafe: Simple Good and Tasty Dinner

Last Night Hubby and I attended the Simple Good and Tasty February dinner at the Grand Cafe in Minneapolis. It was a really nice event.

It was the first time we had eaten at Grand Cafe. I had heard a lot of good things about it. It had been on my "list" for a while, but we just hadn't gotten there yet. What a great way to experience the restaurant for the first time. Lee Zukor, who created Simple Good and Tasty, had reserved the restaurant for the night.

We got there a bit early and got a nice glass of wine. We stopped to chat with Lee for a bit - who was buzzing about from one group of people to the next. I have to give Lee props - we've been to a few of his events now and they have all been fantastic. The restaurants have been top notch, the people are great, and we always have tasty food.

Hubby and I started chatting with a couple. We soon discovered that not only were they from my home state of ND, but they also attended a special summer session at NDSU that I attended when I was in high school. (Oh, that time seems soooooo long ago!) While we didn't attend the same year, I discovered that I did attend with the brother of one of them. It truly is a small world - especially when you start talking about ND. Still, very cool to meet them.

The food was great. It started off with a beet and microgreen salad with walnuts and a nice fresh chevre cheese. The walnuts added a nice sweetness and the vinagrette cut through it all nicely without being too sharp. The main course was a cassoulet with duck from Au Bon Canard and house-made sausages. It was very smokey and the duck leg was very tender. The only thing that I was wishing for was a nice peice of crusty bread to sop up some of the sauce and beans. The vegetarian option, which one of our new aquaintances had, was a Mandan-corn polenta with sauteed greens. It is made with corn the Mandan tribes cultivated that is apparently difficult to grow but very tasty. We finished with a gingerbread pudding with an orange compote and a carmel cream (with the obligatory coffe and cream). I tip my hat to John Radle, the Grand Cafe head chef. It was a great night.

We even managed to park on the correct side of the street (Yes, we love Minneapolis's parking restrictions!!!!). We are looking forward to attending more Simple Good and Tasty events in the future. Not sure if we'll make the March dinner at Sen Yai Sen Lek, but we will make the effort if we can.


  1. Sounds like another great event...sorry I wasn't able to make it but hoping to make it to the March one as I've heard many, many good things about that restaurant, but as of yet haven't tried it out.

  2. Hi Kris,

    Not sure if we'll make it to the March dinner. I really want to attend as it too is on my list but just having gotten there yet. If we all get there, we'll be sure to chat. If not, let us know how it is if you go.