Edit ModuleShow Tags

First Look: Foreign Legion

Sophisticated space, simple food at the latest spot in the Klein empire


photo by chris tutolo

First Meritage captured a bit of Paris in downtown St. Paul. Then Brasserie Zentral brought European dining to Minneapolis. Now welcome Foreign Legion, the wine-and-cheese bar joining its sister Brasserie in downtown Minneapolis’ Soo Line Building. Set with plush antique-style furniture, candlelit tables and sounds of smooth jazz, Foreign Legion fuses elegance with hideaway comfort. Which is exactly as Meritage owners Russell and Desta Klein intended, and even helps to explain the name of the Kleins’ newest installment to the Twin Cities dining experience: The vibe is that of a friendly small-town Legion that neighbors can stop into and have a bit to eat without dropping too many Euros.

 From a travel-inspired menu made for sharing, expect to mix and match succulent Iberico ham and spicy Sopressata from the charcuterie counter with tranches of soft Stilton blue, creamy French Morbier, and a flavorful trio of sheep’s milk cheeses. Plus, indulging in a rich assortment of French patisserie favorites is de rigeur for an ordinary night at Foreign Legion. For more substance, a zesty Tomato-Lemongrass soup prepared Mallorca-style pairs with the chef’s highbrow take on the grilled cheese sandwich. Nicolas Giraud, a French sommelier who has put in time at each of the Kleins’ outposts as wine director and maître d’, has got wine service down to a science. Giraud has found a way to offer a selection of 90 always-fresh wines by the glass—including two different wines on tap, not to mention the other few hundred New and Old World choices offered by the bottle. Above all, Giraud, who says he finds it hard to limit his own list of favorites, is offering some of the world’s finest and most unique wines at an honest price ($6.50 for a glass of Bourgogne blanc, $5 for a glass of rare Uruguayan Bouza Reserva, $40 for the whole bottle).        

This may be where the Lost Generation has been hiding out all these years. So save those tickets to France for now—when it comes to dining like a Parisian, the Kleins have you covered.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Pineapple in Every Bite Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Enjoy this twist on the classic cake with chunks of sweet, juicy pineapple maximizing the fruit-to-cake ratio in every taste

3 Drinks to Give Winter the Kiss-Off

West Seventh in St. Paul is bursting with drink options to usher in spring (which is just around the corner, right?)

Minnesota-Grown Greens Now Available Year Round

New locally and sustainably produced Revol Greens makes eating clean and green throughout the year even easier

What to Buy for the Perfect Minnesota Home Bar

From vodka, gin, bourbon, rum, and beyond: Minnesota spirit-makers recommend the best home-bar companions

Quick Moroccan Chicken over Couscous Recipe

Enjoy the exotic flavors of a long-simmered tagine in this easy version that’s quick enough for a weeknight

No-Fail Caramel Corn Recipe

Celebrate National Caramel Corn Day with this sweet crunchy treat—no special equipment needed with this easy recipe

Best Restaurant Bargains Before A Target Field Minnesota Twins Game

They're offering baseball specials, but do you know where to go? Check out these good deals on food before Twins games.

3 Things to Eat This Week: April 4-8

Tropical cake, drinkable flowers, and some mouth-searing spice

Edina Bistro Celebrates National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

Pinstripes offers a sophisticated twist on the childhood favorite with a five-course meal for two in honor of PB&J Day (April 2)
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags